Nothing seemed out of the ordinary in Jason “Mayhem” Miller’s life before August 11, at least in a qualitative sense when we’re discussing Miller. Yet, all it took to change that was a Twitter exchange with Dana White and an arrest in the following days. Now, the entire MMA community is concerned for Miller’s well-being.

Our modern culture has a ravenous desire to know everything about a celebrity’s life, and MMA athletes are no different. Especially a personality like Miller, who enjoys being in the spotlight. We can’t know everything that drives the actions of celebrities like Miller, but what we have seen from him this week is concerning.

The current odyssey began with Miller sending two tweets to UFC President Dana White: “You never begged me to retire @danawhite you must not love me. That’s a shame, I love you. Cont..” and “It’s ok. Since you never allowed me to officially retire, I am now a Warrior for Peace and Ultimate Fighter for Justice.”

White responded jokingly, “lol retire Mayhem I’M BEGGIN U!!!”

It was a harsh comeback to Miller, but White isn’t the type to shy away from confrontation, even if it is to his own detriment. About 20 minutes later, Mayhem responded in kind with, “Kill yourself @danawhite we are all begging you.” Miller was most likely making a play on White’s last tweet, but now they are engaged in a back-and-forth argument that probably isn’t the best way to work out unresolved issues towards each other.

From there, the exchange continued with Miller making a few comical jabs back at White and offering to take a “fight” with him, referring to a 2007 boxing match between Tito Ortiz and White that never materialized. After several more heated tweets, White finally decided it was time to take the high road and asked Miller to call him.

Miller responded to the offer by saying, “@danawhite no need for phone calls. I appreciate the car. The money I use to feed the people I love, thank you. When you are ready, cont.” He does not continue with the message, however, and his next tweet seems to be a calm response and a hint at what he intends to do with himself now that he is currently retired from fighting. He directs White to a short clip on YouTube showing Miller answering the question, “If you weren’t a fighter, what would you be?” His answer: “the most violent stand-up comedian known to earth.”

Perhaps Miller’s departure from the UFC had become a bigger stress on his life than fans can ever know. His career in the UFC plummeted after two fights, and having his former boss be so openly blunt about his failure would be damaging to most people’s psyche.

Two days later, Miller captured the attention of the nation, but not for his fights or television career. He was arrested one week ago on Monday morning for suspicion of burglary after allegedly breaking into a California church and vandalizing the building. Orange County police report that he was found nude on a couch on the second floor and that he was coherent.

Miller posted $20,000 bail on Tuesday and was released by the Orange County Sheriff’s Department. Since then, Mayhem has not given an official statement about his behavior until he took to his Facebook page on Saturday. He addressed the issue by saying, “I appreciate your concern, a LOT. I am doing fine, and although things seem a bit strange right now, I assure you that they will make more sense in the Future.”

The message doesn’t give anyone who is following the story much to go on. The same can be said about his Twitter account, which has been active every day except for the two days he spent in police custody. Miller’s tweets touch on topics such as politics and religion, and in his most concentrated messages, focus on the user @FonzoBlunt and how this person has allegedly wronged Miller.

Fans have sent speculative tweets to Miller offering support or have questions of their own regarding his well-being.

What about the issue of Miller being under the influence of drugs up to his arrest? Miller shot down a tweet asserting that he was using the street drug known as bath salts.

We could spend dozens of hours sifting through Miller’s online thoughts and responses to fans, but I doubt it will bring us any closer to valid and unbiased answers to our questions. In this case, getting the answers straight from the horse’s mouth won’t bring clarity. A mental health professional would better help our understanding of Miller’s mindset and current situation.

I think part of the problem here is the impact from our connected digital culture. Sometimes we share too much information and our private matters become public domain. I’m not here to argue how people should be using social media, but I will say it has impacted our attitudes towards other people’s privacy. The situation from last week has reignited a public interest in Miller, and people want to know, now more than ever, the whole story behind Miller’s recent life.

If he is suffering from mental health issues or substance abuse, then I hope he is receiving professional help and, in that, Miller deserves a right to privacy. Obviously, Miller puts himself out there, and people can’t be blamed for seeing what is in front of them, but they can choose not to engage it.

Even though Miller says he is happy and ready to move forward, there are obviously residual effects from his time in the UFC. This is a private matter that, for whatever reason, has spilled out publicly, and it will receive attention. My hope is that the situation will bring Miller the right kind of attention that he needs to help him move forward.

Photo: Jason “Mayhem” Miller (Esther Lin/All Elbows)

About The Author

David Massey
Staff Writer

David Massey studied Humanities and Art History at the University of Central Oklahoma. He first found interest in MMA from the first TUF show and has been hooked ever since. He began posting on mmajunkie then submitting Sunday Junkie entries and that began his interest in writing about MMA. Through twitter David found other MMA enthusiasts and began contributing articles to marqueemma.com. He looks forward to growing as a writer and being a part of the sport he loves.