Miller ready for return to featherweight division
One of the top contenders in the World Extreme Cagefighting featherweight division, Micah Miller, will make his return next Sunday night. Miller's last fight was in February when he recorded a knockout victory over Chance Ferrar.
Miller is looking forward to getting back in the cage to take care of business. "The fight's coming up and I haven't fought in a while, so I'm real anxious to get back in there," said an excited Miller. "I'm used to fighting more, but they kind of spaced these shows out a little bit. So, I'm definitely excited to get back in the ring."
Being an extremely active fighter the last few years, it took some adjusting to not fighting as much in the WEC since their shows are a little more sporadic. "Yeah, but I've kind of adjusted to it. It's not something I'd like to get used to but I'm not freaking out as much now as I used to when I was active. I'm always training. There's never a point when I'm real out of shape. It's not hard to train for. You just get kind of anxious. I'm getting used to it."
Miller trains out of American Top Team, which is one of the most premier camps in the sport today. They have fantastic fighters like Gesias "JZ" Calvancante, Yves Edwards, Thiago Alves and Mike Brown, only to name a few. Micah Miller believes that having a camp like that is an integral part to his success. "It's a world class team and I feel privileged to be a part of it," he explained. "When I first got there being at the very bottom, it was tough. But I said to myself that I wanted to do it. I committed myself to working my way up and learn something every day. The thing is you aren't just learning from instructors, you're learning from all of the fighters. All the world champions that they have, they're helping me too. It definitely helps you develop your game very quickly.
It's awesome because they can see that I'm hungry. I think I earned their respect because they see the hard work I put in. They can see it. That makes them want to help me. When you have guys that are that good, you get real good that fast. Those guys have been to war with the best guys in the world. They know what they're doing. If you can get advice from them, that's worth its weight in gold."
The WEC has become a haven for the lower weight classes in mixed martial arts. Stars in the promotion like Urijah Faber, Jamie Varner, Rob McCullough and Miguel Torres have propelled the WEC to a heightened popularity. Miller appreciates what they have done for the lighter weights and what they have done for his career. "It's great. What they've done for the weight class is awesome. Up until a few years ago, the lower weight classes were....nobody really knew about them. It doesn't seem that long ago that the UFC scrapped the 155. It's good to be recognized. WEC has done a lot, not only for my career, but for the weight classes. They put them front and center."
Standing 6'1", Miller has a distinct advantage in his weight division over the majority of his opponents. However, his upcoming opponent, Josh Grispi, is actually one of Miller's taller adversaries. Due to Miller's reach advantage in most of his fights, he has learned to utilize that tool into his game. "You always try to train to use your length," stated Miller. "As a taller fighter, you want to be able to utilize that. In this weight class, I'm going to have that most of my career.
This time around it's a little different because I have someone my height that I'm fighting. For the most part, I'm always going to have the advantage. You definitely have to work on it to get it down right. A few years ago, when I was the same height, I didn't use my reach very well. I used to fight like I was a smaller guy. I used to walk in on guys. I've learned to use it."
Grispi is coming off his debut in the WEC defeating the highly regarded Mark Hominick. The match up intrigues Miller because he believes that the fight could go anywhere. "It's a real interesting match up. It's two tall '45ers in the division. We're both young, but we both earned our spots. As far as the match up goes, I don't have much to go on as far as tape or anything, but just to see him fight and hear about him, he sounds like myself.
He's young, he's hungry, he's in the big show now. He's well-rounded. Even with Hominick, he came forward to strike with him. He's fearless. I hear he's good on the ground. I think, all around, I don't see this fight going to any particular spot. It should be a lot of fun."
With a win over Grispi, it would propel Miller to the forefront of the featherweight division. His teammate, Mike Brown, will be taking on Urijah Faber in September for the WEC featherweight title. If Brown is successful, Miller would be happy to step aside and let his teammate rule the division. "I'd definitely take a step back for Mike. He's earned his shot. It's his time now."