Dan Miller isn’t one to back down from a fight and he almost always answers the UFC’s call to step into the cage, on late notice or otherwise. So, when Alexandre Ferreira pulled out of his UFC 134 contest with fellow Brazilian Rousimar Palhares and the UFC needed a replacement, they knew who to call.
Miller stepped up to the plate with little over a month to prepare and made the long flight to Brazil to compete against the harebrained submission specialist on his own soil. Though he had his moments in the bout, things didn’t end up in his favor; Palhares was awarded the victory via unanimous decision after three rounds of action. The fight was controversial, but Miller hasn’t been focusing much on that, as his time since has been spent with his growing family and with his mind on the future.
“Physically I am doing fine,” Miller told FightLine.com. “Obviously I was a little sore after the fight, just like any other tough battle. I am not yet back in the gym, as I like to have some family time after a long training camp. Jim (Miller) just had another child so that has been taking up some of our time!”
During the first round of their fight, Miller was taking heavy damage from Palhares while on the ground and was doing his best to survive, when Toquinho inexplicably stopped hitting him to celebrate. Though referee Herb Dean never called off the action and had to chase Palhares down off the fence to resume the fight, Palhares maintains that he heard Miller verbally submit, so he ceased his onslaught.
“It is time to move on and get ready for my next test in the Octagon. I 100% never said stop,” said Miller on the subject.
Once Dean finally made Palhares realize that there was a fight to get back to, Miller retaliated and dropped Palhares. Toquinho managed to survive and the fight went on to the second round.
“I know that he was hurt, but I’m not sure how close it was,” he said. “Obviously not close enough. I just continue to battle until the ref actually jumps in and stops a fight.”
After taking a thorough beating in the second round, Miller rallied to take the fight to a tiring Palhares. In the end though, it wasn’t enough to eke out the decision. Miller may have lost, but he doesn’t feel beaten and from here, he’s just waiting to answer the next call from the UFC.
“We shall see whenever the UFC gives my manager/trainer Mike Constantino a call,” he said. “Our team at AMA is always ready and willing to step up and fight. It is what we do for a living, so we like it when the phone rings with an opportunity.”
The loss to Palhares made it two defeats in a row for Miller and, even though a third straight loss usually spells the end for a fighter in the UFC, he isn’t putting any more pressure on himself than normal for his next fight.
“Every fight is very important, this sport has some amazing athletes,” Miller said. “I will train my hardest and as always leave 110% in the cage that night.”