Cole Miller: UFC is trying to 'buy a country' with 'show pony' Conor McGregor

Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Cole Miller takes issue with Conor McGregor and the UFC's marketing of the Irish fighter.

Cole Miller turned heel on Saturday night in Manchester.

After defeating Andy Ogle on the preliminary card of UFC Fight Night 30, Miller was given the opportunity to talk about the victory. Instead, Miller, obviously a little fired up, stood in the center of the Octagon with UFC commentator Joe Rogan and said:

I don't know what's up with theses European fighters. Ross Pearson couldn't beat me, Andy Ogle couldn't beat me, Dennis Siver can't beat me, and you know what, neither can Colin McGoober. So, bring it.

About halfway through his speech, the U.K. crowd began to shower Miller with boos. Those boos followed Miller as he jogged from the cage off to the dressing room.

As heel turns go, the Internet seemed to give Miller mixed reviews. Maybe if he had closed out with a microphone drop or used a better nickname for Conor McGregor he would have won the Internet. Who knows?

Miller (20-8) has been with the UFC since June 2007, running up a promotional record of 9-6. Miller has been fighting as a featherweight with the UFC for his last five fights, going 2-3 in the process.

Miller's in cage rant got the attention of the fans and media, but the member of American Top Team had more to say after the fight, telling Fighters Only why he singled out McGregor or McGoober:

I am not trying to say he is a bad fighter or anything like that, I'm just saying that he can't walk into the UFC, win a decision over a 21-year-old kid like Max Holloway and then talk shit about MY team mates, American Top Team guys like Nik Lentz and Dustin Poirier.

Miller also seemed irritated by the push the UFC is giving McGregor:

The UFC is trying to buy a country, get all these fans in Ireland and they've got a good fighter in Conor McGregor, everybody is behind him so they've turned him into a show-pony. You see him everywhere, they fly him out to every event, you see him there looking all GQ.

McGregor has been the focus of many fighters in the UFC's featherweight division for precisely the reason Miller points out; the UFC is pushing McGregor as the next star. A fight with McGregor receives a tremendous amount of attention. That fact was evident at UFC Fight Night 26.

McGregor, fighting on the preliminary card of that event against Max Holloway was given his own open workout before the event, present at almost all of the pre and post-fight press events, and given a walkout that is usually reserved for only main event fighters.

McGregor defeated Holloway by unanimous decision on that night in Boston, but paid a price in the process, suffering an ACL tear during the fight. The injury required surgery, which McGregor underwent in September.

The surgery will delay McGregor's return McGregor's return to the Octagon, but it has not slowed down the hype train or reduced the attention the 25-year-old fighter is getting from the UFC or potential opponents.

McGregor's return date has not been set, but suffice it to say, the UFC will not have a difficult time finding a willing opponent. On Saturday, Cole Miller added his name to that ever-growing list.

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