Browning 'no threat' for Miller
Story by David L. Hudson, Jr.
One of the more intriguing matchups at next week’s UFC Fight Night 18 in Nashville, Tenn., on April 1, 2009, matches up two participants in The Ultimate Fighter – Cole Miller (Season 5) and Junie Browning (Season 8). Miller possesses much more professional MMA experience, compiling a record of 13-3 with three wins in the Octagon. Browning has only a handful of fights but garnered much attention with his behavior on the show.
Miller possesses a good, all-around skill set, honed at American Top Team with Ricardo Liborio training him in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and former gold medal winner Howard Davis Jr. overseeing his development in boxing. Miller attracted much attention in the MMA world by submitting Jorge Gurgel at UFC 86. Recently, Miller took the time to speak with Fightnews about his upcoming matchup, his opponent, and other subjects.
You have much more MMA experience in the professional ranks than your upcoming opponent, Junie Browning. Do you think experience will play a role in this bout?
For sure. This will be my 30th mixed martial arts fight if you count both my amateur and professional experience. I definitely think it gives me a decided advantage.
Can you assess Browning’s biggest strength and perhaps his biggest weakness as well?
I believe his strongest asset is his confidence, but as far as his skill set goes I don’t see any real strengths anywhere. He won’t pose a threat to me in any department.
Browning made a lot of noise on The Ultimate Fighter and generated some hype. Is it all intimidating to face an opponent who talks a lot or who is so confident?
To be honest, I don’t know much of anything about the guy. I don’t know exactly what he did or said on The Ultimate Fighter, I’ve just heard about it. I really don’t care what he did. I don’t care if he showed what type of douche bag that he really is. I don’t look to hype myself. I just go in there and fight to win.
You gained a lot of attention by submitting a skilled Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioner Jorge Gurgel. I also notice you’ve had numerous submission victories. How did you get so proficient at Brazilian jiu-jitsu when you didn’t pick it up till you were 19 I believe?
I have very good Brazilian jiu-jitsu coaches, I really do. It is such a beautiful martial art; in fact, I think it is the best of all the arts. I do have a lot of wins by submission and I’m proud of that. I also think that my reach advantage gives people a lot of problem and they figure they need to get in close and take me down. They do and then they fall into a trap.
You seem to have excellent boxing skills. How much has Howard Davis Jr. helped in that regard?
Howard Davis, Jr. has been an immense help to my striking game. He took me from basically just being a tough kid and completely refined my boxing. The biggest difference in my game has been my boxing over the last three and a half years. And I think working with Howard has made the biggest difference.
I noticed that you fought in Japan. What was that like?
That was real cool. At the time, it was a dream come true, as the UFC lightweight division was nonexistent at that time and I was fighting at 145 lb. They didn’t have the WEC like they have now. It was a very cool experience fighting over there.
Could you talk about what The Ultimate Fighter has meant to you?
That got me into the UFC so it was huge. I wanted to do it to get into the UFC. I wasn’t on the show to be famous; I’ve never cared about that stuff. I just wanted to be in the UFC. I came off in a positive manner and was able to fight in the UFC.
What are your goals for 2009 and beyond?
I would like to fight four more times this year. After that, I would like to be considered to be in the mix of lightweight contenders.
Are there any particular combatants you would like to face?
I don’t usually think of it in that way. But, for sure a fight that intrigues is Spencer Fisher – Caol Uno at UFC 99 in Germany. I would love to fight the winner of that bout. Fisher has a really exciting style, has a big name and is real good fighter. The same thing with Uno – I remember watching him fight when I was in middle school. The guy is a legend.
Any message to your fans?
I want to thank the fans worldwide for their continuous support. They are why I fight and I realize I need fans. Keep watching me and keep watching me grow as a fighter.
Lastly, what is your prediction for the bout with Browning?
I think a round two knockout. I know that I’m way better than this guy. I just have a feeling that I’m going to knock him out in the 2nd round.
. . . .
David L. Hudson Jr. is a feature writer for Fightnew.com, a licensed boxing judge and the author of the soon-to-be-released Combat Sports: An Encyclopedia of Wrestling, Fighting and Mixed Martial Arts. http://www.greenwood.com/catalog/GR4383.aspx