Jason "Mayhem" Miller said he would retire from mixed martial arts if he lost to C.B. Dollaway at UFC 146. He plans to live up to his word.
In his first interview since losing a unanimous decision to Dollaway on Saturday night, the controversial middleweight told MMAFighting.com's Ariel Helwani on Monday that as of now, he's finished fighting.
"I said I would, so I am," said Miller. "I'm done for right now."
Thus ends a relationship between Miller and the UFC which was an uneasy fit from the get-go. For "Mayhem," mixed martial arts has always been just one of a variety of things on his plate. UFC boss Dana White wants his fighters to be all business, all the time. It didn't make for the easiest marriage.
"I don't have the need to super-impress one person in particular and make them happy," Miller said. "I can focus on making myself happy. I don't have the pressures of a commissioner chasing me around with a piss cup. I don't have the pressures of everybody verbally abusing me for everyone one of my missteps via social media. I feel like a weight is lifted.
"Every fighter gives the same answer when they say they're retired. Pretty much every fighter says ‘I'm retired until I need money.' I'm a pretty smart dude, I have other avenues open to me."
As soon as Miller lost in one-sided fashion to Dollaway -- on the heels of a similar loss to Michael Bisping -- his UFC future seemed tenuous. Before Miller even had a chance to announce his retirement, White had stated at Saturday's post-fight press conference the fighter was through with Zuffa, saying Miller was involved in a backstage incident after the fight. White refused to elaborate on the details.
For his part, "Mayhem" said there was no incident backstage after the bout. Rather, Miller said that as he was making his way to the Octagon for the fight, he was interrupted by the UFC's backstage director, Burt Watson. Miller claims Watson got on his case for the gas mask Miller was wearing underneath a paper bag-mask he had over his head.
"It was my mask," Miller said. "Burt suddenly started yelling about my mask. I had a gas mask for the troops underneath my paper bag, and Burt started telling me right as I'm walking out for the fight. I'm trying to get focused instead of arguing about a paper bag. Maybe it was my fault for, I don't know, I thought we had an understanding once I start walking out to the cage that now I'm working, but obviously we're not on a playing field of mutual respect.
"I wish I would have heard about it before so it would be easier to deal with. But here I am walking to the cage, and suddenly I started getting yelled at. I'm like ‘what, I'm trying to focus here.' Things don't always go the way you want. That's life and you have to deal with it."
Miller is taking the retirement/firing in stride, noting that he's been fighting since he was a teenager and understanding that not everyone, White included, gets his quirky personality.
"Sometimes you rub people the wrong way," he said. "When you're in charge of a multinational corporation and you kind of don't like someone it's pretty easy to just swat me.
"Don't cry for me, Argentina. I kinda knew what I was getting into when I was 17. I'm not a young guy, not for this sport. I'm an old-ass man, maybe I should look into that TRT, maybe that would help me out.
"I've been abusing myself for 12 years now. It's my job. I can't cry about it. I knew over the years, this knee got hurt, that knee got hurt, I've snapped my nose a million times, I cracked my skull. I mean, c'mon. I knew what I was doing to myself. I don't want to die without any scars. I want to live life, and I want to have these adventures, and I want to be that old-ass man with a million stories to tell, if I can make it to that old-ass man status."
So what's next? Miller is popular outside the Octagon, both from his MTV show "Bully Beatdown" and his frequent appearances on Sirius XM's Jason Ellis Show.
Miller wouldn't give specifics, other than specifically ruling out a return to "Bully Beatdown" and saying he'd like to try his hand at MMA color commentary. Beyond that, his advice to his fans is simply to stay tuned.
"I feel a little bit freed, in a weird way," he said. "In the strangest way I feel free. I know that sounds strange when I devoted my entire life to fighting. I feel like life is unlocked to a whole new set of adventures."