The Close Quarters Combat organization held it's third MMA show of 2008 in Charlotte, North Carolina on December 13th. The main event featured WEC veteran Micah Miller versus IFL and Pancrase veteran Jason Palacios for the CQC 145lbs title. Miller was victorious with a second round submission(RNC) victory. MMA4Real was able to chat with Miller in this exclusive interview on fighting in North Carolina, training at ATT, and who he would like a re-match with. Let's get right into it:
MMA4Real-How are you feeling mentally/physically coming off of your win last weekend here in Charlotte?Was that your first time fighting in North Carolina and what was the experience like?
MM-I'm feeling great. I had a real tough training camp and it paid off for sure. Other than a few minor bumps and bruises nothing to really complain about. Actually the only thing that bothers me is the back injury I sustained a week before this fight, but it's getting better everyday. This was my first time fighting in North Carolina, and overall it was pretty standard. I had much more fans here than I expected which came as a very pleasant surprise.
MMA4Real-Yea man, the MMA scene here in NC is beginning to take off since becoming legalized a little over a year ago. You fought Jason Palacios who is an IFL and Pancrase veteran. Did the fight go as you expected and did he surprise you in the fight at any point?
MM- I didn't really have a plan for the fight, and didn't know much about Jason. I had seen him fight once and the only thing i could tell was that he had punching power, and a lot of heart. I did predict an early submission or a late TKO, and I was correct thankfully :)
MMA4Real-Right on. With that win you were crowned the Close Quarters Combat Champion. Is that your first title and what does being a champion mean to you?
MM-It's actually my second. Not many people know this, but I fought current WEC #1 contender Brian Bowles as an amateur in Georgia and won a featherweight amateur championship. Being the champion is good motivation. This was my first time headlining a show, and it means I'm recognized as a high caliber fighter.
MMA4Real-Nice, I didn't know that. Are you currently signed with the CQC organization for multiple fights? When will we see you in action again and do you have a preference(organization) in which you would like to fight?
MM-I don't know when the CQC wants to have me back, but they put on a good show and I am looking forward to fighting for them again. At this stage in my career, where I fight isn't that important. I'm just trying to gain as much experience as I can while I enjoy doing what I love.
MMA4Real-That's true, at the tender age of 21 you have quite a few fights under your belt. In 5 years where do you want to be in the sport of MMA?
MM-5 years is a lot of time. Hell I haven't even been training 5 years as it is. At 26 years of age, I want to be competing for a major world title.
MMA4Real-That's fair enough. Let's switch it up a bit. You've won by submissions and KO before. If you had to pick one, what feels better winning by KO or Submission?
MM-Oh man a win is a win. I will say this though, winning by KO can sometimes come as a shock. You are in the heat of battle and sometimes you won't even feel a punch land and before you know it, the guy is on his back. When you win by submission you are more in control of the situation and getting the tap gives you a great sense of accomplishment.
MMA4Real-A large percentage of your wins have come via triangle choke. Is that a sub you particularly look for, or do you kind of just let it flow to you depending on what your opponent is doing?
MM-Yeah, the triangle is the first submission I learned, and I'm built for it so it should be my best, but as I've gotten better I love scrambling with and opponent and taking whatever he gives me.
MMA4Real-You train with a much respected camp in American Top Team. What’s the best thing about training there and what’s the hardest thing you’ve ever had to do during one of your training sessions?
MM-The best thing about training at ATT is that we are family. I know that when I fight I'm not just walking out by myself, but I have an army of the best fighters in the world with me in spirit. Everyone is so willing to share knowledge. There are no egos there. The toughest thing I've had to do in training was help JZ Calvacante train for his fight with Aoki. It was an amazing experience and gave me insight into the type of fighter you need to be to become a world champion like JZ.
MMA4Real-Good stuff right there. Is there anyone in particular that you want to fight next? Like if you could pick any fighter in the world to fight and it was guaranteed to happen…who would it be? You can’t say no one in particular!!!! We want names here at MMA4Real!
MM-My record isn't very good against guys I've asked to fight so I'm gonna steer clear of that one.(laughs) But, I would like to fight Josh Grispi again.
MMA4Real-(Laughs) Ok, that's fair enough I suppose. Any parting thoughts or words of wisdom you want to leave with your fans, or anyone in particular you want to thank or mention?
MM-I'd like to thank American Top Team, JC Santana with IHP, Tapout, MMA Overload. These are the people who make me the fighter I am, and the fighter I'm going to become. I'd also like to thank my fans, I had many more than I expected in North Carolina it is much appreciated.
MMA4Real would like to thank Micah for taking the time to speak with us. Good luck and hopufully we'll get to see you in action here in North Carolina again in the near future.