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Venator FC boss Frank Merenda: ‘Mayhem’ Miller is a punk but not a criminal’

Jim Edwards

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On May 21st, a new Italian MMA promotion by the name Venator FC will put on their third ever show in Milan, Italy with a card featuring a middleweight title fight between two former UFC stars, British-born Luke Barnatt and the highly controversial American, Jason ‘Mayhem’ Miller.
Since the announcement of the fight, there has been widespread criticism from fans and media alike that the promotion shouldn’t be booking Jason Miller for a fight given his difficulties in the last few years with the law.
Outside of two charges this year relating to a DUI and a vandalism charge at a tattoo shop, Miller was also been involved in a standoff with a SWAT team at his home in 2014 which he ‘live-tweeted’ on Twitter.
Perhaps the most serious of his problems came in 2013 when he was arrested on two counts of felony domestic violence. Whilst the case is still pending, Venator FC boss Frank Merenda, today came to his defence and spoke exclusively to Jim Edwards about why he has booked Jason Miller for his show on May 21st:
“Jason Miller is a punk, he is a bully, he is a son of a b**** but he’s not a criminal right now,” said Merenda.
“A lot of things are against Miller but I know this guy, I talk to this guy and he’s crazy, but, he’s not a bad person and I think being focused about fighting, being focused about being back in the saddle and having this opportunity of being back again will be a great chance to redeem himself in front of the public.
“I think that he deserves this opportunity because when you are convicted to the public opinion that you are a son of a b****, that you beat the s*** out of a woman then you are finished because no promotion will want to sign with you.
“We lost three of four years of Miller’s career. In 2012 he was voted the third most recognised MMA fighter and now his career is gone.”
He added: “so what do we do? Convict him before he goes in front of a court? I don’t think so. I spoke to this guy and this guy is keeping his word and staying out of trouble since he signed with Venator.
“Everything the media are talking about now are things he did in January and last year and they are only coming up now.”
Merenda then compared the treatment of Miller to treatment given to the UFC light heavyweight Jon Jones who was also convicted under a hit and run charge last year:
“This guy is a punk but he is not a criminal. He is not the monster people are trying to depict,” reiterated Merenda.
“Let’s be serious. Talk to me about Jon Jones running away from a crime scene where he crashed into a pregnant woman, where he was on crack and ran away to get some money back from the car.
“But, Jon Jones is so ok – why don’t we have to boycott Jon Jones versus Daniel Cormier 2? Jon Jones is a real criminal and Miller just did a tattoo on a wall.”
Merenda believes that Miller’s popularity and fame are the reason why he has been accused of his domestic violence allegations. He told us:
“Every time you are famous and a bit of a punk people attack you, they will do it” said Merenda.
“Nobody got hurt with Jason ‘Mayhem’ Miller. This is the reality – ok!? his girlfriend barely had a little scratch under the eye and a bruise on the leg.”
He then added: “Warmachine crushed seventeen bones in a woman. I believe if Jason Miller wanted to beat me or you, you and me would finish with a lot of crushed bones and a lot of bruises.”
“The reality is this is Miller’s word versus the girl’s word. Miller says she was high, she attacked me and I had to disarm her and I had no intention to beat her, I did nothing to her.
“But ,If you read the media they say Miller beat her, but why!? Why does Miller not have chance to say his version to say ‘I didn’t do nothing to this girl’. Because Miller is a punk, he is a bad guy he has to be convicted just like that.”
During the rest of the interview, Merenda confirmed that Miller’s fight contract has several stipulations that relate to him behaving well, doing his media obligations, being punctual and not getting in trouble. Despite his recent troubles, Merenda confirmed the fight is still very much on and that Miller is taking his training very seriously.
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Exclusive: Derek Brunson: “Anderson was definitely a little lubed up”

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Derek Brunson fought Anderson Silva back in February of this year, at UFC 208. Brunson would go on to lose the fight by controversial unanimous decision. However, the controversies didn’t stop at the questionable decision, Brunson also claims Silva was greasing during the fight. The Wilmington, North Carolina native, posted about it on Twitter a few days ago:

Speaking with MMA Latest, Brunson explained why he believes Silva was greasing during the fight. “Anderson was definitely a little lubed up. Every time I grabbed him he was just slipping out of everything, and his takedown defense was really good that night. I was definitely curious to know why he was very slippery, which I definitely think he had some kind of substance on his body. He knows I’m a wrestler obviously, he’s an old, savvy veteran, so he was definitely trying to play all the rules and be very strategic, and make it harder for a wrestler to grab him.”

Brunson is set to face Lyoto Machida come October 28, when asked about whether he was worried about Machida greasing, considering Gegard Mousasi accused him of doing so in their fight, Brunson admitted he wasn’t too worried.

Well I’m not too worried, but like I said, I put it out there because I know they’re friends and I know, obviously, that’s kind of what the guys do when they know they’re fighting a wrestler. They want to lube their body up really good to make it hard to grab hold, Anderson did a great job defending my takedowns. It’s because he was all greased up so he was able to stop a lot of them. When I grab guys in the clinch, it’s very tough for them to get away and I’m pretty good with my Greco takedown. He was pretty much pulling through my clinch when I had a tight grip on him and if you have some kind of substance on your body it’s easy to pull them.”

Neither Silva nor his management have commented on the greasing allegations. Anderson Silva makes his return against Kelvin Gastelum later this year, in China. While Brunson makes his return to the Octagon on October 28th, in Brazil, where he looks to add Lyoto Machida’s name to his impressive list of victories.

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Ovince Saint Preux Steps in to Face Corey Anderson at UFC 217

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UFC 217 just got even more interesting. Earlier this week, Patrick Cummins pulled out of his light heavyweight matchup with Corey Anderson due to a Staph infection. Corey “Overtime” Anderson was not happy with his opponents decision, even calling out his opponent on Instagram asking how Cummins could, “call it quits so far from fight night”.

The UFC left Anderson on the card, and he found an opponent through the magic of Twitter. Ovince Saint Preux tweeted out directly to Anderson stating:

It didn’t take long for Anderson to respond agreeing to the fight, tagging Mick Maynard and Dana White in his response.

Only a few short hours later, the fight announcement came from the official UFC twitter account.

 

This top 10 Light Heavyweight matchup should add to an already amazing card coming in November at Madison Square Garden. Saint Preux is coming off of back to back wins both due to the very rare von flue choke, he finds himself ranked #7th in the latest edition of the 205-pound rankings. Corey “Overtime” Anderson is 4-2 in his last 6 fights, but is coming off a brutal first round knockout loss to Jimi Manuwa in March.

With such a exciting fight added to this card, what do you see happening November 4th?  Will Corey Anderson bounce back and look to jump into the top 5 of the rankings, or will Ovince Saint Preux go for a third straight von flue choke? Let us know.

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*Watch* Bellator 185 Weigh in: Live Stream, Results

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Watch the live weigh-ins for Bellator 185 here.

Gegard Mousasi takes on Alexander Slemenko live this Friday night October 20th at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville CT. This is the first appearance for Mousasi in the Bellator cage as he looks to secure a title shot with a win over the very tough former Bellator champion Slemenko. Joining these men of the main card will be a pair of welterweights as Neiman Gracie from the famous Gracie BJJ family takes on Zak Bucia in the co-main event.

Full Weigh-in Results: (Updated in real time)

Main Card:

Gegard Mousasi (185) vs. Alexander Shlemenko (186)
Neiman Gracie (170.5) vs. Zak Bucia (170)
Heather Hardy (126) vs. Kristina Williams (126)
Ryan Quinn (155.5) vs. Marcus Surin (155)
Ana Julaton (125.5) vs. Lisa Blaine (122)

Preliminary Card:

Jordan Young (200) vs. Alec Hooben (194)
Costello van Steenis (185) vs. Steve Skrzat (186)
Vinicius de Jesus (170) vs. Joaquin Buckley (171)
John Beneduce (154.5) vs. Dean Hancock (155)
Timothy Wheeler (144) vs. Pete Rogers (144)
Don Shainis (150) vs. Matthew Denning (149)
Frank Sforza (149) vs. Vovka Clay (150)
Kevin Carrier (156) vs. Jose Antonio Perez (153)
John Lopez (126) vs. Billy Giovanella (125)

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