UFC: What If Cole Miller Shuts Up Conor McGregor?

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UFC: What If Cole Miller Shuts Up Conor McGregor?
Gregory Payan/Associated Press

It's just talk, talk, talk, talk

'Til you lose your patience.

An iconic line from The Boss himself, sung into an old tape recorder during the Nebraska sessions. State Trooper, to be precise.

And can't we all relate?

Sometimes there's too much talking in this world. It's just talk, talk, talk, talk. 'Til you lose your patience.

One thing is for certain: Cole Miller is tired of talking. Tired of Conor McGregor's talking particularly.

The two have been paired to headline the UFC's return to Ireland in July, and the buildup has been nearly a year in the making. McGregor blew his knee out in August 2013 in a win over Max Holloway, and he's been sitting on the sidelines ever since.

During that hiatus, he's taken to calling out just about anyone with a pulse. By the end of the year, he had half of the featherweights in the world ready to welcome him back to the sport, and even a bizarrely concocted welterweight proposal on the table against Diego Sanchez.

At the end of it all, it was Cole Miller's lamely targeted call-out of "Colin McGoober" that got him the dance.

But it's not about trash talk, as much as that helps to sell a fight. It's about what you can do in the cage. Miller is a proven veteran who has been doing this MMA thing pretty well for a long time, and whether or not his talents transfer to promotion is kind of irrelevant.

He'll test the Irishman, and test him seriously.

But what if he wins?

Most people seem to think that, while this is McGregor's biggest test, it's one being used to groom him into a contender. Hell, McGregor himself thinks that.

The UFC needs European stars as they continue to press for global sporting domination, and a brash young punk that people either love or hate is exactly what the doctor ordered.

If the promotion can make him into something, package him in a way that makes fight fans in Europe and around the world take note, they've got their first cornerstone in place for continued expansion.

McGregor has done his part. He's talked the talk. Now he has to walk the walk.

If he doesn't and Cole Miller snuffs out this Irish uprising before it gets past a couple of wins on prelim cards, the UFC loses a potentially huge asset. They'll essentially be back to square one, rotating through Michael Bisping and Alexander Gustafsson to headline shows that fall on European turf.

The Miller fight is a dangerous one for McGregor, a man coming off of a knee reconstruction and a year away from combat. Miller has 10 wins in the UFC and has succeeded in three of his last four trips to the cage. He was 13-3 before McGregor's career even started, and when McGregor couldn't legally buy a beer in the US he was kicking Andy Wang's head off in the center of the Octagon.

So remember that before you put your money down on McGregor. Remember that he's an exciting prospect, but that Miller has been around too long to take this one lying down.

Talk is cheap before the fight, but it can run up an expensive bill when it comes time to pay in the cage.

If their plans for running amok across the globe are any indication, the UFC will be hoping McGregor can pay it.

 

Follow me on Twitter @matthewjryder!

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