For his millions of fans across the world, Jason Miller’s public persona as “Mayhem” has grown to become something of a phenomenon. Modern life is marked by a disconnect between humans and their animal ancestors, and who better a mediator to bridge this divide than a self-proclaimed “Monkey” who has dedicated his life to tapping into this primacy? Violence is a force that is embedded within our collective biological history, and it creates a fascination we cannot hope to understand. Some view it as a necessary evil that can be overcome through social evolution. Others embrace its potential, finding ways to channel and even benefit from the energy that exists within us when it comes to matters of survival.
As Miller faces allegations of domestic violence, his ability to “fight” will be put to the test. His twitter account has been as active as ever, full of cryptic messages and displays of artwork, but few have had a chance to see or speak to him to get a true sense of how he is handling the challenges before him. I was granted the opportunity to spend an afternoon with the man, joining him in a Southern California tattoo parlor to pick his brain while he received permanent reminders of his willingness to embrace the “mayhem” in life. What transpired can only be described as a unique look into the mind of a true icon within the sport of mixed martial arts.
Mayhem, I’d like you to start by explaining your side of the story regarding your court case.
What do you mean my side? Look, the court case is ongoing. I’ll tell you this: love is the most complicated matter of them all.
You were recently in jail on two different occasions.
Yea, two times for nothing.
Well there’s a lot of talk online about what happened.
Listen, I don’t care. They can talk all they want. I know what happened. She knows what happened.
You’re being accused of some pretty serious stuff.
False accusations. The only thing I’m guilty of is falling in love with someone as crazy as I am.
We’ve done the research, and she has a long legal history of her own.
Yea, crazy people tend to date crazy people. The same kind of people who do an interview while getting a tattoo.
What are you getting tattooed, by the way?
The symbol of our lord and savior, Jesus Christ. (On his right hand, accompanying a freshly drawn Muslim “star and crescent” on the left)
How does it feel?
It feels like Love, because Love is Pain, and Pain is Love.
Do you want to get into any details of what transpired?
It’s (the court proceedings) still going on. “Do I want to go into detail?” No.
Is that for fear of repercussions?
No. Look, I don’t want to have to testify against her. I don’t want to tell the world all the details. I don’t want to testify against her. I don’t want to get her in trouble. She has a son, who I love, like he’s my own. So, I don’t want to risk getting her in trouble. Honestly, I don’t want to say anything about it, because it could affect her custody.
I had heard the father just received full custody…
Yea, he’s a close friend of mine. And, I love the kid.
Are you worried about your reputation within the MMA community?
I don’t exactly have a good reputation, so I don’t care. I don’t care what people think. I care only about the people I love, and I love all the people. I love humans, even though I’m a monkey. Yea, I am a monkey. I’m a full on monkey. I’ve developed myself into this monkey.
I hear that a lot…
Yea, well you heard it again.
Do you have any future plans to continue fighting after all of this?
Listen, I have one fight in front of me, and that’s a legal fight. I’m not looking past this fight.
But you’ve been back to training, so assuming you will if this case goes well…
How am I going to stop training? If I stop training, I stop breathing. Training is the only consistent thing in my life since I was 15. When I was imprisoned by my own body and unable to walk for a year, it takes a toll on your mind. I’m so happy that King’s MMA welcomed me back with open arms, because Mark Munoz cast me out, and made my problems even worse. He talks about Jesus, but he doesn’t know him, he doesn’t follow Jesus. He doesn’t follow the real Jesus. He follows some made up version. Some blonde haired, blue-eyed version of Jesus. He doesn’t follow what the real man said. I’ve been paying attention to what the real man said. I’ve been paying attention to what his disciples said. Jesus wouldn’t have cast me out. Jesus would have forgiven me for whatever he thinks I did. He casts judgment so easily. Telling the world that I have demons… he has demons, and they work at his gym.
I actually talked to Mark Munoz not that long ago, and he seemed genuinely concerned for you.
Oh really, well he has my phone number. Why doesn’t he stop being a bitch, and pick up the phone. You know, I would have done anything for him at one point. But I live by a code. A code of loyalty, honor, and respect, and when I say I’m someone’s brother I mean it. I’m your brother.
Well, you still have all of the Mayhem Monkeys.
What do you mean I still have them? They’re never going to leave. They’re never going to die. My fans understand me more than my friends do. They listen to everything I say, and they listen to the genuine Love that I’m giving to this world. I do everything for love.
Do you have anything you’d like to say to them?
I’m saying it right now. Look. I don’t need you. They listen to me. On twitter. They know the hell I’ve been going through. They know how fame destroys somebody. It killed the old me. So now I’m new. They know. The old Mayhem doesn’t exist.
Is that Bully Beatdown Mayhem you’re talking about?
Whatever. That version of Mayhem lives on in international syndication. People know me. They know my heart. I love this life. The pain. The hardship that I have to endure is worth it because of the love that I receive.
Speaking of Bully Beatdown, I’ve always wondered how much of it was real and how much was fake. How much of it was legitimate?
Bully beatdown did something revolutionary in television. We beat people up. The whole point of the show was “this guy is a dick, and we’re going to beat him up.” So, it’s as real as a show can get.
But were those guys really bullies?
Yea, a lot of them were. A lot of them were real bullies, and I knew because of how they treated the guys on the set. On any television show you have tons of people working on set, guys that go and get a soda for someone, and the guys doing craft services, and the people that have to drive these bullies around. A lot of them would say “man, this guy is a jerk. I can’t wait for him to get beaten up.” Some guys really played it up. Some guys were really nice dudes that just put on their angriest face so that they would look like the meanest bully ever, but none of that matters because we beat them up. For real.
Were the victims real?
Yea, I know a few of them. Actually, one of them lives right down the street from me. I always see him at the Starbucks and the liquor store next to my house. I always see that guy, and he’s the cutest little chubby faced, adorable nice guy that you’ll ever meet in your life. He lets people walk all over him sometimes. Well, I’ve been placed on this Earth to look out for those guys, and to guide them on a path that will stop them from getting spit on by the stronger guys. In a different life I could have been one of those guys. I developed myself into this monkey that nobody talks back to. I developed myself into this monkey. I was always standing up for everybody in the neighborhood. Always. I was never scared to fight anybody, and I’m still never scared. I’ve been gifted with this by Allah, this fearlessness in battle. It’s a beautiful thing. I thank the Lord every day that I’ve been granted this life where I am Mayhem. I’m not afraid of you. I’m not afraid of anyone. I fear nobody but God Almighty.
Switching gears, we know there are quite a few problems with judging in MMA these days. What are your thoughts on the matter?
It’s ridiculous. To call UFC a sport is ridiculous. They have their favorites to win, so if they get in a good position where they’re almost finishing the referee somehow stop the fight early. Oh, Whoops. You keeping thinking the UFC is real. It’s not. It’s governed by one petty, insecure, chunky golf player.
Are we talking about Dana White?
Yea. I mean, if that’s what you want to call him.
I agree that judging could use some work…
It’s all fake. It’s all a farce. It’s fake. They have a guy that they want to win, and they have a guy they want to lose. Every time. You know why? Gambling. It behooves them to make sure they know who will win and lose, because the house always wins.
This is more of a personal question, but how close was the choke you had on Jake Shields?
It was real close. It was real funny to be in that fight. I knew I was going to win that fight, but it’s that same old Zuffa trick, right? “Oh, whoa, he almost won. We better make sure that if Shields gets him down again he stays down, even though there’s no action.” I’m telling Big John (McCarthy) to stand us up. “What are you doing? This guy is just hugging me! Not causing any damage, not trying to finish. Just holding me and humping my leg.” If you’re not on their team, you’re on the other team.
I’ve always felt you are an exciting fighter. How do you feel about so-called “Lay and Pray?”
It’s a construct of Zuffa. You didn’t see that in the Pride days. If you fought an exciting fight and still lost you came back. You fight an exciting fight and lose here (UFC), they use it as negotiating leverage. If the judges decided the other guy being on top and holding you was worth a W, then he gets the W. I don’t blame guys for doing it. I don’t even blame them. They all have families to feed. They need to win to stay on contract. We have a contract that says we have three fights, but really you don’t have three fights. You have one fight. If they don’t like it they can cancel your contract at any time. It’s illegal. But, somehow legal. Go research Ken Shamrock. He tried to sue them to get another fight out of them, and they still wouldn’t give him the fight. It’s only a matter of time until the pendulum swings.
Do you think it will swing soon?
It will, because I’m pushing it.
Regardless of whether you ever fight again, do you plan on staying active within the Mixed Martial Arts community?
Mayhem, how is the tattoo feeling?
Pain is nothing. Pain is love. Physical pain? Ha. Ridiculous.
Are there any other statements you’d like to make for your fans?
33 means “I love you.”