‘TUF 30’ winner Juliana Miller explains inspiration for crotch-chopping opponent Brogan Walker

LAS VEGAS – Juliana Miller’s first move as a Season 30 “Ultimate Fighter” winner was to crotch-chop her opponent, Brogan Walker, before referee Keith Peterson shoved her away.

The move came after a third-round submission and was the result of a culmination of factors, Miller (3-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) said at a news conference Saturday after UFC on ESPN 40. Sure, she felt disrespected by Walker (7-3 MMA, 0-1 UFC) mean-mugging and trash-talking. But more than that, a love for pro wrestling was the catalyst for Miller’s MMA career – and even runs in her bloodline.

“So the thing is, my grandma, when she moved here from Brazil, she didn’t speak any English,” Miller told MMA Junkie and other reporters. “She was learning English from TV shows. … Pretty much, I was raised by her from 6 months to 5 years old. As she was starting to learn English, she said she loved wrestling because she didn’t need to understand the words to see what was happening. It was all through the action. Honestly, when I came to my team, I was like, ‘I want to be a pro wrestler one day.’ My coaches were like, ‘Let’s give you a shot in the cage and see how you do.’

“I ended up loving it, but that pro wrestling spirit kind of lives within me forever. I just think it’s exciting to put on a show. More than anything, the ‘suck it’ just came from the fact she sat up here on the same table and decided to say that she was going to highlight-reel knock me out cold. It felt good to stand over her and say, ‘Look at you now.’”

With the “TUF 30” tournament victory, Miller earned a multifight UFC deal. Training in the San Diego area, Miller considered asking for a fight at Saturday’s UFC on ESPN 41. She decided against it, but will stay ready to make a quick turnaround at a later date.

“Depending on what’s available. I was worried I’d walk out of here damaged, but I’m doing just fine,” Miller said. “I was going to say San Diego, but my coaches will be cornering my teammate Ilima-Lei Macfarlane in her Bellator (284) fight. Really, it just depends on what’s possible. I think for now I want to go eat some cookies, enjoy myself, and hopefully have a few options getting back in the cage. I am uninjured, so really as long as I have a little time to prepare with my incredible team and coaches, I’m hyped and ready to be back at it.”

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