by Mick Hammond – MMAWeekly.com
Normally a rubber match occurs when two fighters have faced off against each other twice, usually splitting the first two bouts, thus making the third bout the deciding factor between them.
For World Extreme Cagefighting 145-pound fighter Micah Miller, Wednesday night’s match-up with Chance Farrar in Albuquerque, N.M. is a rubber match, but of a completely different sort.
Currently standing 1-1 in the WEC, Miller is in major need of a win in order to stay afloat in one of mixed martial arts’ deepest divisions.
“I’m 1-1 is where I stand in the WEC, so this (fight) will kind of determine where I go,” he said. “There’s a big difference between a winning record and a losing one.
“Lose this fight and you’re at the bottom of the division, win it and I go up. The division is getting stacked. It seems like every week they’re bringing in someone new and really tough. It’s going to be a dogfight to establish yourself. So you’ve got get the wins however you can.”
In order to set himself up in a better position to make a consistent run in the company, Miller joined the American Top Team last year and has since made great effort to improve his game to compete with the best the division offers.
“The last time everybody saw me (in the WEC); I had only trained with American Top Team for three weeks or something, so my training camp really wasn’t that steady. This time I’ve really had time to work on my skills,” expounded Miller.
“I kind of took a break from fighting and I just worked on my skills, and I think it really showed in my last fight (for Premier X-treme Fighting in December). So I’m looking forward to being in the WEC and showing off all the new skills I have.”
The first fighter in the WEC to experience the new skills that Miller brings to the promotion is Chance Farrar, an older, yet less ring-experienced fighter, who is coming off the first professional loss of his career, to WEC 145-pound champion Urijah Faber.
“I think I have triple the fights he has, so I think my ring experience is going to shine through,” commented Miller. “As far as the three aspects of MMA: striking, grappling and jiu-jitsu, I think I do two things better than him.
“He’s a better wrestler than me, he could probably take me down, but I see where this fight is going he’s going to have problems. He just decides where he wants have his problems. He’ll decide where he loses.”
With a large portion of the WEC’s 145-pound weight class on display on Wednesday night, Miller feels that he’ll be able to show everyone where he stands in the division.
“I feel that a lot of these guys, what they’re not good at, I’m better at,” said Miller. “I think that I can force them to do what they don’t like to do. So I think I stack up pretty well.”
When it comes to goals for 2008, Miller is looking to start off his year in a positive way and continue to put in the work needed to make his way to the top of the weight class.
“(I want to) take care of business on Wednesday night, and definitely get started out on the right foot,” he explained. “Nobody wants to start the year off with a loss.
“I really geared up on my skills to get ready for 2008. I’m looking to compete a lot this year and see how far I’ve come. I feel I’ve come pretty far.”
With Miller’s, and many other fighters’ positions in the 145-pound weight class up for grabs, Wednesday night’s WEC card in Albuquerque could very well be a watershed moment for the division.
“I just want to thank my sponsors and everybody that’s helped me train for this fight, especially the American Top Team,” concluded Miller. “They’ve really welcomed me with open arms and have really helped me out and worked on my skills, and I want to make them proud.
“If you’re a fan of MMA, you don’t want to miss this show. This is the best WEC since they (Zuffa) bought it. Come out to the show in Albuquerque and watch it all in person.”