13 Questions for Jason ‘Mayhem’ Miller

Status with Dream

By Jack Encarnacao Apr 16, 2009
Jason “Mayhem” Miller probably won’t blame you if you haven’t taken him seriously lately. He’s been feeling the same way about himself.

His loss last June to Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza in Dream, during which he engaged the grappling master at length in the jiu-jitsu department, still bothers him. Miller says he “deserved to lose that fight” because of the way he approached it, choosing to ham it up for the live audience before addressing the fact that he was in the clutches of one of the most gifted submission artists on the planet.

Miller, 28, hasn’t fought since the unanimous decision loss. But it appears the stars may be aligning for a career renaissance.

In February, Miller wrapped filming as the host of the MTV show “Bully Beatdown,” which has garnered impressive ratings. He’s ramped up his training since finishing that project, focusing on his boxing under Justin Fortune, who once challenged Lenox Lewis for the heavyweight title and is a conditioning coach for Freddie Roach’s boxers, including Manny Pacquiao. Long partial to submissions, Miller has a newfound confidence in his stand-up.

He’ll have a chance to put it all on display Saturday, when the wacky and charismatic fighter returns to Hawaii, the territory where he first made a splash in the sport. Miller will headline the first “Kingdom MMA” event, which is promoted by longtime Hawaiian MMA purveyor T. Jay Thompson, against EliteXC veteran Kala Hose.

In this Sherdog.com interview, an introspective Miller talks about MTV stardom, still feeling like a 12-year-old inside and his love/hate relationship with Hawaiian MMA fans.

Sherdog: How do you plan to approach Kala Hose?
Miller: I’ll just fight him in a cautious manner and beat the piss out of him. Dude, it’s a fight like any other fight. I got to pay attention to what the hell I’m doing and make shit happen. These aren’t baby games. I got to take care of business the best way I know how. I think I’m stronger in every direction. I’m going to beat him on my feet; I’m going to beat him everywhere. I think that people are underestimating me and my standup game, and think that I’m just going to go and double leg the guy and try to submit him. Well, what the hell? That’s exactly what he’s expecting. I know he’s trained for that. Let’s see if he’s trained his kickboxing.

James Meinhardt/Sherdog.com

Miller will take on Hawaiian
slugger Kala Kolohe Hose.
Sherdog: What is your status with Dream?
Miller: I’m still hooked up with Japan. I’ve still got that going on for me. I’m going to spank some ass here in Hawaii and keep it rolling. I just have been busy, doing a TV show and fixing old injuries. When I fought “Jacare,” I fought him all busted up. Now I’m cool and brand new. So, time to do it again, you know. If everything goes well, you’ll be seeing me in Dream very, very soon.

Sherdog: Who in Dream do you want to fight?
Miller: Who do you think I want to fight? The asshole that beat me the last time. I gave that fight away and I feel like an idiot for it. I was so pissed at myself. I just played into his game and I was a moron for it. I’m fighting with an ego like, “I can tap Jacare out.” Like, that’s [ridiculous]. Why would I do that? I’m stupid. I have a tendency to fight with my heart more than my head. You know, you do some dumb stuff like that, you deserve to lose.

Sherdog: Have you changed anything about your training regimen since that fight?
Miller: Yeah, absolutely: I started training. I wasn’t taking myself very seriously at that point. I don’t know, you’re going to see a brand new Jason Miller in 2009, that’s all. I really think I was selling myself short and I wasn’t really putting in the amount of effort into my training that I did when I was younger. Nowadays, I have this renewed sense of urgency. I feel my fight career is going to be way better now than it ever was before. I’m putting so much more effort into my fighting career and learning more and drilling harder and just really putting my heart and soul into it harder than I ever have. I already was doing OK. But now I’m taking it to the next level.

Sherdog: Have you changed your philosophy about caring more about entertaining the audience than necessarily winning your fight?
Miller: Well, yeah. I mean, my priority is to make this awesome to watch. But at the same time, I just think the way I train now is going to allow me to win a lot better than the way I was training before. I’m bringing it up to the next level.

I’ve focused on the fact that I didn’t really know how to box. I focused on my boxing, and I think that my boxing is coming up leaps and bounds. It’s like another tool in my tool belt. I have brand new skills that weren’t really as pronounced before. Now, all of a sudden, I’m shocked because I’m like, “Oh, I can box now.” I can do some cool shit now that I couldn’t do before. And it just came out of nowhere. It feels like it came out of nowhere, but really where it came out of was me working it and working it every day.

Sherdog: How did the “Bully Beatdown” producers find you to host the show?
Miller: YouTube superstar. They found me doing a funny interview on there with some Mormon kid, and I’m digging into him. They just figured I was the perfect guy for this whole deal. And you know, what other fighters are going to be able to be a fighter and be hilarious? There’s not that many of us. Hopefully, I’m doing a good job being funny … . A lot of the guys from back in the day, Huntington Beach, we used to all train together and everybody was a damn comedian. But for this particular show, I think I’m the best fit for this show.

I’m still 12 years old in my head. Like, what do I do for a living? I beat up kids on the playground. That’s what I’m still doing to this day. And screw you, dad, for telling me that I couldn’t do it.
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