Cole Miller has been very outspoken over the way he feels he has been treated by the UFC in recent months.
Miller was set to compete at the cancelled card in the Philippines, and now returns later this month to action.
Check out what he had to say during an appearance on “Submission Radio” recently:
Where this frustration with the UFC started and if this was the first instance or if there was a history of past incidents
“It was less than a third of my show money. Not a third, it was less than a third. But yeah, this was kind of just like the tipping point. I’ve had some things that were frustrating me that have been kinda building up for a little while, but nothing that was like this.”
On which part of his situation bothers Cole Miller the most, the money, time in between fights, having to do two training camps etc.
“Look at it like this, I’ve put nine weeks of training in, and this isn’t training like lifting and hitting pads, like I am sparring or grappling with other human beings and you’re chipping away at your body, right? So not only am I putting my body and my mind at physical risk, but after that nine weeks, you know, you put all that time in and then you find out that you’re just going to be getting a couple hundred bucks – I mean, cause that’s what I netted. I netted like four or five hundred dollars after all that time that I had spent away from my family. And then right after that point they tell you that you’re going to fight, I’m like cool, alright, I’m just gonna stay motivated, probably fight in a couple of weeks, right? Wrong. Some of these guys that were on that card, they got booked straight away, but I got pushed back a full two months back, which is another full training camp. So now, now there’s two parts to that. Now I gotta put my body and my mind through that same chopping block. You know, and it’s chipping away, it’s chipping away and I’m doing that and I have to do two full training camps for the price of one. That’s already pretty messed up. But then you take into effect that if I got injured – you know, I can’t even say if I did get injured. There’d be no way for me to pull out, because at this point, you’re just having to literally stay in it to provide for yourself and your family because you didn’t get compensated for the event that was cancelled that, it’s not like I pulled out. You know what I’m saying? That event got cancelled and it wasn’t my fault – not to say that it was the UFC’s fault, that was just the call that they had to make. They had to cancel the event. But I’m over here left taking all the risk and taking all the heat from that.”
On being denied to speak to the UFC Admin people about why his compensation was so low after being pulled from the Manila card
“I didn’t ask to meet the new owners, I specifically asked to meet with whoever was in charge of making the administrative decision of giving me the compensation that I received and could give me a proper explanation on why I would receive that and not a penny more than that. And I offered to fly out to Vegas on my own dime, pay for a hotel on my own dime to just basically for me to plead my case. And if they were going to tell me no, at least they would have said no to my face and they would have given me a proper explanation why. They maybe could have given me a good explanation. You see what I’m saying? But they just completely null and voided that and said that they weren’t going to be taking any meetings regarding that issue at this time. You know, like come on.”
The message the UFC gave him denying his request
“I think it was, “we’re not accepting or scheduling any meetings regarding this issue at this time. Thank you”.”
Miller’s disappointment in the UFC’s communication
“With some thorough, better communication between an athlete – first off, all athletes, but like especially an athlete like myself who’s put ten years into this company. I’ve bled a lot more on that canvas that makes that money, than the people that shut me down from having a discussion. That’s just not how you treat people in general, right? We can agree on that. Why would somebody close the doors on proper communication?
On how Cole tries to stay mentally in the sport of MMA now
“How do I stay mentally in it now? I’m not, man. I’m not in it. I’m just going in, I’m hitting that training session, getting ready for this fight.”
If not caring would affect his mindset on the day of the fight
“When you don’t care, then that’s not a concern. So no. I mean, I honestly know firsthand that your mental approach in training camps ultimately means nothing. I could be amped for a training camp, get no injuries going into a training camp, have a perfect, perfect camp, no personal issues, nothing, and then I can still lose that fight. You see what I’m saying? And then I’ve had fights where, you know, you’ve got family members dying, you’ve got like real life turmoil going on in life financially, you’ve got injuries that kept you from, you couldn’t even train, and then you go into a fight and you get an impressive win and a ‘performance of the night’ bonus. I know firsthand that none of this matters. Your experience doesn’t matter, your training camp don’t matter, your injuries don’t matter. Ultimately, the only thing that matters is what you’re going to be doing in that cage.”
On what Cole means by saying he doesn’t care
“I don’t care what happens to me in this fight. I don’t care what happens to me as far as being retained as an independent contractor – not an employee – under the Zuffa umbrella. I mean like, the way that they treated me shows they obviously don’t want me fighting for them. That’s the way I take that, that they don’t really – that’s the way I absorb that, is that they don’t really think enough of me and they really don’t want me fighting for them anyways, almost treating me like I’m a piece of malfunctioned or old equipment that isn’t any good anymore. And I don’t think that I’m projecting that, I think that that’s just plainly written right there. That’s how I perceive that to be. And why would you want to work for somebody that doesn’t want you to work for them?”
If the painful thing about the situation for Cole related to the fact he’s almost been with the company for a decade
“Yeah I’m one of those guys that’s always been die hard. It’s like I’ve always been appreciative of the opportunities that I’ve been given – not that I didn’t earn those opportunities. You know, I don’t want fighters to get it twisted there either, I want people to understand that I earned those opportunities, but I’m still appreciative that they’re given to me. And then yeah, it kind of hurts right there. It’s almost like a bad break up or something like that, because I thought things were all good. It’s like you see that in movies where one party thinks the relationship’s all good and then the other party comes in and just like out of the blue just breaks up and then they’re crushed, right? Well that’s kind of how I feel. I thought we were all good. I know that Dana White personally has always said that he’s respected me and I’ve kind of felt the same way about him also, but just because someone personally might respect you, that might not be reciprocated as a company outlook. So I still don’t even know that he knows about what happened. And that’s another important thing to know, is that it’s a major company. Like there’s so many ladders you gotta climb and hoops you gotta jump through and I don’t think that it should be set up like that either.”
If there’s a light at the end of the tunnel or way to turn this situation around
“Honestly, like I don’t want to be fighting anywhere. A lot of people might expect that I would be like, “oh yeah, well I just want to go to this organisation now”, and that’s not the case. Like you said, I was blindsided by this. I thought that we were all good, that I was respected, you know, that the organisation as a whole appreciated some of the things that I’ve done – maybe taking some fights that I didn’t want to take but I stepped up on short notice, or always putting on a good show. Whether I win or I lose, I give it all, period. You know what I’m saying? So I kind of thought that that was the overall broad view of the relationship. But to find out that wasn’t and to get blindsided like that, I mean, that just…. like eight weeks ago, I was ready to take on the division, and now I don’t even want to fight. That’s how hard that hit. I don’t want to train, because like right now, that just puts a sour taste for me for mixed martial arts as a whole and like the organisation in general. It’s like, man, if somebody like me, who’s put twenty fights in, who put ten years in and this is how they’re getting treated and not compensated, man, why would anyone want to go through that? Like, what if you went to work and you put in a year’s worth of work and they were just like, “we’re going to pay you one fourth because we don’t really have a good reason, but we’ll give you an opportunity to work all next year too”. How would you react? Wouldn’t you want to just not even do that career field probably, right? Especially if you’ve been working for that company for a long time.”
If this next fight could potentially be Cole’s last fight
The importance of the current time in Mixed Martial Arts
“Right now is an important time for mixed martial artists that are in the game, both young and old, to be voicing what it is that they want out of the sport I general or their specific organizations, like the UFC, like the things that we’re talking about, like post-career benefits. I mean like, we can always say that we want more money. That’s pretty easy. Like, you can complain about what your contract is, or you can say that this guy’s making this or that guy’s making that, and that creates a lot of division. What we really need, if you wanna do real work with a union or an association-type thing, is we need more unity there. You know, that’s why it’s called a union. So I think it’s important to know that the system is set up for us to be fighting against each other, but really, we’re already gonna be fighting against each other. We need to be fighting for each other when it comes to the benefits, the respect, the ethical treatment and things like that for fighters as a whole, because just because you might not like a fighter, you don’t like that they make more money than you right now or they’re getting pay-per-view cuts and you’re not and you’re making the lowest totem pole of 10-10, but this other guy that came in for his debut made 50 and 50 and he just made his debut – I mean, that’s trivial stuff. What the real stuff that we need to be talking about is, at least for me right now, that I’m thinking about, that I’ve been thinking about for a long time, that I’m hoping not for just myself but fighters of the past, is the post-career amenities.”
On his message to Dana White
“I’m trying to reach out to him. Reach out to me, brother. I’d love to sit down and talk, you know, comb through this stuff.”