M is for ‘Mayhem’ on MTV

By Lutfi Sariahmed Mar 27, 2009
The fight community is well aware of Jason “Mayhem” Miller. Last Sunday, the rest of the world was introduced to the larger-than-life personality as the host of the MMA-inspired reality series “Bully Beatdown” on MTV.

The world apparently liked what it saw, as the show’s debut was No. 1 in its timeslot for Male Teens and Males 12-34 with a 1.18 rating for 1.4 million viewers, according to a rep for Viacom, MTV’s parent company.

Helmed by reality TV founding father Mark Burnett and based on a deal he struck with Pro Elite in 2006, “Beatdown” gives victims the chance to fire back at their real-life bullies, who step into the cage against very-real fighters for cash.

“I step up, give the bully 10 G’s ($10,000) to step up against one of my guys who are usually well known fighters, Tony Bonello, Conor Heun, Jake Shields beat up a few guys for me,” Miller told the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Savage Dog Show” last week. “They step in the cage. Why do they do this you ask? Well because I flash 10 G’s in their face. So lets say if you hear about the 10 G’s and they go, ‘Oh, ok.’ And on top of that I call them out in front of their crew or at their house or whatever. I call them out. Then they get their a-- beat.”

Aside from the cold, hard cash, Miller said the run-of-the-mill bully’s lack of knowledge for the sport also helped producers lure them into the cage.

Jason Miller exclusive interview.
The bouts were far from fun and games though. Bouts were overseen by the Utah Athletic Commission, while refereeing pillar “Big” John McCarthy was brought in to makes sure neither bully nor fighter took things too far.

Miller’s quick wit and over-the-top hijinx makes him a natural for the small screen, but he said the spotlight wasn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

“It was all right but it was annoying,” Miller said. “You stand around a bunch and you just whatever. I would rather get in, punch everyone in the face, and then get out. I’d rather be fighting all the time then do TV honestly. But did I have fun doing this? Hell yeah, it was awesome. It was hilarious. It was a good time. I felt like being on MTV was a perfect fit because I like to hump young chicks.”

It might not be long before teenagers are running rampant through the streets sporting Mayhem’s trademark red hair stripe, but Miller the TV star hasn’t forgotten his roots quite yet. The 28-year-old returns to the ring against local standout Kala "Kolohe" Hose for Kingdom MMA on April 18 at the Blaisdell Arena in Honolulu, Hawaii. Kingdom MMA is an off-shoot of promoter T. Jay Thompson’s Icon Sport, which crowned Miller its middleweight king after his third-round arm-triangle choke submission of Robbie Lawler in 2006.

Miller’s name has also been raised in fighting circles in recent weeks surrounding comments he made about UFC welterweight Georges St. Pierre. B.J. Penn has called for justice after the Canadian’s cornerman was observed by Nevada State Athletic Commission officials applying Vaseline to the fighter’s back between the first and second rounds of their Jan. 31 bout at UFC 94.

Miller, who lost to St. Pierre at UFC 52 in April 2005, believed the Canadian was “greased up” during their welterweight contest and certainly sympathized with Penn.

“It’s like, ‘Yeah, get over it,’ but it was the same thing when I fought him and he was greased up,” said Miller. “I was like, ‘[Referee] Big John [McCarthy], he’s greased up.’ He didn’t give a damn. ‘You’re getting beat up. Shut up.’ It’s just now the commission is telling B.J.’s mom that. It sucks that’s what it has to come to.”

He also spoke candidly over what he perceives as a blatant disregard of the rules.

“We go all the way up to the commission and from me getting beat up in the second round saying, ‘Hey, this guy is greased up,’ to BJ taking it all the way to the Nevada State Athletic Commission and them still saying, ‘Nah,’” said Miller. “Like look, don’t have the rule if you’re not going to enforce it. Don’t even have the rule. Let’s just cover ourselves in baby oil and let’s fight. Lets do it. Like I didn’t really care. I would fight Georges with a tire iron. We both have a tire iron and a trash can lid and I’d fight him like that. But that’s not the rules. The rules are don’t grease yourself up and he broke them, but no one gives a damn.”

As for “Beatdown,” Miller said he won’t be stepping up himself to face the assortment of neighborhood ruffians that MTV has found for the show’s first season -- at least not yet.

“[I fought some bullies] when I was younger, but for this series, so far, it’s a secret,” he teased.

“Bully Beatdown” airs Sundays on MTV at 9:30 p.m. EST/PST.
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