UFC Fight Night 31: Fight for the Troops 3 competitor Steven Siler is the cage fighter next door. You could simply describe him as a kind, family man. Even though he’s a featherweight fighter in the world’s biggest and most successful promotion, was a cast member of The Ultimate Fighter 14: Team Bisping vs. Team Miller reality series and is the winner of five of his last six fights—all in the UFC—since then, those are accomplishments that you might not have known about him, even if you had him over for a couples’ date night for dinner and charades.

Is that complexity? Or the opposite of it? Here’s someone with an agreeable personality getting into a cage to kick and punch and grapple against someone else in front of large audiences just as if they were any other working person going through an on-the-job performance evaluation. Work is work, at the end of the day. Some jobs are just more fun than others and allow us to engage our passions and meet our fundamental needs.

“Yeah, it’s a fun job,” Siler told The MMA Corner in an exclusive interview. “It’s the greatest job in the world. But it’s definitely something where I’ve got to provide for my wife and my family, so I’ve got to make sure I stay active and am able to make the bills and all that stuff.”

Anybody on the outside may assume that it’s much more than “fun.” What about the perks of the job? The money, the fame. That’s an area where Siler’s personality defies the cage-fighter stereotypes.

Siler (Esther Lin/MMA Fighting)

Siler (Esther Lin/MMA Fighting)

“No, not really. I’m a boring guy, I don’t like going out much,” he said with a laugh. “Even when I’m going out with my wife and she mentions I’m a UFC fighter—I’m very proud to be a UFC fighter, but also I think it’s kind of embarrassing when she’s like, ‘Oh, he’s a UFC fighter,’ cause I think she’s bragging about me and I don’t know how to respond. I just kind of put my head down like, ‘Yeah…I am.’”

When it comes to training and stepping into the Octagon to engage in a fight, asserting himself is a different matter for The Pit fight team representative. He’s only had one setback in his post-TUF UFC run and holds wins over veterans like Cole Miller and Mike Brown, the latter of whom he knocked out in under a minute in August. Siler has shown a well-rounded versatility to scrap wherever the fight may go, which has pushed his profile up from a Facebook prelim guy to now appearing on the televised prelim portion of fight cards. But what’s most important to him is that his recent cage work has allowed a quick turnaround to compete again at this coming Wednesday’s fight with fellow TUF 14 castmate Dennis Bermudez.

“I’m figuring that I’m fighting, like, the same kind of opponent as I did last time,” Siler explained. “Camp went about the same as last time and we did the same things. Since I just got off a fight, I was able to just get right back into it already in good shape.

“I don’t really have too much of a game plan against Dennis. I trained with him the six weeks I lived with him and I think I know how he works. I’m just excited for wherever the fight goes, it goes.”

Siler didn’t agree that his recent knockout of Brown was as much about his own punching power as it was about Brown running right into a punch. However, the way he followed it up is what’s important, especially against an opponent like Bermudez, who has a Chris Leben-esque ability to take big shots that seemingly wake him up to fight harder.

“I think you see in every single one of his fights he’s been rocked on the feet,” Siler pointed out. “He’s just been able to recovery very quickly, because [his opponent] let him recover. I don’t think he has the best chin, because he obviously gets rocked quite a bit. But he also has good recovery.

“I figure that’s something I did really well in the Mike Brown fight; I kept the pressure on. There’s also overdoing it, too, where if you over-pressure him, he can get the takedown. You just got to know your limits and where to go.”

Siler (top) drops punches (Esther Lin/MMA Fighting)

Siler (top) drops punches (Esther Lin/MMA Fighting)

Siler is confident that his insider knowledge on Bermudez won’t leave him with any surprises come fight time. Also, he’s not worried about where a win will place him in the division. What’s more important to him is having an opportunity to stay active and receive his next paycheck. At the very least, it’s about feeling like he’s a working member of society.

“I’m definitely not worried about where I’m at in the division. As long as I keep getting fights, I’m fine. That’s going to keep me happy because I just love fighting. I just love staying active. I’m hoping to get another quick fight after this one even. I hate getting time off, because I feel like I’m unemployed and useless. I love being in fight camp and feeling like I’m an employed citizen,” he said coyly.

Siler fights with the nickname “Super,” but he comes across more as a superhero’s unassuming alias. He breaks convention when it comes to what you’d think a fighter should look or sound like, and he doesn’t mind stepping back to let his teammates soak up the limelight. He fights because he loves his job and wants to provide for his family. Does there need to be anything else? He’s your friendly neighborhood cage fighter, and if you tune in to watch him fight on Wednesday, perhaps we’ll see him climb higher in the division to where he can’t keep his “Super”-secret identity as hidden as before.

“All of Dennis’s fights, they came to be ‘Fight of the Night’-type fights, where, you know, the back and forth, and I don’t figure this one being any different,” Siler said. “We’re both going to be taking beatings. I think this is an easy fight for ‘Fight of the Night.’ I’m hoping for a double bonus, actually, for it, because I already count the ‘Fight of the Night’ bonus as already in the bag because I know we’re both an exciting fight. So, I’m hoping for a finish as well. So, make sure everyone, tune in because it’s the one fight on the card you don’t want to miss.”

Top Photo: Steven Siler (Esther Lin/MMA Fighting)

About The Author

David Massey
Staff Writer

David Massey studied Humanities and Art History at the University of Central Oklahoma. He first found interest in MMA from the first TUF show and has been hooked ever since. He began posting on mmajunkie then submitting Sunday Junkie entries and that began his interest in writing about MMA. Through twitter David found other MMA enthusiasts and began contributing articles to marqueemma.com. He looks forward to growing as a writer and being a part of the sport he loves.