This Saturday night, a pair of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belts will meet in the Octagon as middleweights Dan Miller (13-5) and Rousimar Palhares (12-3) square off at UFC 134 in Rio de Janeiro.
Fresh off a loss to former No. 1 contender Nate Marquardt and holding a UFC record of 6-4, Miller will look to get a much needed win over his Brazilian adversary. However, it is not just his adversary he will have to overcome, it will also be the screaming Brazilian fans.
“I am expecting a crazy crowd, but I’m going into that fight and I’m going to try and block everything else out and just go in there and concentrate on Rousimar,” Miller told MMAWeekly Radio.
“It’s going to be a tough fight as it is and I really don’t need the crowd trying to get into my head. So I’m just going to concentrate on the fight and that’s basically it.”
While the crowd will certainly be in favor of Palhares, there is a certain level of pressure that is on the Brazilian that Miller acknowledges. Even with the pressure on his opponent, Miller doesn’t feel that it’s an advantage and hopes his opponent brings his best on Saturday.
“There’s always pressure. Yeah that adds a little pressure to him, but I still got to go in there and get the win and I’m still going in there to finish him regardless of where it is. I think it does add a little pressure, but he’s a professional also and I’m sure he’s going to be concentrating on just fighting me, blocking everything else out, and I hope he brings his best.”
Miller admires Palhares’s leg lock abilities and believes that it’s tough to train for someone like him. However, Miller has seen this position before, being a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt himself, and feels prepared to deal with the onslaught of submissions from his adversary.
“He’s a very, very, dangerous fighter because he’s a leg lock guy. You rarely, rarely, ever see a guy who is that good in jiu-jitsu where it’s one aspect. Demian Maia, who is a fantastic jiu-jitsu guy, is good all over; it’s one of those things where he puts stuff together. With Rousimar, it’s how many times have you ever seen a guy that good at leg locks? So I think it’s tough to train for a guy like that, but I’ve been training jiu-jitsu for a long, long time and I think I’m ready for it.”