Jarrell "Big Baby" Miller is "glad" he is getting another chance to fight Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic at GLORY 17 in Los Angeles, especially after a highly controversial, unanimous decision loss to the Croatian at the K-1 World Grand Prix quarter finals in Zagreb, Croatia, just last year.
"I take it for what it is," the Brooklyn, New York native said as a recent guest on Darce Side Radio.
"But, I should have never had a loss. I should still be undefeated right now. And we work hard. Before, it was a grudge fight between me and Cro Cop, it was a young fighter fighting an older fighter and this is what it is, we are going to do our jobs, but now it is a grudge match. Now it is something personal. We go in there risking our life day to day... putting our life on the line and then you try to jerk somebody and rob them. Now it's personal. I want to punch him and his manager in the face to tell you the truth."
In case you haven't noticed already, Miller is a bit outspoken and unafraid to talk with an unfiltered approach. The heavyweight who can fire words as quick as punches, was, of course, referring to the judges decision that evening, and how due to it being in Filipovic's hometown, accusations of favoritism began to circulate. Out of 22 kickboxing and Muay Thai fights and 10 boxing fights, that loss to "Cro Cop" in March of 2013 is the only one of Miller's career.
The former New Jersey Tiger of the Chuck Norris WCL divulged some of what he saw that week and said from "the moment he hopped off the plane" he felt he was going to have to "knock" Filipovic out in order to win that night.
"His team was in control of everything that happened at that K-1 in Croatia," said Milller. "People don't even see the thin line through a lot of this stuff that goes on behind closed doors. A lot of shady stuff with the physicals and I mean it was a lot of craziness I'll get into another time."
Since that fight, "Big Baby" turned his focus back to boxing, training out of the esteemed Gleason's Gym and winning five straight fights to improve his record to 9-0-1 with nine KO's. While the loss in Zagreb left a bad taste in his mouth, he said he "was planning on leaving after that fight anyway."
"After that loss I'm like 'I don't need to sit here and get jerked around in this sport,'" said Miller, who also mentioned he thinks he can become a heavyweight champion in boxing in the next two to three years. "'I got enough drama with boxing already and watching for snakes now I got to do it in kickboxing?'"
As fate would have it, the original opponent for "Cro Cop," Sergei Kharitonov, dropped out of the fight with an injury, leaving the door open for a possible second fight with Miller.
A rematch with "Cro Cop" is what Miller referred to as "the right entree" being served by GLORY after Kharitonov dropped out, and enticing enough to get the New Yorker to dust off his kickboxing arsenal on short notice for GLORY 17 on June 21st.
"I can't complain," Miller said about the limited preparation time. "I haven't had an injury since God knows when, knock on wood. I'm one of them kind of guys where whenever my body feels a certain way I know when to back up. If I'm in a grumpy mood and I feel like my body is hurting, I go get me a cup of ice cream, you know what I mean? I'm just that type of dude. When I feel better and my mood gets a little lighter, I go back to work. For a young guy I kind of know my body well and I know what to do and what not to do. No complaints, we are going to bang when the 21st comes."
The 21-1 kickboxer says he "loves the sport of kickboxing" and is "highly motivated" to face Filipovic for the second time, but beyond that he remains doubtful he will return to kickboxing after GLORY 17.
"I'll never say never to kickboxing, but after this fight I don't see anything that will intrigue me to come back," Miller stated. "You know what I'm trying to say? Even if it was a high payday, I'm like 'alright it's a payday, okay cool,' but it's not about the money all the time, it's about longevity, the career and getting the most out of it."
As for Filipovic, his career has pretty much already been written and it's certainly been a long one. In the Croatian's highly anticipated kickboxing return at GLORY 14 in Zagreb last March, he was on the losing side of a controversial decision to Remy Bonjasky. However, many experts and fans alike felt Filipovic was the rightful winner. The 39-year-old looked like he still had plenty left in the tank, landing solid punches, throwing his patented high kick and at times bullying Bonjasky during some of the clinches.
When asked if the decision not going "Cro Cop's" may be a bit of karma, Miller replied, "God don't like ugly. Do unto others as you would do unto yourself." And as far as the match up is concerned, the trash talking 25-year-old is the least bit worried about anything that Filipovic brings to the table.
"Man, not a damn thing concerns me about that old fart, he said, showing his sense of humor. "Plain and simple. I'm a fighter. I'm going to go in there and do what I do. I know what he is capable of doing."
"Sparks are going to fly and Cro Cop is going to drop," Miller predicted. "Guarantee you... I can tell you this right now, he is not going to stand toe-to-toe with me. Everybody knows that. He's going to try and run and throw his little whack-ass high kicks. I blocked all them kicks last time. He caught me with maybe one body kick and and that was it and a bunch of fucking headbutts. We know what's going to happen on June 21st. He knows what's going to happen, so, game on."
Miller explained during the interview that his nickname "Big Baby," was given to him by his first manager and he ultimately decided to keep it due to "good feed back from the females about it." He has come up with a pet name for his adversary: "Coco Cop."
"He's real name is Cro Cop but since he's jerking people around and headbutting, we are going to call him 'Coco Cop.' He's Coco Puffs. Don't be surprised if I throw a bunch of Coco Puffs cereal at his head. To me, right now, he's a fraud. That's how I feel and I'm going to expose his behind. He needs to retire now, plain and simple."
"Ain't nothing better than retiring an old legend bro," he continued. "'Who was his last fight against? Big Baby, he retired his ass.' That's the whole goal. That's what I'm training for. I don't care about the win, I want to knock his ass out and retire his ass. That's what I want to do. I know I'm going to win regardless. I'm going past. I'm thinking huge. I'm thinking big, extravagant, that's how I'm thinking."
Without question, this is the biggest fight in the still very-young career of the brash and wordy fighter. If you didn't know that, you'd get the feeling he's done it for years after speaking with him. Many will be seeing him fight for the first time at The Forum in Inglewood, California, on Saturday and live on Spike TV, and he can't wait to show the GLORY fans what he is all about.
"I had a couple of fights on MSG and SNY, but Spike TV is a whole other animal when it comes to network and promotion," Miller said. "This is the biggest fight, promotion wise, on TV that's going to be in America. Every fight I come to fight and I step up to the occasion and I never have butterflies. This is what I was born to do. This is what I like. I breathe, eat, and shit beating people up."