With The Ultimate Fighter 14 Finale just a couple weeks away, many of us have been wondering how prepared Jason Miller was for his return to the UFC, especially considering that he hasn’t truly faced legitimate competition since his unanimous decision loss to Jake Shields just over 2 years ago. Aaron Tru of TruMMA was able to catch up with the Team Mayhem coach recently, and aside from playing a good old fashioned game of “Sactap,” was able to achieve a rather serious conversation with Miller, at one point even discussing the WEC and Strikeforce veteran’s seriousness (or lack thereof) when it comes to training. And “Mayhem” was quick to set things straight for those doubters out there:
On his training camp: “[Training] is going fantastic. I’m really surprised. This is the first camp that I’ve got a super serious camp in my entire career, and I’m an old damn man by fighter’s standards. It feels awesome. I’ve never been in such good shape and I’ve never had such a good mental focus going into a fight. It’s really refreshing. I was like, ‘Oh, this is what training camp is supposed to be like.’”
On how serious he takes his training: “The reason I do this sport, the reason I got into this career, was because I enjoy going to a padded room where I can act as crazy as I want and it’s not an institution. I think you can train seriously and still have a lot of fun. Even on The Ultimate Fighter, here at Reign Training Center, even going back to high school wrestling, I was always like the funny guy on the team and I feel like it keeps morale up.”
It’s hard to disagree with Miller, who has shown a true knack for not only coaching but connecting with his team on this season of The Ultimate Fighter, whereas Team Bisping seemingly can’t have a sparring session that doesn’t erupt into a brawl at some point.
On comraderie: “I feel like that’s kind of lost in American culture. The man has gone into hiding.” [He wasn't hiding, Mayhem, he was waiting.]
On sacrifice for his teammates: “The minute that my life started going better was when I stopped asking ‘What can you do for me?’ and started asking ‘What can I do for you?’ I grew up in an environment where the people that were succeeding were the bad guys. When you become an adult it’s all about what you can give to them and then you get it back tenfold.”
On the power of Movember: “Maybe it’s this mustache having an influence on me, but I feel grown up.” [Please Mayhem, don't let this affect your future ring entrances.]
On Bisping falling off the air hockey table: “I was mad that I lost, but was immediately absolved of all pain because that was worth 10 g’s right there…TV gold.”
On standing and trading with Bisping come fight time: “Absolutely I can. I’ll go ahead and make the bet with you right now that he shoots for a takedown first. There’s no way he doesn’t. He always does it. Dan Henderson took his soul. I’m going to take the rest. I’m gonna knock him out or submit him in the first round.”
Here’s hoping, Mayhem, here’s hoping. The Ultimate Fighter 14 Finale goes down on December 3rd at the Palms Casino in Vegas.