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Fighting through adversity in and out of the octagon

MMA fighter Dre Miley making most of opportunity
Published: Apr. 1, 2021 at 9:36 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - His dad played football at UT, Dre Miley played some football, but now it’s all about hitting the bag inside the ring as an MMA fighter and doing so minus one eye, ”After football I had lost my eye in a car wreck and I needed something to push self-confidence in May make me feel like I can do stuff.”

Dre’s been doing that stuff for the last 12 years, as he says, by trusting the process, ”You the old saying is your either the hammer or your the nail, some days it’s like this sucks and others, hey I’m on top of the world!”

It’s a journey that comes with sacrifice and that includes grandma’s cooking. Dre says, ”My grandma would cook something good and I can’t have it because I’m in the middle of camp and you have to look at it and be like I have to eat this because at the end of it I’m gearing towards something that’s better.”

A fighter, a father and the son of loving parents including former Vol stand out Floyd Miley who returned a blocked field goal in UT’s Miracle at South Bend win over Notre Dame. Of Tennessee football Miley adds, ”I don’t get it lit up by UT because I grew up on campus with him on campus, but my boys though they love it and I like it too it shows the boys that you can come from different things and do something with yourself.”

And what Dre’s done is develop into a quality fighter despite what some would consider a liability, but not him, ”People complain when they get eye poked and I make fun of them and say I’ve got one so you can keep going I always tell people I’ve got a spare, you gotta deal with what you got,”

Having seen that first hand is MMA broadcaster Vince Ferrara who says he’s seen fighters try to exploit Miley’s vision,”Opponents a lot of times will try to test that I can try to go to the left and try to move to the left can’t get to that I can kind of get to that eye And I can’t tell you how many times I’ve called one of those fights and it doesn’t work.”

What does work is the training he puts in six days a week at the Knoxville martial arts Academy in a sport he says is much more than just physical, ”As much as it’s physical it’s more mental because you’re your own corporation and you have to sell yourself and it’s hard.”

Dre says he’s about one or two fights away from making it to the UFC ranks. That next opportunity is this Friday night at the Cotton-Eyed Joe in Knoxville

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