Flipping channels on the TV the other day, I came across MTV Cribs or whatever the one where they focus on cars is called. It got me thinking about how far MMA has come since 1993 when I started training and thinking about rappers, movie stars, famous people in general, and where MMA as a publicized sport fits in to all this crazy consumerism and “keeping up with the Joneses”.

Dana White has certainly made some superstars out of a few fighters. But have they achieved the level of the men and women on MTV Cribs? The money is definitely getting better but has it gotten to the point of boxing or even fake wrestling?

We’ve all seen the pictures of UFC star Jon Jones and his new Bentley, Rampage and his Audi R8 or Chuck Liddell with his Ferrari . But is this flashiness the rule or the exception to the rule?

I decided to talk to some of my pro friends, some of them pretty well known, about their cars and it appears this flashiness is not necessarily the new face of MMA. MMA is a short career and it seems most of the guys are putting their money into their gyms, homes and other areas to be prepared for the time when retirement is no longer avoidable.

But this doesn’t mean that they can’t have fun in the meantime. A few of the fighters have started modifying their “normal” cars and this is where it gets interesting.

I called up UFC star Cole Miller who I sponsored back when he was an amateur; I figured he would be an interesting starting point for this project since he is young and has a bright future in the sport.

Cole’s car, a bit like himself, is what is often referred to in the auto industry as a sleeper. To look at either of them you wouldn’t think that they pack the power that they do. Cole’s car is a 1992 Honda Civic DX that he has put a lot of time and money into. His list of modifications is long;

1992 Honda Civic DX (Hatchback)

JDM clock
JDM climate control
JDM coin holder
JDM armrest (Bride Fabric)
JDM road flare
JDM foglight switch
T1R dome light
EDM audio console
Honda S2000 gauge cluster w/ custom ckevlar bezel
Modifry temperature reader
Spoon steering wheel
Downstarinc. Steering wheel screws
ITR shift boot
Circuit Hero Shift knob/Spoon knob
ZOOM engineering carbon kevlar Rearview mirror
NRG quick release steering hub and lock
Bride Ergo II seats
Bride seat Brackets
Bride fabric upholstered ITR rear seats (custom)
Bride Fabric upholstered door panels
Bride Fabric upholstered sun visors
Takata 4 point racing harness(driver)
Takata shoulder pads
Takata eye bolts
OEM civic SI speaker bracket/panel
prostockinterior.com carpet
OEM floor mats

JDM Honda corner lamps
JDM thin side moldings
JDM Honda headlights
JDM Honda Tail lights
JDM Honda DC2 clear side markers
JDM Honda rear spoiler
JDM window visors
JDM Honda rear hatch/glass
JDM Honda civic+sir badges
BYS carbon kevlar lip
APR carbon fiber mirrors
Circuit Hero tow hook set
Work License plate frame
OEM mud guards
OEM antenna block
pswdjdm kevlar fog light covers
J’s Racing rear roof spoiler
Downstar inc. Chassis bolt kit
Downstar inc. tow hook bolt kit
Downstar inc. license plate bolt kit

Work Cr-Kai polish 16×7 wheels
Yokohoma type S tires
Work lug nuts extended ( blue)
Buddy Club full coilover susp.
Buddy Club p1 extended ball joints
Blox extended wheel studs
Blox polished lower control arms
Blox front /rear camber kit
Blox Rear trailing arm spherical bearing/bushing kit
ASR Polished rear subframe brace
ASR 24mm sway bar
ASR sway bar end links
EBC brake pads
Stop-tech rotors
Stop-tech brake lines
Honda ’99 si front and rear brake conversion
Spoon Front strut bar
Spoon rear lower arm bar
Spoon rigid collar sub frame kit
K-Tuned Traction bar
Chase Bays interior brake line tuck

JDM Honda ITR K20A engine swap
K-tuned 4-1 Header
Supertech valve kit
Downstar inc. dressup bolt kit
Toda spec C cams
Toda Heavy duty Timing chain
Toda timing chain tensioner
Skunk 2 exhaust cam gear
RBC intake manifold
Karcepts throttle body adapter
Circuit Hero Intake
RCrew exhaust
Spoon Radiator cap
Spoon reservoir covers
Spoon carbon kevlar spark plug wire cover
Spoon oil cap
Blox thermal gasket
Blox 72 mm throttle body
Hybrid Racing enginemounts
HR fuel rail
HR fuel lines
HR clutch line
DSS 2.9 axles
HR A/C lines +kit
HR Radiator hoses
HR bolt in K series shifter
Griffin Radiator
Griffin radiator fan
AEM fuel pressure regulator
K-tuned Fuel pressure gauge
Walbro 255 lph Fuel pump
Hondata KPRO ECU
Clutchmasters stage 3 clutch
Odyssey lightweight battery w/ mounting bracket
Circuit Hero Timing chain guide
Chase Bays CM2 mil spec engine harness
CB fuel line tuck
CB stainless steel coolant reservoir

Kenwood CD player of some kind
Alpine front speakers
Kenwood rears

Current construction:
The car is in the middle of being completely disassembled and restored. It will be on the way to the shop to be media blasted and primed in preparation for a complete paint change to a color that everyone will just have to wait to see. Powder coating all the OEM suspension pieces (sub frame, control arms etc.) All new seals, moldings, bumpers, glass etc. will be OEM.

Future Plans:
Spoon Brake Calipers
JDM eg6 rear interior
DVD/TV AV center console mounted unit

You can keep up with Cole’s build of his Honda in this forum.

I ran this by Matthew Fernandez friend of mine that owns WLTS Autosports to see what he thought about Cole’s project and this is what he had to say about it:

“The car seems like it is going to turn out well. I was always into the EKs when I was younger and now with more people doing the K swaps after that whole B series phase they are just getting that much cooler. Can’t wait to see the finished pics of the car once the interior is finally back in and the car comes back from paint. His next step would be going forced induction and getting some boost in the hatch! I’d be glad to help with his next order of parts and build a true representation of his success in MMA.”

Cole should have the car repainted and built with dyno numbers in March so we will follow up with him then and see what kind of numbers his car is pushing.

So, as you can see… you don’t have to have a Bentley or a Ferrari to have a really fun car. Creating a sleeper that can catch a higher priced car by major surprise just like Cole can catch a bigger guy by surprise in a submission can be very satisfying. Very satisfying indeed.

*Special thanks to SPEC Clutch and Flywheel (www.specclutch.com) and WLTS Autosports (www.wltsautosports.com) for their insights and opinions.

5 thoughts on “Fighters and their Whips: Cole Miller Edition”
  1. Cool idea for an article. I wonder what Fedor drives. WAR Fedor! Yeah, that’s where I’m at. Always.

  2. you don’t have to have a bentley to have something nice that you can care about and make it very nice and this is a classic example of that. great little car.

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