For the past two years, Dan Miller has had a dark storm cloud hanging above his head. From his baby boy developing a cyst on his kidney, to the piling up hospital bills, and going 2-4 in his last six bouts in the UFC.
After losing to Rousimar Palhares at UFC 134 in August and struggling with guilt from training while his son is hospitalized, Miller needed time away from the sport to get his mind right.
Now, after getting support from the MMA community, the UFC, and his family, Miller is starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. His son is soon about to be the recipient of a kidney transplant, and professionally Miller feels rejuvenated at welterweight.
“Coming off of that fight it was disappointing and everything and then the whole thing with Danny getting sick,” Miller told MMAWeekly Radio.
“I almost felt burnt out. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do but kind of making this change, and setting the goal of okay I’m going to go to 170 to try to make a run at this. I’m only getting older and my time is shortening with all these young kids coming in.
“I don’t have that much time so I’m going to make a run for it and it’s kind of renewed everything. I thoroughly enjoyed training going to boxing and Muay Thai and all that. I feel kind of renewed and everything, this is a whole new goal and this is a whole new chapter in my career.”
As poet Robert Browning once said “my sun sets to rise again,” and Miller’s sun has begun to rise and is tearing away at that dark cloud. At welterweight, he feels lighter and quicker and wants to give his son something to look forward to.
On his path to brighter days, he must first get through Ricardo Funch at UFC on FX 4. And while he didn’t know much about his opponent, Miller has always been a yes man and expects a tough battle in Atlantic City.
“He’s a tough kid and he’s got very good skills; it’s going to be a tough fight. I didn’t really know much about him when they said the name, but since then I’ve looked him up. I didn’t really think much about it; they called with the fight and okay.
“I’m trying not to put any pressure on myself. I got enough pressure making the weight and I always go out looking for the finish. It’s no different in this fight and I’m going out and looking to finish him in the first round. I don’t want to go to the second round, and I want to get out of the ring as quick as I can and go have a beer and something to eat.”