Why fighters should learn to work the mic like Cole Miller


Pro wrestling is a lot like MMA if you could give the audience exactly what they want - mostly stand up, lots of knockdowns, lots of flashy moves. Pro wrestlers know what moves an audience, and there is one prized quality in that world that is hugely overlooked by real fighters, to their detriment. Pro wrestlers know how to work a mic, and most fighters don't.

There are some exceptions, most notably - by far - Chael Sonnen. But Sonnen is the exception that proves the rule, despite his extraordinary success winding up an audience, other fighters, and the entire sport. The standard reply for "who do you want to fight next?" remains "I'll fight whoever Dana White puts in front of me that is my job."

Damon Martin writing for FOX Sports discusses the supject, using as cases in point Cole Miller and Brad Tavares. Miller is 10-6 in the UFC, and has never won more than two in a row. Tavares, fighting in the co-main event, is now on a FIVE fight win streak in the UFC. But who were we talking about afterwards?

Following an impressive win, fighters are often given time with a commentator to talk about their victory.  It's not an automatic gift like it was four or five years ago because now due to television time limits, even the most dominant fighters aren't given a microphone after a win.

When he beat Andy Ogle on his home soil in England in October 2013, Miller took the time to call out fellow featherweight Conor McGregor, which immediately earned him a chorus of boos from the European crowd. On Wednesday night Miller was at it again this time calling out Donald "Clownboy" Cerrone.

A day later and Miller's post fight rant is still abuzz on the internet with virtually every MMA website or website that covers the sport making mention of his post fight speech and call out of Cerrone.

Later in the night on the same card, Brad Tavares – a winner of five fights in a row and seven out of eight since coming to the UFC – defeated Lorenz Larkin in the co-main event of the evening. 

Following his fight, Tavares wasn't afforded time to speak to Anik because the show was in danger of running over time, but he did get his opportunity at the post fight press conference.

"I know you've talked about wanting a step up in competition, I think that probably started tonight, but now what's the next step up the ladder at this point?" the reporter asked.

"Whoever Dana gives me, Tavares responded. "I've just been trying to rally for those guys in the top ten."

Now the fact is no fighter should go against their own personal feelings just to stir up an agenda for the sake of creating drama.  If Tavares really didn't have someone in mind that he wanted to fight, that's fine.

Miller gets it – when you are afforded that valuable time with a microphone in front of your face and a captive audience at home watching, use it to your advantage.  Even if it's not calling out a certain opponent, make a statement, tell everyone how you are the fighter to beat and you're curious if anyone has the stones to step up and accept your challenge.

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tags: Cole Miller (detail)  Brad Tavares   UFC 168   

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Recent Comments »

newjack900 site profile image  

1/17/14 2:52 PM by newjack900

Good mic skills and buildup make an average fight good and a good fight exceptional.. Fighters definitely need to be able to differentiate themselves from other fighters so people will actually know you and have an interest. Silva-Chael 1 almost felt a bit like a joke (like Tyson-McNeely) until Chael came out like a hardass and actually backed up his words.. then the fight became about 50x more interesting bc this guy talked all that shit and then actually was performing. It was definitely a lot more intense to watch it unfold.. that being said, nobody wants guys to be somebody who they're not and hit us with some awkwardly forced call outs. If Tavarez keeps winning he will be fine.

Cameron0000 site profile image  

1/17/14 11:12 AM by Cameron0000

I agree I enjoy watching chael build up a fight just as much as i enjoy him fighting it's good to see trash talking

A_Butler site profile image  

1/17/14 11:10 AM by A_Butler

Also, the stuff with Cerrone has been going on forever. They've had their moments and it's been talked about for a couple years now. With Cerrone saying he wants to come to 45, and the problems they've had in the past, I think it makes for a hell of a fight. The interviews should be great for the lead up to that one. They'll probably need to keep them in different hotels. They definitely hate each other.

A_Butler site profile image  

1/17/14 11:02 AM by A_Butler

Cole's one of my best friends, so I'm terribly biased in this situation. However, outside of the talk, he's stepped up and pulled off a string of wins lately and looked great in all of them. I don't feel like he gets the respect he deserves sometimes. He beat Ross Pearson at Ross' strength, striking. He did the same with Bart, a "better" striker, and now Sicilia, also a dangerously heavy handed guy was predicted to ko or tko Miller. Not to mention hurting Manny and not getting rocked or beat up by his heavy hands and dangerous power. He's taken a while to get comfortable at 45, but I definitely think he's good to go now. And I think that his wins over these guys has proved that his striking is MUCH better than he gets credit for. Whatever your opinion of where he's at in the 45 rankings, I don't see why anyone wouldn't want to watch him fight. He's exciting as hell, pulls off killer subs and sweeps and has some slick, technical boxing that has been paying off big time. He's a martial artist. And I think he's one of the few guys that doesn't give a Fuck and is willing to fight and look for the finish no matter who he's put up against.

Bofbro site profile image  

1/17/14 10:50 AM by Bofbro

Surely Co-Main Event status tells it's own story.

joseito site profile image  

1/17/14 10:35 AM by joseito

They need to learn the "ART OF TRASH TALKING" its another aspect of fighting. Its part of the mental side of fighting, another way to get your opponents to fight your fight. Get in their head and hopefully get their emotions going and their fight-game plan out of the picture. It would get you the fight you want,more money and there is something about trash talking fighters we all love to watch. Cause we all know that you're gonna put on a assume show, cause you been talking trash and now your GONNA HAVE TO BACKUP ALL YOUR TRASH.