As debut nears, Invicta's Randi Miller not interested in Ronda Rousey's 'easy road'

You might not have heard of Randi Miller (0-0) just yet, but if she has her way, you will very soon.

The 145-pound female fighter and Olympic bronze medalist makes her MMA debut on April 28 at the all-female Invicta Fighting Championships event in Kansas City, Kan., in a fight card that streams free on the promotion's website.

With her wrestling pedigree, Miller hopes she'll make it to the bigtime within a year or so, but she says she's not interested in following fellow Olympian Ronda Rousey in what she says was an "easy road" to the top.

"She definitely is entertaining, and her and Miesha (Tate) put on a great show," Miller told Radio ( "I had fun watching it all happen, but I do have an issue with how she didn't have to fight everyone to achieve that title.

"In my opinion, yeah, (she took) the easy road."

Rousey, of course, is also an Olympic bronze medalist, taking home the award as a judoka at the 2008 Beijing Games. In 2010, Rousey turned to MMA and has since won eight-straight fights, all by armbar, as an amateur and pro.

However, Rousey opened her career at 145 pounds before dropping a weightclass and fighting for the Strikeforce bantamweight title in her first bout at 135 pounds. Former Strikeforce champ Sarah Kaufman was one of the most outspoken protestors of the move, but Miller said she also disagrees with the decision.

"Coming up in the sport I've come up in, I think that if you're going to be a champion, you should have to fight everyone," Miller said. "For me, personally, if I don't beat everyone, I have hard time sleeping at night."

Miller is a decorated wrestler with extensive credentials. Since ending her Olympic career, Miller has been training in Colorado alongside top-ranked female fighter Cat Zingano, preparing for her MMA debut. Finding amateur fights was difficult, she said, so Miller is going to make the leap straight into the professional ranks.

"I think it's the name," Miller said. "I'm pretty sure that's the reason. I think if people are going to get in the ring (with me), they want to get paid for it, which makes sense."

So now Miller meets Mollie Ahlers-Estes (1-0) at Invicta FC's debut event, and she hopes it will start a fast-rising career up the ranks. But Miller said her wrestling background makes it impossible to skip any hurdles along the way to the top.

"Coming up in wrestling, that's just how it is," Miller said. "If you happen to go through a tournament, and you're on one side, and another No. 1 or No. 2 is on the other side and they get beat, you're always wondering if you could have beat that person.

"That kind of stuff keeps me up at night."

Whether or not Miller can match her wrestling success in an MMA career remains to be seen. She insists her striking is progressing well and she's adjusting to the pace differences between the sport. But for Miller, it's not predicting where she'll end up, it's about making sure she leaves no doubt whether or not she belongs to be there.

And could that run eventually mean a meeting with fellow Olympian Rousey?

"Is she on my radar?" Miller asked. "If she's going to be at 145, then definitely." Radio broadcasts Monday-Friday at noon ET (9 a.m. PT) live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino's Race & Sports Book. The show is hosted by "Gorgeous" George Garcia, lead staff reporter John Morgan and producer Brian "Goze" Garcia. For more information or to download past episodes, go to Discussions

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Kobi123 on Apr 09, 2012 at 8:24 pm ET
intresting company, a new WMMA promotion in USA, they're off to a good start already having signed Marlos Coenen

twistersub on Apr 09, 2012 at 8:29 pm ET
So according to this lady, you should have to fight everyone before you can fight for the title? That does not sound like someone who knows anything about the fight game. I also do not believe that when you destroy everyone you fight in the first round (including the champ) qualifies as taking the easy road.

Stockton_Slap on Apr 09, 2012 at 8:32 pm ET

If you want a title shot, you need to fight EVERYONE.

Don't take an easy road like those pansies Junior dos Santos nd Anderson Silva.

This broad has NO idea what she is talking about.

edub001 on Apr 09, 2012 at 8:36 pm ET
"Don't take an easy road like those pansies Junior dos Santos nd Anderson Silva."

Hahahah, completely out of place statement/comparison.

Stockton_Slap on Apr 09, 2012 at 8:43 pm ET
Andy got a title shot after 1 fight in the UFC. To say that he was more worthy of a title shot than Rousey is "moronical".

mmainnukraine on Apr 09, 2012 at 10:22 pm ET
Didnt Nick Diaz get a shot only after 1 fight? and it was only because he ****ed him self over ??


Celmare on Apr 09, 2012 at 11:11 pm ET
I want to see Megumi and Aguilar hug naked.
Just sayin'

And, yes, Silva is a huge scam. Jones too. It'll all come out soon enough.

edub001 on Apr 09, 2012 at 8:46 pm ET
He was also a champion in multiple promotions before that, and was still panned as an opponent.

Stockton_Slap on Apr 09, 2012 at 8:38 pm ET
Well they haven't fought everyone so they were obviously not worthy title challengers.

I will make you my little project if you keep on edub.

wrestleswithangels on Apr 10, 2012 at 3:03 am ET

I want to be your project!  Please!  Please!!  Ooo, ooooo, me, me,...!!!!


edub001 on Apr 09, 2012 at 8:44 pm ET
You'd be entering the wrong territory. I've seen you destroyed on here way too easily, so keep on if you'd like. You stand little chance as you just dont contain the acumen to keep up.

Back to your moronic comparison. Anderson Silva was 18-4 with wins over the likes of Jorge Rivera, Lee Murray, and Jeremy Horn when he got the shot at Rich (and the shot was still panned by many critics). JDS was 13-1, and 7-0 inside the UFC with an over 80% finishing rate.

No comparison is justified.

MMAJudgesNumber1Fan on Apr 09, 2012 at 9:51 pm ET
Didn't Anderson also obliterate Leben in his debut and I thought Jeremy Horn was top 5 at that time?

Control_Da_Wriss on Apr 09, 2012 at 11:28 pm ET
He's trolling you edub, calm your little typing fingers down.

JoeRogan on Apr 09, 2012 at 11:37 pm ET
edub001 on Apr 09, 2012 at 8:44 pm ET
You'd be entering the wrong territory. I've seen you destroyed on here way too easily, so keep on if you'd like. You stand little chance as you just dont contain the acumen to keep up.
entering the wrong territory? destroyed? 
I guess you are the true definition of a keyboard warrior lol

mrthunder92 on Apr 09, 2012 at 11:39 pm ET
watch out, we have a badass over here

Chromium on Apr 09, 2012 at 8:46 pm ET
I think by "everyone," she merely means if someone else was already the #1 contender, you shouldn't be able to simply leap-frog her via trash talk. It's an understandable viewpoint and I respect both her and Rousey. Furthermore if Miller, who is the best prospect in any women's division since Rousey, wants to lay some groundwork for trash talk down the line, that's not a bad idea. Miller is the only person in my mind who even _might_ be at the level of Cyborg or Rousey right now at 145, and I think she's going to need some seasoning first. Her wrestling is beastly though. I think she could beat most NCAA Division I men at her weight. She's an incredible natural athlete and she actually has some room to fill out physically since she's not shredded at all.

Jman on Apr 10, 2012 at 10:25 am ET
Wow...really. She would beat most NCAA men wrestlers?

edub001 on Apr 09, 2012 at 8:48 pm ET
She'd get tooled by almost everyguy in D1- D3 man.

The level of wrestling in both is just too far apart (between girls and guys).

However, I agree with almost everything else you said.

What you think of McMann vs. Rousey down the line if Ronday stays at 135?

Chromium on Apr 09, 2012 at 11:27 pm ET
_I_ could have wrestled in Division III if I'd wanted to (I wasn't really interested but not like D3 schools have many options with no scholarships to give out). She'd have smashed me and I had like 50 lbs. on her. I can tell from watching video footage of her that she's very legit. Not worth my time to get into an argument about women vs. men in wrestling though. As for McMann vs. Rousey, that's a possibility. If Coenen beats Ruyssen, who is a very tough opponent, I wouldn't mind it if Strikeforce signed both McMann and Coenen and had them do a title eliminator or something. I'd prefer Strikeforce build people up more but when they're only doing 7 shows a year, 9 fights each, they don't really have the space. If they can show that they can put on a good show, I think Invicta would be a great tool for Zuffa to promote women fighters. They should buy them.

Chromium on Apr 09, 2012 at 11:40 pm ET
As for who would _win_ McMann vs. Rousey? I think I kind of have to put Rousey over anyone at W135 right now but I imagine McMann is a better grappler than Tate (who herself is exceptional; Tate's silver medal in the World FILA Submission Grappling Championships is far more impressive than her high school wrestling).

brandonb220 on Apr 10, 2012 at 6:02 pm ET
Chromium you are a complete idiot. Dont ever make such an ignorant statement about sports you have no knowledge of beyond highschool. I am a college wrestler in a d-2 program, i train with d-2 and d-1 wrestlers on a consistent basis and i also drill with a female olympic wrestler on occasion when she is in town and needs a training partner and i can tell you right now: NO female wrestler in the same weight class as a male wrestler is going to come even close to beating any male wrestler in d-1 through d-3. There is a reason you dont see female wrestlers in the NCAAs, not just because they dont feel like it. These women are amazing athletes in their respected sports, and I am not diminishing their accomplishments in any way, but when you get to a certain point in a sport, at least wrestling, the women just are not able to keep up with men at those higher levels. From now on, stick to spreading your knowledge of sports up to the extent of which you have competed in that sport.

GoonNinja87 on Apr 10, 2012 at 7:06 am ET
I gotta side with the other dude on this. Irrelevant of how you think she can smash you she wouldn't last a minute against a D1 male wrestler. Men have far too much of a strength advantage for your argument to be even slightly credible. I used to be a swimmer and while i was just outside the qualifying for D1 National titles i was faster than the womens world record. I know they're different sports but it does somewhat demonstrate the vast difference between men and women in sports.

Stockton_Slap on Apr 09, 2012 at 8:59 pm ET
McMann Rousey is one if my top 3 most anticipated match ups.

Two real olympic athlete's going at it.

That is a fight that will test both of them.

edub001 on Apr 09, 2012 at 9:01 pm ET
Agreed. I really wanna see Ronda pressured. Hopefully McMann (or someone like her) can provide that attack needed. She's got the background for it, but not sure if she's got the size.

Plus that armbar she pulls off can really be applied from everywhere.

UFO on Apr 10, 2012 at 4:48 pm ET
Randi Mille opinion are just like what I used to think.  Ronda did have an easy road.  Ronda are no where to be top female fighter say and i know you ronda fan dont feel goood about what i said. Randi will destroy Ronda by just her athlete ability which Ronda dont have. 

edub001 on Apr 09, 2012 at 8:31 pm ET
Let's see how she progresses in MMA.
Ronda made such a splash because of the combination of her athletic ability being so far ahead of everyone she's faced so far, her looks,  her technical prowess, and the fact that her discipline had a built in finishing acumen.

Wrestling provides the athletic ability (even more so), and the techinical prowess. However, if she's not able to physically beat people into submission each time out she might not be as dominant.

Just look at Sarah McMann.

Chromium on Apr 09, 2012 at 9:02 pm ET
I know Sara McMann got a Silver Medal and Randi Miller got a Bronze 4 years later in the same division, but in direct competition Randi outscrambled her and won 8-1 on points. I think McMann is great and could be a contender at Women's Bantamweight but Randi Miller is the superior athlete. Whether she Fitches people to death or can tap them out remains to be seen I guess, but she has all the tools to be a world class grappler, not just a world class wrestler.

edub001 on Apr 09, 2012 at 9:07 pm ET
You don't think the size disadvantage played any part in that though? You're probably right though, Randi is a beast. There's no doubting that.

Chromium on Apr 09, 2012 at 11:35 pm ET
I'm sure there was a bit of a size discrepancy but in the Olympics and I believe in college they both wrestled at the same weight (63 kg / 139 lbs. at the Olympics). It's likely Miller was cutting more weight at the time but I really don't know.

UFO on Apr 10, 2012 at 4:55 pm ET
Ronda athletic ability?  She doesnt have one!!!  What a joke.  Randi athletic ability you mean?

Wil_1_Mistake on Apr 09, 2012 at 8:36 pm ET
wow I thought that was the dude from Total Recall there for a second

edub001 on Apr 09, 2012 at 8:37 pm ET
Benny! Benny's the name!

I got 5 kids to feed.

Wil_1_Mistake on Apr 09, 2012 at 8:55 pm ET
haha you got it edub001

Singularity on Apr 10, 2012 at 12:57 am ET
That's awesome!  Funny thing is, I just was watching the part of the movie with that dude in it.  And yes this "chick" looks just like him!!

rw1060 on Apr 09, 2012 at 8:44 pm ET
Haha ... I was thinking Jimi Hendrix dressed up as a female wrestler.

T1TAN on Apr 09, 2012 at 9:07 pm ET
better start learning submissions and submission defense asap!

T1TAN on Apr 09, 2012 at 9:08 pm ET
wrestlings not **** b its self.

Chris27 on Apr 09, 2012 at 9:16 pm ET
Funny the only reason I am reading this, the only reason mmajunkie posted this, the only reason all of you are reading this is cause she mentioned Ronda. She doesnt want Ronda's easy road but she is cool talking about Ronda to get people to pay attention to her. take RR name out of the headline and say as debut nears Randi Miller not looking to take easy road and see how many people click on it?

edub001 on Apr 09, 2012 at 9:18 pm ET
Should she not answer a question if asked?

There's no doubding that more people clicked on it because Rousey was in the title. But that's on Junkie (and the right idea for more page views).

Kobi123 on Apr 09, 2012 at 9:35 pm ET
pretty much like calling every fighter who ever fought in UFC a UFC vet, like FO do. just to promote the fighter
still love Junkie though, this site rocks
you want an example of a bad site, go check out MMAWeekly and their TOP 10 Rankings, they're a joke.


Dokkodo on Apr 09, 2012 at 10:26 pm ET
Nope. I click on it because of her name and the fact she is fighting for Invicta. I like Rousey, but I am much more interested in seeing more Olympians join the ranks of women's MMA. It's the only way they will bring high-quality fights in a short time frame.

Dokkodo on Apr 09, 2012 at 10:26 pm ET

PuertoRican on Apr 09, 2012 at 9:57 pm ET
She starts in MMA with a super disadvantage, she's only 5 feet 2 inches tall, which is even shorter than Joseph Benavidez (5'4) and Might Mouse (5'3). I saw some pictures of her on Google, she looks pretty darn thick in her legs, and thick pretty much everywhere when she's not training. If she can get her diet in order, 135 should be her place. 5'2 and 145, especially for a 28 year old female athlete, is crazy.

stainlesssteel on Apr 09, 2012 at 11:13 pm ET
i think she got it twisted. Rousey is the champion. The champion has way more interesting fish to fry than some unknown, untested, big talking rookie. Win a fight or two, just one by any means as impressive as the now legendary arm bar.

then maybe you, might get on her radar.

amp112 on Apr 10, 2012 at 1:36 am ET
I don't get why people diminish the achievement when a fighter gets and "early" title shot and they win the title. Rousey (and Brock Lesnar) got early title shots, but they WON the title, meaning that they beat the best in the division. Doesn't matter if it's their first fight in MMA, they beat the champ.

Now if we're talking about fighters like Jardine and Dan Hardy who were given baffling title shots and lost horribly, then say what you want. Say they didn't deserve it. If they got their @ss handed to them, that's obviously true.

Project86 on Apr 09, 2012 at 11:21 pm ET
i love it when these young prospects like mcmann and now this chick say oh i am not gonna take the easy route LOL

easy route you mean taking on the #1 145 pounder in the world at the time in Tate in her 5th pro fight

thats easy lol

padding your record on independent promotions with cans is easy

they wont take the Ronda route because they know they cant

just like most heavyweights would'nt dare try to take on guys like couture ,carwin,mir with less than 10 fights like brock did

Dave on Apr 10, 2012 at 2:44 am ET
exactly this, the easy route doesnt involve taking on the top fighters with very little chance to get cage experience that seems the harder option to me in many ways, yes you could pad your record in between and every fight is potentially a loss (jardine derailed by houston for example), but both Brock and Ronda had to take out the top people at the time and they both did it by finish. The comparison stands because at the time there were no better options for challenger (at the time in the HW division people forget that there were no injury free fighters who had more than 1 win in a row that were in contention for the title so Brocks made more sense than anyone) and kaufmann couldnt claim four 1st round finishes in a row either. Rousey did get an advantage based on looks and creating rivalry but the bottom line is she more than backed it up with fight skills.

nickj92 on Apr 10, 2012 at 12:47 am ET
Ah man Stocktonslap's silliness cracks me up. Randi is gonna runnnnn $hit, is there even another female fighter with THOSE wrestling credentials??

Chromium on Apr 10, 2012 at 12:55 am ET
2004 Olympic Silver Medalist Sara McMann's name has been popping up in this thread quite a bit in this thread you know, and has similar credentials. She lost to Miller once in direct wrestling competition but she's fighting at 135 in MMA. McMann has a lot of star potential (the makeover she got before her weigh-in at Pro Elite fight against Hitomi Akano made her look legit cute), more than Randi Miller in my opinion, but W135 is not a division that needs saving the way W145 does. That division is kind of broken right now and needs more fighters like Miller very badly.

useyourbrainidiot on Apr 10, 2012 at 7:37 am ET
LOL at MMA junkie for deleting the whole threat the guy started with the "ZERO personality, ZERO looks, and ZERO appeal."! Censorship much? I don't think that qualifies as fighter bashing considering she is not even a fighter besides it was a pretty harmless comment. You should also allow controversial comments to be discussed! I think when she says ronda took the easy road  then what she means is she got there because of her personality, looks and appeal which I think is pretty pathetic. Taking on the best in the world is not exactly the easy road, quite the opposite!

UFO on Apr 10, 2012 at 5:03 pm ET
Its your assumption to say that.  Randi did not mention looks which Ronda dont have, personality or anything you typed.  It is just Randi opinion and I think Randi looked at Ronda as harmles and take the easy road.  Use your brain idiot.

useyourbrainidiot on Apr 10, 2012 at 6:52 pm ET
Of course it is an assumption that's why I began the sentence with 'I think' and what you wrote doesn't make any sense. OK first off Ronda does have the looks, go check any video on youtube with her in it and read what people wrote in the comments! You say Ronda took the "easy road" because Randi regards her as harmless? WHAT? Please elaborate and use your brain.... idiot! 

UFO on Apr 10, 2012 at 10:44 pm ET
You must of think that I never knew what Ronda look like..use your brain idiot.  Who comment on her looks?  Must be hillbilly or small town dudes type of people that never seen good looking women.  I am from the city...probably dated good looking women more then you have seen in your life if thats the case. If Ronda is good looking to you and the Redneck, Hillbilly or what ever you are then good for you guys but dont assume everyone think she look good... use your brain idiot.

daveuk on Apr 10, 2012 at 8:25 am ET
Another chick that looks like a dude!!

rw1060 on Apr 09, 2012 at 8:43 pm ET
This chick is a bit early taking smack, her record is 0-0.

damastashonuff on Apr 10, 2012 at 11:33 am ET
Just another hater for RR. I never understood this type of badmouthing from other athletes. Ronda and Randi are both Olympians... so both have put in time and matches to get where they are. There was no easy road for Ronda to win the title. She didnt win by luck. She won by honing her skills to the point they are with time and hard work. If Ronda fought "everyone", as Randi claims, before she got the title... who would be left to fight AFTER winning the title? Its clearly just another instance of another hater. Seems to be the M.O. lately for Olympic wrestlers moving into MMA to hate on Ronda. They always say the same thing too: Oh I respect her skills but I dont respect how she got a title shot.

UFO on Apr 10, 2012 at 5:16 pm ET
Ronda title shot is like Brock lesna, its manufacture and business.  Only if you stand on the other side you will see it.  And I know you Ronda fans dont like what I said oh well just an opinion.

climbarock on Apr 10, 2012 at 12:32 pm ET
Alright, sweetie pie. Let's not get ahead of ourselves. We'll talk more after your MMA debut. 

UFCisSHADY on Apr 10, 2012 at 1:22 pm ET
Right on Randi. After years she finally makes her debut, can't wait to see in action.

pegson on Apr 10, 2012 at 5:00 pm ET

Ronda Plied her trade in the ammy's .

this randi girl has it backwards.

So its an easier route fight type fighters. So Randi who has yet to fight. wants to fight Cans and thats the tuff route.

Mcmann was fat and injured when they fought in 2008 so its no comparison.

Watever people think about rousey. Rousey can finish fights. these girls can  not


TONY2GUNS on Apr 10, 2012 at 5:39 pm ET
this lady reminds me of rampage and maywhatever. just talking or complaining about nothing but BS. sure call out ronda when your 0-0 and maybe youll get picked up by her promotion. was that the plan?

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