Garrett is a walking vial of testeosterone, a living and breathing stereotype. He’s more than 200 pounds of muscle, a jacked up neighborhood bully with nazi tats and a bad attitude. “The Tank” is running rampant through his California neighborhood- until he runs into MMA star Jason “Mayhem” Miller.
Mayhem’s show is called Bully Beatdown and it airs Thursdays on MTV. The premise is simple. Miller finds a bully, like Garrett (although he is particularly reprehensible), and then one of his MMA buddies kicks the crap out of the guy.
It’s a surprisingly fun show and a great showcase for Miller, a known quantity among hardcore MMA fans just being introduced to the wider public. Miller has an endearing craziness, like he’s just missed his meds, and narrates the fights with Joe Rogan-ish commentary like “O-M-G exclamation point!”
Miller is one of the most charismatic fighters in the world, and one of the best. Yet, he’s mostly unknown to the American audience. He last fought in the UFC four years ago and has since been taking on all comers in Japan and Hawaii. Still just 28, he’s ready to make a run at MMA stardom, signing with Strikeforce for their November show on CBS, fighting underneath the Fedor Emelianenko-Brett Rogers bout.
“It’s great that Fedor will be on the undercard of this show,” Miller said. “What? What? Oh, nevermind, I guess I’m on the undercard for Fedor. I’m really pumped and excited for Strikeforce who it appears is making some big, big moves in the MMA world”
Mayhem is stepping right into the thick of things in Strikeforce, taking on the very best fighter in the promotion not named Fedor Emelianenko. Jake Shields is the best welterweight not signed to a UFC contract. He moved up in weight and made an immediate impact at 185 pounds, beating Elite XC champion Robbie Lawler at a catchweight of 182 pounds. The two will do battle for the Strikeforce Middleweight title vacated by movie star Cung Le.
“I’m going to put some showmanship into it,” Miller said. “That’s not that common in the shows here in America but if I can put some flair into it and people are going to be talking about it around the water cooler on Monday, well there you go. That’s the way to capitalize that we’re on CBS, regular television where you can get it on your bunny ears.”
There is some potential awkwardness, as Shields and Miller are friends. Twice Mayhem has called upon Shields to deal with bullies on his show, but both say they are comfortable throwing down, then going out for a beer afterwards to talk it out.
“We’re cool with each other. We’ve gone out a few times. It’s not like we sit at home and talk with each other on the phone or anything,” Shields said. “I have fun hangin’ out with him but I have no problem punching him in the face either. When we get done with the fight we’ll be cool but we won’t have any problem once we’re in the ring.”
Shields is an old hand at network television; this will be his third appearance on CBS. For Mayhem, it will be his first fight in years in front of the American public. But he seems to think, with 29 fights under his belt, that nerves won’t be a problem.
“Is there like some kind of special mat that we fight on for CBS that is thicker than other mats that’s going to make us slower or not used to? I don’t think at this stage of my career I’m going to be nervous or worried about anything,” Miller said. “Those days are far behind me; to be overly excited because everyone is watching me. There’s no disadvantage to that. If anything it’s an advantage because I know everyone is watching and I’m more focused and more ready to do this.”
STRIKEFORCE and M-1 Global: “Fedor vs. Rogers” airs LIVE on Saturday, Nov. 7 on CBS (9:00 PM, live ET/delayed PT) from the Sears Centre Arena in Chicago.
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