Miller ready to take the UFC – and The Ultimate Fighter – by storm
Jason “Mayhem” Miller is a complex individual.
The clown prince of MMA is one of the few fighters able to grow a faithful following outside of the UFC. Miller’s flair for entertainment made him an easy choice for coaching the upcoming season of The Ultimate Fighter – and putting Miller across from the hated Michael Bisping is sure to guarantee fireworks.
“I feel great getting the TUF spot. It’s a little early to start the smack talk but I’m going to beat the bangers and mash out of Bisping after my team smashes his team. Now that Osama is dead, Bisping is the most hated man in America. Everybody hates that guy. I wonder what it’s like to actually be hated that much. You would have to put a terrorist attack together to be hated any more than he is.”
The announcement of Miller and Bisping as the next TUF coaches ended weeks of speculation as to who would be filling the roles. Former number one middleweight contender Chael Sonnen was rumored to be in line for the spot Miller now holds and has made his opinion known on Miller's selection...a fact that doesn't bother Miller one bit.
“I would be bitter too. But at the same time you can’t disrespect Keith Kizer and disrespect their whole way of doing things over there. Keith Kizer actually took a lot of flak from the internet idiots saying that he’s a jerk. He’s not a jerk and I kind of look up to him for sticking to his guns. He thought he was wronged in the situation and he should exert his power. He has the power and you can’t just stomp on someone who has the power to regulate. You can’t lie to or about him and expect to get off. You can’t just piss in his cornflakes and expect everything to be fine the next day.”
Originally slated to face Aaron Simpson at UFC 132, Miller was heading into the final stages of his training camp when he received the call that offered the coaching position.
“I was preparing for the fight with Simpson all the way up to when they announced the coaches. I didn’t have the most confidence that I would get that job. I had heard some whispers about it. There were rumors that I started about it but I wasn’t sure. So I was training for Aaron Simpson and I apologize to him that we don’t get to do it because I’m in great shape right now and I was ready to go. I think this TUF coaching spot will be better for me, better for the UFC and better for mixed martial arts in general.”
TRAINING IN CALIFORNIA
Miller has become a mainstay at Reign Training Facility which is owned by his friend and training partner Mark Munoz. Many consider Las Vegas to be the home of MMA, but Mayhem feels that flag belongs in Southern California.
“Right here in Orange County is kind of the epicenter of MMA because I feel like the Huntington Beach influence got MMA started very early out here. It was one of the first places to be a hot spot and because of that some of the best fighters in the world train out here. I have a group of guys at Kings MMA and here at Reign in addition to guys coming through all of the time to train, get better and improve one another. This area is a base for mixed martial arts.”
The past few years have seen Miller go thru ups and downs in his mixed martial arts career. He recently spoke out on the way he was treated during his time at Strikeforce and now feels that he finally has a place to call home in the UFC.
“Listen…I’ve been living the life of a man on the fly. In Japan they call you two or three weeks out to fight so you just have to stay in shape and be ready for whatever. Then with Strikeforce I kept thinking that I was going to fight so I would get in good shape and then the fights kept getting pulled out from under me. Being in the UFC feels good because now I know I’m going to have some fights and if they say I’m fighting on this date…I’m fighting on that date. I can finally say I have some stability in my life.”
READY TO ENTERTAIN
Mayhem’s presence in the UFC brings the anticipation of his signature theatrical walk outs and injects some much needed excitement into the middleweight division.
“I’m going to make an entertaining show for the fans because that’s what I’m all about. It’s not enough to just to go out there and fight you have to fight and then put on the biggest show. Now I’m on the greatest show on earth so I’m going to keep this circus rolling. On the internet message boards, with all of the geniuses on there, I feel like I’m a very underrated fighter. Everyone thinks that because my last two wins weren’t against top level guys, I’m not any good. That wasn’t my fault. I wanted to fight the top level guys but when they stick a guy in front of you then you beat them because that’s your job. I’m a good mixed martial artist, soon to be one of the greatest mixed martial artists and I just haven’t had the chance to display my prowess. Now that I’m in the UFC I can fight these top level guys and show that I’m one of the greatest fighters in the world.”
Miller continued, “Look…Dana and Lorenzo didn’t get here by throwing a bunch of money at a problem. They got where they are because they are smart dudes. They know what sells and they realize that I have an independent fan base that’s not just UFC fans. I’ll be able to pull some of my fans onto their television program which will be great. It will be fantastic. It’s good for me, for them…it’s good for everybody. It’s good for MMA. It’s going to be fun and it will broaden the horizons for the fringe fans who are just becoming interested in mixed martial arts. My goal is to make this the best season of TUF, the highest rated season and to smash a Brit at the end of it.”
For years Miller has remained busy outside of the cage with regular columns in MMA magazines and his job as host of the MTV hit show “Bully Beatdown”. Mayhem recently added acting to his resume as he played a role in the upcoming Kevin James film “Here Comes the Boom”.
“That was probably one of the best experiences of my life…it was life changing. I really feel like going there and getting to see how Hollywood magic is made was awesome. Getting to see that from a first person perspective was even crazier. Getting to play it up for the crowd was great. I mean it wasn’t a very far stretch because I was playing a mixed martial artist anyway so it wasn’t a real stretch on my acting range but I will say this…it was really fun and rewarding. To see the finished product is going to make my mama very proud.”
“I’m going to keep connecting with everybody and I’m not going to stop doing anything. I haven’t even updated my blog for awhile because I’ve been so busy. I’ve put all of these things together. I did a movie, been helping people train and then getting ready for my fight against Simpson which isn’t happening now. The thing that suffers the most is my writing. That’s the thing that takes a hit when I’m training really hard but that’s okay because the way I look at it…I’m writing the story right now. I’m writing the story in my life so later I’ll have plenty to write about.”
While Miller is always quick to make a joke, he ended the interview with a serious message to the rest of the UFC fighters in the middleweight division.
“I’m charging straight towards the title. That’s what I want and that’s what I’m here for. Now that I’m fighting in the UFC that’s the title that everybody wants and that’s the piece of gold I want strapped around my waist. I’m going to continue the grind, continue the hard work and show Mayhem Monkeys they have something real to be proud of.”