Jason 'Mayhem' Miller in retirement: 'I'm really enjoying life right now'

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

If you thought that Jason Miller would stop being "Mayhem" once he retired from mixed martial arts, well, you're in for a surprise.

The former standout fought all over the world in a pro career which stretched back to 2001 and retired soon after his UFC 146 loss to C.B. Dolloway.

But as he proved during an in-studio visit on Monday's edition of The MMA Hour, he's still the same old "Mayhem."

"I'm really enjoying my life right now," the 32-year old Miller said. "I have a lot of other things to accomplish."

As usual, "Mayhem's" appearance jumped through a hodgepodge of subjects, with some of the best anecdotes coming in the form of "back in the day" stories. Here's a look at some of the highlights:

On his last career victory, a Sept. 2010 submission win over Kasushi Sakuraba in Dream, which was followed by a bow captured in an iconic photograph: It kind of like, was in my head head a little bit, like, I have to show this man respect. Because, the young meets the old, right? So it's like, at this point in my career and in my life, I get to be Sakuraba. In the moment, it just spontaneously combusted. I feel like, in my head I feel like I owe this man so much respect and I have to beat him up because that's my job. I did what I said I was going to do, I submitted him. I felt bad for punching him in his face super hard. I got him one time like ‘bink' and I felt it inside my knuckles and I was like ‘aww, that was a good one.' And I looked at his face and he was like [imitates Sakuraba], looking around all wild. That's when I jumped and I grabbed him and I choked him. It was sweet. That's a move I learned from him, I feel like, just watching him.

On a memorable two-round casino fight against Chael Sonnen in 2002, which Sonnen won by decision: He's like an American Hero. He's the white knight of the Republicans. I think it's hilarious. Chael Sonnen is the politician to end all politicians. I feel like I'd finance his campaign if I was the Koch brothers. At an Indian Casino, he put me through the floor one time, I knocked his eyes in the back of his head. I didn't know I was fighting him. It was only two rounds, it was whack. This was back in the day. [Sonnen won a] decision, he got me with the takedowns. He got me in a double leg really nice, I was like, ‘wheee.' I remember thinking "man, I'm going to knock his head off, wheee," [It was a] cruddy cage, he slammed me through the floor one time, then we had a gentleman's agreement not to go there.

On an underground fight when he was breaking in: I fought in a basement one time, it was a weird thing, it was like Bloodsport. It was crazy, looking back at it. Basically, there's video out there too, it's looks like the basement from Saw. There's a wrestling mat on the ground, and a ring attached to the wall on the concrete. I got on this dude's back and started choking him, this guy was weird, he wanted to wear some ninja shoes. This was 1999, '98 or something. This was a small gym fight ... it was completely illegal. North Carolina, too. I got on the guys back and we tore the ropes down off the concrete wall. I was like, what are we going to do. They pulled the ropes down and everyone got around in a circle. ... I was paid $200.

On the status of his left knee, which needs surgery: [The UFC] pretended they were going to give me the surgery, and they started acting like they were going to fix my leg. They went back and they dragged it out until my insurance coverage expired. So I couldn't get the surgery. ... Same one I hurt in the fight. If you're walking around with no ACL for one year, Kobe Bryant is a p***y.... I'm walking around like the hunchback of Notre Dame over there. That's the problem. I got so used to ignoring pain over the years from doing the job that I did, and that is a bit of genetics because my dad's done the same thing, then, try to work out? Nope.

On the one fight he never got and wish he had: The obvious answer is Nick Diaz, right? I was trying to get that fight a long time ago. And we were all going back and forth and angry at each other. I think I understand Nick Diaz very well. I think I can understand the some of the points he's trying to make. I know what he's saying, he's expressing frustration with his job and with the way they've handled the promotion of him and the way they carted him around to things he didn't want to do. I get it. I get what he's trying to say, how he doesn't feel respected despite how big his accomplishments are. He didn't feel respected, he didn't feel anyone was looking out for him.

On being informed Diaz is now running his own promotion: That's awesome. I guess he did have some money to invest in something. This is going to be the best show ever. I'm interested to see.

On this weekend's upcoming Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Fabricio Werdum fight: I've trained with both of those guys. I think, man, I think on a hunger level, you always hate to pick against your man. Nogueira, I love this man. But I believe it's maybe a passing of the torch. When I left King's MMA, I see who still hungry Werdum is, and I see how hungry he still is. I'm biased, because I have a black belt from Werdum. ... I expect an exciting fight. I expect kicks. I expect him to go leg kicks, body kicks, because as Nog is trying to come forward with boxing techniques, then he'll counter him with kicks, and hopefully we'll see a little jiu-jitsu fest.

On post-MMA life: Look, I completely lived, ate and breathed MMA for 15 years. I can eat now, I can drink a beer if I feel like it. I feel free. I can be 'Mayhem.'

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