Why fighters should learn to work the mic like Cole Miller

Friday, January 17, 2014

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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