Middleweight Jason Miller has 32 fights on his record and has waged his share of wars inside the ring. However, chances are none of the blows he suffered in competition led to the type of pain “Mayhem” appears to currently be experiencing.
The 31-year old was arrested on Monday morning after a strange incident where he broke into a church, vandalized it, and was found on the scene (and arrested) in the nude. The incident itself, as initially described by TMZ, sounds comedic in essence and has already spawned countless jokes at Miller’s expense.
Unfortunately, the situation is far more serious than the circumstances might imply, and what Miller truly needs is the MMA community’s help, not their attempts at humor.
While no reports have surfaced surrounding Miller’s mental/physical health, his actions were clearly not those of an individual acting in his right mind. Yes, Miller is known for his off-the-wall antics when it comes to entrances and interviews, but he’s also a guy who knows when to turn it off and isn’t nearly as colorful a character away from cameras as he is in front of them. Monday there was an audience of one watching – Miller – and his behavior, in my eyes, was a cry for assistance rather than attention.
Miller has spoken openly in the past before about being physically abused by his father. Though Miller’s account of the incidents is often playful, there is nothing lighthearted about a grown man striking his teenage son or progressing things to full-on fight mode. Rather than let his upbringing define him, Miller seems to have swallowed his demons and covered them up with bright hair and silly outfits. Sadly, it appears he was the one consumed by them this week.
Also bear in mind Miller, who should be in the prime of his career given his age/experience, just lost back-to-back fights and was booted from the UFC despite getting a run as TUF coach before his recent run even started. In fact, he was so disheartened by his meetings with Michael Bisping and C.B. Dollaway he announced he was retiring from MMA, one of the few positive constants in his life for the past decade. Pretending that in itself might no impact one’s psyche to the point of a breakdown, as Miller apparently had, is folly.
MMA is a sport where one fighter will often help a fallen adversary up off the ground after a finish or embrace after the conclusion of a collision. It’s time we as a MMA community follow that example. The verbal jabs have been thrown at Miller, he’s been knocked down, and now it’s time to help him back to his feet instead of kicking a downed opponent.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC