Jason "Mayhem" Miller announced his retirement today from MMA. Miller's announcement followed his mysterious release from the UFC, which came in the wake of a loss to C.B. Dollaway at UFC 146.
In a far-ranging interview with MMA journalist Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour, a subdued, mumbling Miller told Helwani he felt "disillusioned" but also "free" after the UFC's decision to release him. He then formally declared himself done.
"Yeah," Miller said when asked if he was retiring. "Every fighter says 'I'm retired until I need money.' But I'm a pretty smart dude and I have a lot of avenues in front of me...I said I would [retire], and so I am. Who knows what the future holds?"
Miller previously said he would hang up his gloves if he lost to Dollaway. After UFC 146, UFC President Dana White casually dropped a bomb on the post-fight news conference by mentioning that Miller was "done" in the UFC. White added, however, that the release had nothing to do with Miller's fighting performance, but rather happened because "some crazy [expletive] happened backstage," which White clarified was "nothing physical."
Miller shed some light on the mysterious backstage incident, indicating that a paper bag he wore over his head during his walk to the cage created friction with UFC brass.
"Yeah, it was my mask," Miller said. "...I thought we had an understanding about it, but then I was walking to the cage and suddenly I start getting yelled at by [UFC site coordinator] Burt [Watson]."
Miller said nothing untoward occurred between him and Dollaway after their fight, a slow-burning affair Dollaway won by unanimous decision.
"I didn't shake his hand...I wasn't the most happy, high-fiving guy," Miller said. "But no, nothing happened between me and C.B."
Miller said he harbored no ill will toward White over the ouster.
"Let's just say this," Miller said. "If I were in Dana White's shoes, I might be exactly the same way. And there's no secret that I haven't always done what Dana said or what he wanted me to do. But he's the boss, and I completely understand his point of view."
Other UFC 146 activities—namely Miller's characteristically whimsical entrance during Friday's weigh-ins—led White to express his belief that Miller was acting like a "clown" and didn't take the sport seriously.
"I could write a book on our passing troubles," Miller said of White. "I guess that's for another time."
Miller, who regularly responded to Helwani's questions with halting, choppy answers, did not seem entirely coherent. Speaking extensively about his desire for "adventures," Miller at one point appeared to joke about "jumping off a bridge" before clarifying that he was referring to base jumping, an extreme sport that often involves leaping from the tops of tall structures with a parachute.
"Time to go experience life in a different way," Miller said. "I like to just roll around with my passport and disappear."
When Helwani asked him if fans should be concerned about his state of mind, Miller gave a cryptic answer.
"I'm not exactly awake. I'm not exactly me," he said. "But who cares? I'm figuring it out."
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