Opinion: Total “Mayhem”
By Jesse Heitz
This article delves into a most disappointing if not tragic evolution for one of the sport’s most likeable fighters. The man in question is Jason “Mayhem” Miller, an iconic character in the MMA world.
Miller’s unusual style and interview abilities have allowed him to enjoy an incredible following of dedicated fans. Known for his sharp wit, in-cage abilities, and his role as host of the only reality show many guys would ever confess to having willfully watched, “Bully Beatdown.”
Unfortunately, events have unfolded that do much to tarnish the fan-favorite reputation Mayhem has worked hard to craft over the last decade.
Miller has put on many entertaining bouts with the likes of Jake Shields, Georges St. Pierre, Robbie Lawler, and Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza, among others. However, he generally failed to capitalize on the few title opportunities that came his way.
In general, his only meaningful win in the last four years, if one could consider it as such, was over a thoroughly worn out legend in Kazushi “The Gracie Hunter” Sakuraba at Dream 16 in September of 2010.
Yet, when Strikeforce sidelined Miller indefinitely after he engaged Shields and his teammates in a post-fight brawl, live on CBS, the UFC came knocking, signing him to a multi-fight deal. The UFC apparently had decided that Miller’s superb ability to sell and hype fights offset the egregious events that occurred that miserable night in Strikeforce history. While nobody was seriously hurt, the “Nashville Brawl” was a serious black eye for the sport.
Going beyond signing merely a multi-fight deal, Mayhem was offered a coaching position in the 14th season of The Ultimate Fighter, opposite Michael Bisping. Fireworks were sure to ensue between these two volatile personalities.
The trash talking was off the charts. Unfortunately, the incredible hype that had been built up greatly overshadowed the actual fight held during the TUF 14 Finale in December of 2011, in which Mayhem gave an unusual and, at best, anemic performance against Bisping, and was finished in the third round.
Mayhem returned to The Octagon on May 26, 2012, to square off against C.B. Dollaway at UFC 146 and turned in another underwhelming performance, dropping a unanimous decision to his Dollaway. Following his poor showing at UFC 146, Miller was unceremoniously released from the UFC.
From here the public got a clear glimpse of Miller’s unraveling. Following his release and veritable forced retirement by the UFC, “Mayhem” launched a Twitter-based assault at UFC President, Dana White, going so far as asking White to kill himself, challenging his former boss to a fight, and even accusing him of steroid use. White fired back by urging the fighter to call it quits in the fight business.
Then on Monday, August 13, 2012, police were called to the Mission Hills Church in Mission Viejo, California. Upon their arrival they found the church broken into and vandalized. Perhaps more shockingly, they found a naked Miller lying on a couch inside the church.
“Mayhem” was subsequently arrested for suspicion of burglary and released on $20,000 bond.
The descent of Jason “Mayhem” Miller is truly a sad, downward spiral to watch. For one of the most charismatic and entertaining fighters to come to what is, by all accounts, a sudden professional and even personal end is unfortunate for the sport, not to mention the fans.
Hopefully, “Mayhem” can turn things around. Even if his career as a professional fighter is over due to his transgressions, I sincerely hope that his personal life and legacy don’t have to suffer the same fate.