Cole Miller knew his career was on the line going into his fight against Bart Palaszewski on Saturday’s Ultimate Fighter Finale.
With his back up against the wall, Miller wasted no time putting the pressure on Palaszewski, using his size and reach to outstrike the smaller fighter early in the first round. When the fight eventually went to the ground, Miller quickly put an end to things by submitting Palaszewski with a rear-naked choke.
Saturday’s impressive victory allows Miller an opportunity to breath a sigh of relief now that he is no longer on the UFC‘s chopping block.
In a post-fight interview with a group of reporters, Miller discussed the pressure he was under going into the fight.
“Everybody here knows I was on the chopping block, so coming in here off two losses in a row, I wasn’t expecting a third opportunity,” Miller said. “To come in here with this kind of pressure, you know, it weighed heavy.”
The victory was Miller’s fourteenth career MMA win by way of submission. In beating a tough fighter like Palaszewski, Miller showed he can still be a force in the featherweight division.
Miller, who has had a history of injuries, was pleased with his health coming into Saturday’s fight and is looking to fight more often.
“I’m going to make  an active year,” Miller said. “I would like to maintain a more active fighting career.”
At only 28 years of age, Miller is just starting to hit his prime. As one of the most dangerous submission fighters in the division, a healthy Miller has a good chance of jumping into the ranks of UFC featherweight contenders by year’s end.