Cole Miller fought Manny Gamburyan at Ultimate Fight Night 26 on August 17, 2013 at the TD Garden in Boston. Near the end of the first round Gamburyan was working for a double leg takedown against the cage when Miller defended and hit him with multiple elbows, right before the round ended, stunning Gamburyan.
As the round ended, Gamburyan slumped to the ground dazed, in what was Miller's corner, unable to return to his own stool.
Miller detailed what happened to CagePotato at the time.
“I looked at Yves Lavigne, he was looking at Manny," related Miller. "I was unsure if the fight was over or if time had expired. I was looking for the ref to give us an idea of whether there was finality in the fight, or if it was an illegal blow. Later, Yves told me was a legal blow and so does the video. But at the time, if it was illegal I was looking for him to say so, take a point, give me a warning, call the fight or something. It was a confusing situation. Yves told me to go to my corner but I told him, ‘I am in my corner.’ The way Manny was there on the ground in my corner, I couldn’t raise my hands, walk away and go to my corner or anything. They actually moved me and my corner to another area while he stayed there on the ground. Yves was pointing to a direction for me to go. I was thinking, ‘I’m in my corner. Someone needs to take him to his corner.’ Over a minute and twenty passed before they had the doctor even look at him.”
The break between rounds is 60 seconds, and if a fighter cannot respond at the opening bell, he loses the fight. However, in this fight, under the supervision of the Massachusetts athletic commission, Gamburyan was given far more than a minute to recover from the legal blows, and ended up winnng a controversial decision.
Miller made a detailed eight-point appeal to the Mass commission, but was eventually denied.
Now Miller vows to BE's Nate Wilcox to never fight in Massachusetts again.
"It's bad that I have to make an accusation against the state that they broke rules. If I had broken a rule, if they had pointed out eight things, they would have considered that overwhelming evidence to fine me or suspend me, but because I had to attack their commission they thought those eight rule violations were inconclusive. It blows my mind.
"I thought about suing them, but I'm just going to let it go. I have a fight coming up, and I can't take time off to hire a lawyer and start thinking about that. They potentially robbed me of Knockout of the Night, a win bonus and a Knockout of the Night.
"The judges messed it up. The athletic commission messed it up later, and I'm just not interested in ever going back to that state. They'll never get any state taxes from future purses from me because I'm never going back."
Respect is a topic that comes up often with Miller, as does the fact that he feels there is a certain level of disrespect for him from a faction of the media and fans. One of the things that gets under his skin is the pre-fight cut list that various websites will provide leading into fight cards,
"This is still a pretty small community. Fighters do check these websites. Fighters do go to the UG and see what's in the top news, and go to their favorite websites. When these sites do these things and put that kind of stuff out, that's the last thing these fighters want to see. He's got a wife. He's got a kid, and you're already writing about how he should lose his job if he loses this fight.
"This is one of the most disgusting things I have ever seen.
"These guys bust their butts year round, and they get evaluated on their performance three times a year.
"If you worked every day, and I told you, 'Here's Bob, and you guys are both going to write an article for me, and whichever one of you writes the best article I'm going to pay that guy twice the money. The other guy will get half the money, and then he'll get fired.' You wouldn't be friends with your co-workers, you wouldn't be happy all the time. It's crazy.
"I'm not saying that there's anything wrong with that, that's what being a fighter is about, but I'm trying to help people understand what we go through, and it sucks.
"He knows he's on the cut list. He knows he's going probably going to lose his job if he loses this fight."
"In any sport, you will lose your job for underperforming, that's the bottom line. But those other jobs give you more opportunities to perform. You can't fight 16 times a year. You can't fight 162 times a year. It's unfortunate, but it's just the way it is."
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Cole Miller fights fellow The Ultimate Fighter alum Sam Sicilia at UFC Fight Night 35 in Duluth, Georgia on January 15.
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