Ten fights into his UFC career and Cole Miller is ready to make a change.
The American Top Team fighter currently sidelined with a broken hand after his last win over T.J. O’Brien in August is making the move to the featherweight division for his next fight in 2012.
Miller says he’s actually been talking about the move for some time, but he’s ready to make the move, it’s just delayed by his recently injured hand.
“I’ve been saying this for a while, but people want to say things all the time and don’t give it a second thought cause things can change and happen, but I’ve been saying for like a year now that I was going to drop to 145. The fight with (Matt) Wiman happened and I had one more fight left on my contract at lightweight and I wanted to finish that out and came away with the ‘W’,” Miller told MMAWeekly.com.
“It worked out for me as far as I got the ‘W’ but ended up breaking my hand in the process unfortunately. Story of my life, getting injured and on the shelf for six more months.”
The initial news about the injury sent Miller into a bit of a depression, but his doctors have now given him the go ahead to start getting back into training, which makes him a very happy fighter.
Miller says now that he’s focused on moving to 145lbs, he’s already got UFC matchmakers Joe Silva and Sean Shelby’s blessing for the switch, and now it’s full steam ahead.
“I got cleared to train finally, the bone is completely healed. It took ten weeks, but I’m back in the gym now. Started last week. I think I’ll be ready to be able to spar in about a month, then I’ll need 10 to 12 weeks to prepare for an opponent,” Miller revealed.
Throughout his career, Miller has always stayed in very good shape and because of that he’s never had to do much to make weight at 155lbs. Admittedly, he’s a little nervous about that first cut to featherweight just because it’s something new, but he has no doubts that his performance will be up to par.
The challenges for Miller at featherweight according to the fighter will be more about a few adjustments, and not necessarily the caliber of opponents in the weight class.
“I think the challenges that I’ll have won’t be the challenges that I’ll have the entire time at featherweight, it will just be that initial thing,” said Miller. “Obviously, the weight cut, but I don’t think it will be a tough cut.
“The other thing is the speed at 145lbs. That first fight when I get in there, no matter how many sparring partners I’ll be sparring with that are 145er’s, when you go in there for that fight everything is much faster.”
Miller is confident however that his teammates at American Top Team will get him in the best shape possible and ready for whatever lies ahead at 145lbs.
While he’s still got to wait until he gets his first official opponent at featherweight, Miller is ready for whatever the UFC throws at him. He’d love to hop right up the contender’s ladder, but Miller is willing to work his way to the top no matter who he has to face.
“I’m prepared to jump in the deep end, but I don’t always get what I want,” Miller said.
“I think I’m probably going to have to prove that I am everything that I know I am at 145lbs.”