Wednesday night saw Cole Miller (21-8 MMA, 10-6 UFC) claim his tenth victory inside The Octagon and afterwards he dropped another magnificent post-fight, in-cage, interview.
I’ll rewind back to October last year when, after a victory over Andy Ogle, the featherweight had the whole arena boo him due to his comments about European fighters right before calling out “Colin McGoober” aka Conor McGregor.
It was a stroke of genius on behalf of Miller, he was in hostile territory and he played up the ‘heel’ role to his advantage. Let’s face it, the European cards to not receive major American exposure due to the perceived lack of star power. So when a fighter fights on one of these cards he has to do something spectacular to get his name in some articles to boost his profile. Well Miller had everyone talk about him following that fight in Manchester last October.
We saw a different approach from Miller on Wednesday. He was fighting in his native Georgia so he was automatically the crowd favourite or the ‘face’ in this situation. Another good performance was followed by another good post-fight interview where he called out Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone.
Obviously this call-out garnered a lot of interest from fans and media alike and once again there was a lot of post-fight focus on the 29-year-old. Fighters in the UFC could learn a thing or two from Miller’s antics, he is playing the game to perfection.
Some fighters are lucky and have that natural star power that draws people to them, others have to grind and work hard to get the attention they deserve and then others get smart and play the game. They realise that yes, winning is number one but what happens after the fight from the time they step out of the cage until the have another fight a few months down the road…you have to make people care about you. And by ‘care’ I mean you have to make people want to see you win or want to see you get whooped because if they ain’t talking about you then you are just another average fighter making up the numbers.
It is a short game for fighters where they have to be successful and make as much money as possible before retiring and focusing on future endeavours.
Back to Cole Miller, due to his post-fight antics in his past two fights he now has two, possibly lucrative, routes to go down for his next fight. He has laid down the foundation for a fight with Conor McGregor and revisited the bad blood with Donald Cerrone, two big name fighters that will only be good for Miller’s career.
The six time ‘OTN’ winner will now be looking to get his first three-fight win streak in the UFC and take that step-up to the next level that has somehow eluded him for the past seven years in the UFC.