After sitting on the shelf for close to a year presumably for no other reason than his role in the Strikeforce: Nashville on-air brawl, Jason “Mayhem” Miller was thrilled to sign with the UFC when his Strikeforce contract ran out, if for no other reason than it meant he would soon see the inside of a cage again.
The 30-year-old veteran agreed to face off against Aaron Simpson at UFC 132 this past July in what would be his second Octagon appearance (he faced Georges St-Pierre back in 2005, losing via unanimous decision), but left that fight when he was offered the coaching gig on the fourteenth season of The Ultimate Fighter opposite Michael Bisping. Host of three seasons of MTV’s Bully Beatdown, Miller recently spoke with FightLine.com about getting the job on TUF and not just being comfortable, but reveling in the spotlight.
“I was ecstatic,” Miller said of going from facing Simpson to coaching TUF. “I was sad that I didn’t get to fight Aaron, I think he’s a really tough and talented dude, but at the same time this opportunity was big not only for myself but for the entire sport of mixed martial arts. I’m coming from being a normal television star and a fighter, to just now being here thrust in the limelight in the UFC. Me and Bisping called a truce for now so we don’t hit each other in the press, but there’s no two dudes who’ve got more aggressive energy towards each other and it really comes out this season.”
Miller has never appeared shy to be in the limelight; he’s known for having one of the most outlandish entrance sequences in the sport and has a personality as generally loud as his oft-changing hair color. When asked if he preferred to return to the UFC surrounded by the fanfare likely to be drummed up during TUF 14’s airing, Miller replied unhesitatingly that he wouldn’t have it any other way.
“Absolutely! I love hearing myself talk, apparently,” he said. “I really feel like the missing thing from mixed martial arts in general is the entertainment factor and if I can bring that into the Octagon, I feel that it will bring more eyes and bring more viewers into the sport.”
The Ultimate Fighter 14 airs every Wednesday night on Spike TV at 9/8 Central; FightLine.com will be back each week with episode recaps, complete with breakdowns of the fights.