If you can hear the howling of the "Mayhem Monkeys," it's because one of Mixed Martial Arts' most popular fighters has his own MTV show. "Bully Beatdown" tapped former ICON Sport Middleweight Champion Jason "Mayhem" Miller to be the face of the reality series in which your everyday bully finally gets put in his place ... by a professional fighter.
So what's "Bully Beatdown" all about? Miller: "I hear from people who have been bullied recently, and I step up to the bully. Instead of picking on a guy smaller and weaker than him, I challenge him to pick on someone his own size ... Normally they are pretty apprehensive, but we show them 10 G's and call him out in front of all his buddies. Guess what happens? They step into the cage to get beat up for all of our enjoyment."
What happens when the bullies get into the cage, I mean besides getting their heads kicked-in? "The fights are broken into two 3-minute rounds. The first round is all grappling They start out with $5,000. Every time the bully taps out, he loses a $1,000. That $1,000 goes straight over to the victim. The second round is kickboxing. We put gloves and headgear on the bully and if they can survive 3 minutes, then they make $5,000. Let me just say that never really happens." (The first episode's fight ended with Tony Bonello landing a kick to the bully's liver and knocking him out.)
What makes a bully? "Every bully we have on the show is fairly unique, the common thread between them is the large ego and self-entitlement that they have. They rough everybody up because they feel they deserve everything and no one else deserves anything. A bit of selfishness mixed with that weird sense of self-entitlement is what makes bullies."
Have you had to deal with bullies in your life? "Of course, I got picked on. I remember getting breakfast sandwiches thrown at me, thrown at my head in the cafeteria. I'd pop up to see who did it and see a bunch of glaring eyes stared back at me. I remember getting shoved into lockers and being afraid to go across the street because I might get jumped."
Seriously? Details. "I have the worst story ever -- I was walking across the McDonald's parking lot near the end of the school year and my buddy was right across the way. I remember walking over there. I was looking at him and I was so happy, it was a happy day. The sun was shining, school was almost out and then my buddy's face shifted from happy to 'look out' and he was pointing behind me. The next thing I know I got blindsided by this big kid. And then this guy just started kicking me and jumping me. This was for no reason other than to punk me. I barely got out of that with my vision intact. The guy kicked me in the eye so hard when I was on the ground. And there was no reason for it other than that guy just to feel better about himself."
How did you stop the bullying? "Eventually, I fought back. I learned mixed martial arts. I became the type of guy to fight back. Bullies won't hang around if you eventually fight back. That is what the show is doing -- we're fighting back."
What happened after you fought back? "I got confronted by a guy who jumped me, and I immediately subdued him with a guillotine choke. I was shocked by how people who don't train don't know what the hell they are doing."
For people who don't train, what is your advice when being confronted by a bully? "Stand up for yourself. You don't even have to fight nine out of 10 times. They won't do the things they say they will do. They're all talk. Just stand up for yourself."
What about that 1 out of 10 times? "I always say scratch your chin because if the guy is going to punch you in the face, you're going to want your hands up there near your face already."
Like in Bas Rutten's self-defense tape? "Yeah, Bas Rutten style! Scratch your chin. Now, if you know that violence is going to go down, hit first and then bail because that is the smartest thing to do. Do the 'scratch the chin' move and step backwards. You want to have a clear line of exit instead of being cornered. If it comes to fisticuffs, soft targets first: eyes, nose, groin. Then make your escape because you never know when the bully's buddy is going to jump on you."
What about office workers who have a bully for a boss? "You're going to need some slickness to get around that. I don't want to give anybody advice that will get them fired. I've been fired from just about every job that I have ever had. I do not fit in sitting behind a desk. 'Mayhem' wouldn't exactly work in the boardroom."
You can catch Jason on Bully Beatdown Sundays at 9:30 p.m. on MTV. You can also see Jason back in the cage fighting on April 18 for Kingdom MMA in Honolulu, Hawaii, against powerhouse puncher Kala "Kolohe" Hose.