(Three out of four former PRIDE announcers agree: Jerry Millen is an opportunistic douchebag.)
By Cagepotato.com contributor Mike Russell
Nearly two years have passed since the collapse of PRIDE Fighting Championships and although the future of the organization most assumed to be dead is somewhat foggy, one fact that has been made crystal clear is that a growing number of ex-employees of the beloved Japanese promotion despise the show’s former American producer, Jerry Millen.
If you recall, Bas Rutten was the first to open up about Millen’s lack of professionalism and knowledge of mixed martial arts as well as his abusive treatment of former commentators Stephen Quadros and Mauro Ranallo. Here’s the quote from Bas’ original post from the Sherdog forums:
Ranallo, who like Rutten worked for the promotion prior to Millen being hired, quit PRIDE in 2006 citing his differences with Millen as his primary reason for leaving:
Now Ranallo’s former broadcast partner Frank Trigg has entered the fray to add his account of Millen’s evil ways in an exclusive and candid interview with Cagepotato.com.
According to Trigg — who believes Millen may have lied about his credentials to land the plum role with PRIDE — the former club-DJ was a smooth talker who said the right things to get what he wanted and advance himself in the sport.
“I thought Jerry really was a good guy when I first met him and that he really had his heart and intentions in the right place to help the sport and PRIDE,” Trigg says. "When it came down to PRIDE getting picked up by the UFC — when you leave an organization certain things have to happen — certain people have to be let go and certain people get thrown under the bus and hung out to dry and that fool dumped me out there in the middle of nowhere to fend for myself. It didn’t make any sense to me that he did what he did. He left me to hang, high and dry. At the end of the day I found out the hard way that he was only out there for himself. “
What Millen “did,” Trigg says, was force him to read inflammatory statements that he wrote which attacked the UFC and its president Dana White, who happened to be a longtime nemesis of Millen’s. Because of Millen’s poor executive decision, Trigg had a falling out with White that was only recently quashed when he began talks with the organization to return to the Octagon since last fighting in it five years ago opposite Georges St-Pierre at UFC 54.
“I’m loyal to a fault and I guess I didn’t see it coming. Mauro Ranallo and Bas Rutten recognized early on that Jerry Millen was an idiot and I was the one left standing holding the bag. I actually got into trouble with Dana White and the UFC when PRIDE came to Vegas because of the scripts I was given and what I was told to say by Millen. He didn’t go on any of the radio shows or do any interviews, he just hid out in his hotel room so Dana didn’t see him. He was like ‘Make sure you say how much better our guys are compared to UFC guys and how our organization is better then theirs’ and I went out and did what I was told and Dana got mad, and rightfully so since I was basically badmouthing his organization.
"So not only did I no longer have a job when PRIDE was sold to the UFC, I was on the outside looking in for the next year and a half because there was no place for me. Why would they want to have a turncoat and why would you want one of the guys you took care of who did you wrong back working for you? Jerry hung me out there, which was really a dick move. He shouldn’t have done things the way he did and he should have taken responsibility for what he did.”
“I’m just glad things worked out and Dana put all of that bullshit aside and gave me the opportunity to come back,” Trigg says. “Now it’s up to me to make the best of it.”
There is no word on when Quadros will add his two cents on the two bit hanger-on who has now aligned himself with M-1 Global and Fedor Emelianenko’s management group.