Cole Miller is concentrating on his big fight tomorrow night against Ross Pearson. Pearson wants to win at Ultimate Fight Night 22 but he may have a bigger goal in mind. The Brit, who won Season 9 of "The Ultimate Fighter", is speding more time in the United States, training his wrestling and takedown defense. He did so recently with a visit to work with UFC lightweight champ Frank Edgar and Ricardo Almeida.
"I have to come out here to the States to train with these guys, or I have to bring those guys to my gym back in England, so either way, I’m going to be learning the wrestling," Pearson told Eliot Olshansky from Bleacher Report. "I’m not stupid to think that I’m going to beat these guys just by watching, you know? You need to get in there and train with these guys, develop your game."
Pearson, 25, admits that seeing fellow Brits Dan Hardy and Paul Daley get manhandled by good MMA wrestlers, spurred his trip to the U.S.
"It opened me eyes a lot to get the chance to go out train with Frankie Edgar and the Rutgers wrestling team, just to see what I needed to improve, and what I needed to do to get to the level of these guys. I’m never going to learn it back at home, where none of the guys are advanced masters of wrestling, you know?"
Miller isn't a traditional wrestler but he's very good grappler and submission artist.
"Definitely, the biggest challenge for me is if the fight goes to the floor. Cole is just really good and talented on the floor. He’s pulled off some slick submissions. He’s very active; he doesn’t rest like some of the guys you see. He goes in there to finish fights, which I admire."
This is definitely striker versus grappler. Miller's striking is solid and his length can give other lightweights trouble, but he'll want to get this fight to the ground. In this video, Miller says he was a little confused by Pearson's trip to work with wrestlers like Edgar. He speculated that thinks maybe Pearson thinks he's going to smash him and is prepping for the future (1:25 mark).
Either way, it's a good move for Pearson to work in the U.S. He has a high ceiling and why shouldn't he work all elements of his game regardless of whether it perfectly matches his current opponent? Pearson and Miller meet int he first bout of the televised portion of UFN 22 on Spike. It should provide action. Pearson (11-3, 3-0 UFC) won Fight of the Night honors his last time while Miller (16-4, 5-2 UFC) has only had one of his seven UFC fights go the distance.