Despite his status as a contender in Strikeforce’s middleweight division and his fan recognition courtesy a hosting gig on MTV’s Bully Beatdown, newly-signed UFC fighter Jason “Mayhem” Miller couldn’t land a fight while under contract with Strikeforce to save his life.
The promotion was even unable/unwilling to capitalize on “Mayhem’s” high-profile beef with welterweight champ Nick Diaz, which, at the time, was the most compelling bout they could have put together. UFC president Dana White revealed after picking Miller back up — he fought once before in the octagon, losing a unanimous decision to Georges St. Pierre back in 2005 — that the colorful fighter had been banned from CBS/Showtime for his role in the infamous Strikeforce: Nashville brawl, which was incidentally the source of his and Diaz’s conflict.
In a recent interview with MMAFighting.com, Miller discussed how he was kept in the dark about why he was forced into inaction for so long and offered his former employers some pointed criticism for how they handled the situation.
“I asked, and guess what? Nobody would tell me,” Miller said of his long layoff. “This is a political environment. Nobody’s going to tell you. They’re just going to be cowards about it. That’s the way of the world. Nobody’s going to tell the crazy ultimate fighter guy to his face, ‘Hey, screw you.’ They’re not going to do that.”
Miller explained that he was never told why he wasn’t being offered any fights, that the Strikeforce brass simply ignored his requests to get back in the cage until his contract had run out.
“Up until the last minute –- up until it was apparent that they had no intention of fulfilling the contract –- I was like, hey, I’m ready to fight. Let’s fight,” Miller said. “At the last moment, it looks as if, okay, they can’t fulfill the contract. Now I fight in the UFC. …I have no ill will towards anyone. If that’s how they saw it, then that’s how they saw it. If that’s the case that I was really banned [from Showtime], then hey, it’s not the first place I’ve been 86’d from.”
Though he is excited to be back in the UFC fold, Miller laments the fact that he was only allowed to fight twice in 2010, with his last appearance coming in September.
“Here I’ve been sitting on the bench. I’ve been training. I’ve been working hard and improving, but do you guys think I get some sort of severance package? Do you think I have Bully Beatdown billions? I don’t, trust me,” he said. “I sat around and wasted a good chunk of my career that I could have been making income and capitalizing on the fact that my body is great and I know how to fight.”