UFC featherweight fighter Cole Miller may have received Submission of the Night honors for his second-round victory over Sam Sicilia at UFC Fight Night 35, but the long-term implications of that bout could be more damaging than encouraging.
Miller confirmed after the bout that he suffered a broken left hand in the match-ending sequence to defeat Sicilia, per Damon Martin of Fox Sports:
Cole Miller confirmed he did break his hand. Now it's a matter of how much time off or surgery or what #UFC— Damon Martin (@DamonMartin) January 16, 2014
As noted by Martin, it is unclear how long Miller will be on the shelf. He is expected to meet with doctors soon to get a full diagnosis, at which point a decision will be made on the best long-term treatment option. A damaged hand is obviously a huge detriment to any mixed martial artist, so it'll be interesting to see what happens in the coming days.
The injury comes at the worst possible time for Miller.
Coming in needing a victory to establish himself as a true featherweight contender, Miller did just that in a dominant performance. He stifled nearly every attack Sicilla attempted, easily winning the first round before putting the match away in the second.
The 29-year-old fighter landed a series of power strikes to eventually knock down his overmatched opponent, and he finished him off with a rear-naked choke at the 1:54 mark. The victory earned Miller his fourth Submission of the Night bonus.
And even with Miller knowing his hand was hurting, he was already ready to call out his next opponent, per MMA Fighting's Dave Doyle:
It's you, Donald ‘Cowboy' Cerrone. You said you want to come down to 145, come on down. I'll tell you what I'm going to do, I'll send Mike Dolce over to you and you can put the bill on me. He's going to tell you the same thing I'll tell you, lay off them cheeseburgers and them Twinkies, homie.
Cerrone, currently a lightweight, is coming off a submission victory over Evan Dunham at UFC 167. Whether the two would be able to agree to a fight remains to be seen.
But with Martin awaiting word on his hand, scheduling his next bout against anyone might be a long way away.
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