Special to MMAWeekly by Andrew Nostvick
Ultimate Fighter season five contestant Cole Miller looks to continue his rise in the Ultimate Fighting Championship on Jan. 23. To do that though, he needs to go through up-and-comer lightweight Jeremy Stephens.

Miller has won four straight fights, two of them in the UFC. He is coming off of a unanimous decision against Leonard Garcia at a UFC Fight Night in September.

The 13-2 fighter knows he is up for a challenge and will have to work hard to win his fifth straight fight.

“He’s a pretty tough guy,” Miller said. “(Stephens) has good stand up with heavy hands and a never say die attitude. It’s exactly the kind of fighter I want to fight.”

One advantage he holds over Stephens is in terms of height. Miller is 6’1″ while Stephens is only 5’9″.

“Well, I train a lot to use my reach advantage,” he said. “It’s going to be up to me to utilize this. We’ll see if it plays a role or not after the fight.”

In a stacked division, a win can only help out the young Miller. A third straight victory in the UFC would propel him one step further up the lightweight ladder.

“Hopefully, a win will get me a fight on the main card on a fight night or move me to a pay-per-view event against a contender, but who knows,” he said.

What was once a dead division in the UFC, the 155-pound division is one of the most exciting in mixed martial arts.

The weight class is stacked with plenty of fighters like B.J. Penn, Joe Stevenson, Tyson Griffin, Roger Huerta, Kenny Florian, and of course Miller and Stephens. There is no shortage of healthy competition in the UFC.

“There’s plenty of guys to fight that’s for sure,” Miller said, “So, you don’t have to worry about fighting your buddy or one of your teammates with the depth of talent in the 155-pound division.”

The UFC Fight Night event on Jan. 23 will take place at the Palms in Las Vegas.