Each week, Fight Cove gives a rundown of one fighter that competes under the ZUFFA -UFC or Strikeforce- umbrella. Said fighter can be on an eight fight win streak, 11-fight losing steak or fought his last three to a draw, it doesn’t matter, there’s no criteria, no restrictions.
There’s no prize, belt or reward for being the Fight Cove “Fighter of the Week”, no one is adding the distinction to his or her resume, or printing this out to hang on the wall. However, it does provide the opportunity to pay respect to the some of the best MMA fighters in the world by taking a closer look at their accomplishments.
This week’s spotlight will focus on none other than coach of “The Ultimate Fighter” season 14, Jason “Mayhem” Miller.
Jason Miller was born December 24th, 1980 in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. He currently lives in Mission Viejo, California and trains at Reign Trainer Center in Southern California. With a record of 24 win, seven losses and one no contest, Miller is one of the best middleweight fighters in the world. He trains with top fighters such as Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal, Mark Munoz and Krzysztof Soszynski, but more than his skills inside the cage, Miller is known for his flashy entrances, enigmatic personality and outlandish antics outside the cage. Fans credit his MMA nickname “Mayhem” to his wild personality; Miller has said he got the nickname from friends due to his fast, sometimes difficult to understand way of speaking.
Miller has fought the best in the world, in the top organizations in the world. He has competed for the UFC, WEC, DREAM, Strikeforce and a handful of others. He holds wins over tough competitors such as Falaniko Vitale, Tim Kennedy, Kazushi Sakaraba, Denis Kang, and Robbie Lawler. A submission specialist, Miller prefers to fight on the ground where he can implement black-belt level jiu-jitsu skills. In one of his biggest career accomplishments, Miller received his black belt from Joao Assis in 2010. “Mayhem” also has solid striking ability; he has fought against a number of high-caliber strikers and has only suffered one career knockout loss.
The American has 14 career submission wins -eight in the first round- with six knockouts, and appears to be a more well rounded fighter in every bout.
Beginning his MMA career in high school, “Mayhem” had his first MMA fight on April of 1998. Instead of attending his senior prom, Miller took his date to attend his first MMA bout in Virginia Beach. Miller had a successful start to his career, winning five of his first six fights. In a move that displayed commitment to becoming one of the best in the sport, Miller moved cross-country to pursue his dream of becoming a professional fighter. Struggling to support himself financially, “Mayhem” lived in his van outside of the Huntington Beach Ultimate Training Center in Huntington Beach, California. Miller has no regrets about the move as it allowed him to focus completely on the sport and train full time without distractions.
The first 15 bouts of Miller’s career were on the regional scene, in his 16th fight, sporting a 12-3 record, Miller got the call to fight current UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre in his UFC debut. It was an extremely tough fight for Miller, who was fighting in the welterweight division for one of the few times in his career. Miller was dominated in the fight, but won much respect for battling the entire 15-minutes. The bout with St. Pierre would be the only on of Miller’s career UFC banner until he signed back with the organization on April 22nd, 2011. .
From 2005-2010, after departing from the UFC, Miller traveled the world and shared the cage -or ring- with some of the sports best in Ronaldo Souza, Chael Sonnen, Tim Kennedy and Jake Shields. Highlight moments in that span; winning the Icon Sport Middleweight title from Robbie Lawler, a two-fight series with “Jacare” Souza in DREAM and an extremely competitive Strikeforce middleweight title bout with Jake Shields.
As much as he is known as one of the best MMA fighters on the planet, “Mayhem” has extremely famous for his career outside of the octagon. He played the role of host on the hit MTV reality series “Bully Beatdown” which challenged bullies to a fight with professional fighters with the opportunity to win $10,000. Miller has a very strong fan base and even has a name for all of his followers, “Mayhem Monkeys”.
Unfortunately for Miller, he may be most famous in the MMA world for his role in the infamous “Strikeforce: Nashville Brawl”. On April 17, 2010, live on CBS and in primetime, Miller entered the cage during Jake Shields’ post-fight interview following his main event victory over Dan Henderson. During the interview, “Mayhem” interrupted Shields, asking him “Where’s my rematch, buddy?” Following the interruption, all hell broke loose.
Members of the Shields’ camp -Cesar Gracie Jiu-Jitsu- including Nick Diaz, Nate Diaz and Gilbert Melendez, attacked Miller while he was held down on the canvas. Cooler heads eventually broke up the fight, but the damage was done. Miller and five others participants in the brawl were given three-month suspensions and fines ranging between $5,000 and $7,500, but that was nothing compared to the negative image they placed on the sport in front of a national audience.
Strikeforce was understandably upset with Miller after the brawl, but chose to keep him under contract. Even though he had a contract with the organization, Miller did not receive a fight offer for a year.
On April 22nd, 2011, once his Strikeforce contract expired, Miller signed a multi-fight contract with the UFC. According to UFC president Dana White, “Mayhem” had been banned from Showtime and CBS – Strikeforce’s TV partners – for his role in the Nashville brawl.
Miller was expected to face Aaron Simpson on July 2, 2011 at UFC 132. However, the fight was scrapped and on May 27, 2011, it was announced Miller would coach opposite Michael Bisping on the 14th season of the UFC’s hit reality show, “The Ultimate Fighter”.
In one of the most entertaining seasons in “TUF” history, Miller and Bisping went back-and-forth with pranks for a majority of the season, and even got physical on occasion. With tension built after a heated season, Miller and Bisping will settle their differences in a five-round affair set for main event at The Ultimate Fighter 14 Finale on December 3.
After over five and a half years away from the UFC octagon, “Mayhem” Miller as a fighter is relatively unknown to most UFC fans. He has started to make a name for himself with solid coaching abilities and memorable buffoonery on “TUF”, but on Saturday night, Miller will look to reintroduce himself to UFC fans in highlight reel fashion with an upset victory of Michael Bisping.
(Photo courtesy of UFC.com)