“Mayhem” Jason Miller (23-6) has become arguably one of the most recognizable faces in modern-day mixed martial arts. Despite having an accomplished MMA career with stints in the UFC, WEC, Strikeforce, and DREAM, Miller is perhaps even more well-known for his world class smack-talk and antics outside the cage. The middleweight madman was a key player in one of the most unsavory moments in recent MMA history – the Strikeforce: Nashville post-fight brawl in April. [The newly-crowned Middleweight Champion Jake Shields (26-4-1) was being interviewed in the cage following his defeat over UFC and PRIDE veteran “Hendo” Dan Henderson (25-8) when Miller approached and asked Shields for a rematch from their November 2009 bout, which Shields won via unanimous decision. Shields’ teammates Strikeforce Welterweight Champion Nick Diaz (22-8) and “El Nino” Gilbert Melendez (18-2) as well as others then entered the cage, dropped “Mayhem” with a punch and kicked him repeatedly while he was on the ground. The cameras were rolling and the entire scene was aired live on CBS.] The incident threw napalm on an already heated rivalry between Miller and Diaz. In the six months since, Miller resumed his role as the star of the MTV hit reality series “Bully Beatdown” for the third consecutive season, challenged Diaz to a Strikeforce rematch (taking a page out of the champ’s book and telling him “Don’t be scared, homie!”), and defeated his childhood idol “Gracie Hunter” Kazushi Sakuraba (24-13-1) at DREAM 16 last month. Not too shabby.
MMA Gospel caught up with Miller earlier today to get his thoughts on his fighting career, Nick Diaz, and the inevitably best season yet of Bully Beatdown, including breaking news about the show’s premiere episode, as revealed to MMA Gospel by Miller himself.
How did you mentally prepare for your fight against Sakuraba?
Honestly I had 12 years of watching him, wondering what it would be like fighting him. So it was pretty simple. I never had fear or guilt or any emotion about fighting him. I came in to be a robot – a head choking robot. Then once I beat him I became emotional. It was the mental preparation that had already been done as a kid.
Did you cry?
Almost. I got so emotionally overrun and I almost cried then I was like, Woah, pull it together, you’re on national TV.
When you had him on the ground, was it difficult to punch him as hard as you did and also apply a lot of pressure while you had him in the Arm Triangle Choke?
No not at all, man. When I was younger I had the problem of thinking too much inside the cage. Now more recently I train myself to be a total robot just like a video game and not get emotional and just get in there and win the fight.
How does it feel to be the first to legitimately submit Sakuraba?
I knew it was gonna happen and [I’m] proud of the accomplishment. I knew I could do it, it was just a matter of when. My Jiu-Jitsu is underrated and I’m gonna make sure to show from now on that I can submit people easily.
Some fighters claim that they have not been paid by DREAM. Have you had any problems with that?
I got paid that night.
Who do you prefer fighting for – DREAM or Strikeforce?
I don’t have a preference. They both have their upsides and attractions and I enjoy fighting for them. Hell, I like fighting for Bully Beatdown!
I heard you actually fight a bully this year?
Oh yeah. November 4 is the episode I fight. This wasn’t the plan originally but it came out so good that MTV decided to have it as the premiere episode. It’s on at 11pm EST. [Fans are] gonna see the biggest douche ever get beat the hell up by the coolest fighter ever.
Do the producers of MTV and Bully Beatdown push you to fight for a certain organization? Do they want you to fight in the UFC?
No, that’s not their job; they have no say in that. I’m hired on as a host.
Any thoughts on the UFC/WEC merger and how it will affect MMA?
I think it makes perfect sense. I fought in the WEC. Although they were awesome in showcasing their lighter weight [classes], I didn’t see a particular future for them. They kinda spread their brand out and people were confused about what the WEC is. Now that they have [the merger in progress], it’s kinda smart. They’re making the brand bigger and [available] to a wider audience, and it lets everyone know that the UFC is on Versus too…It’s good business.
Would you like to see Strikeforce and Bellator merge or co-promote?
Of course. I would love to see Strikeforce co-promote with the UFC. But of course that won’t be good business for the bigger company. The bigger companies have more to lose and less to gain than the smaller companies, for obvious reasons.
So who is possibly your next opponent? Besides Diaz since we all know that situation and we’re not going to beat a dead horse.
What do you mean, “the whole situation”?
Well he wants to fight at 170lbs., you want to fight at 185lbs., and neither of you are willing to compromise on a weight, is how it’s being reported.
He doesn’t want to fight with me, period. We don’t know the situation with Nick. He’ll fight at any weight unless it’s against me. Everyone is fucking biting into bullshit with those Stockton boys. Listen, Cesar Gracie can lie about it all he wants – Nick Diaz will fight at any weight except against me. Nick Diaz is an idiot. He showed his true colors and he is a sad little boy. He’s not this tough gangster that everybody thinks he is.
Has Strikeforce mentioned a potential upcoming fight for you? Is anything in the works?
No. Why do you think I’m calling out a guy who’s been calling me out for years? Then once you step up to that bully, he cowers. He throws a water bottle at you. Know what I mean? Really? That’s like what a woman would do! What’s he gonna do next, throw a shoe at me??
A’ight so let’s get the story. He jumped me on national TV with all his little girlfriends, which, by the way, did not hurt me at all because they punch like girls. Then after that he throws his water bottle at me? What’s next, he’s gonna slap me with his hand bag? This guy’s a female. It’s funny because he has the same hairstyle as a dog, a female dog.
Are you calling him a bitch?
I didn’t say that, you said that!
All humor aside, it is abundantly clear that there is much more to “Mayhem” than his highly publicized, top notch trash-talk. Despite the hullabaloo surrounding his career, one thing that can not be overlooked is the fact that Miller is an accomplished Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Muay Thai practitioner, and serves as a formidable opponent in the welterweight division of any given MMA promotion. Although he typically is all smiles and jokes, Miller is nothing but business when it comes time to staring his opponent in the face from across the cage. Be sure to check out Mayhem taking out a bully for the first time ever on Bully Beatdown, this Thursday at 11pm EST on MTV.