According to a report by Josh Gross on Sherdog.com, Jason “Mayhem” Miller is no longer contracted to the Zuffa-owned World Extreme Cagefighting promotion and is free to negotiate with any fight promotion in the world.
It had been previously reported that Miller had one more fight left on his WEC contract, a contract that was transferred over to Zuffa control during last December’s acquisition of select assets from the now defunct World Fighting Association.
While Miller’s agent, Dr. Ryan Parsons of Quest Sports Management, is not quoted as offering an explanation as to why Miller is now a free agent when reports indicated he had one fight left on his WEC contract, Gross’ report indicated that Parsons claimed that Miller fulfilled his obligation to the promotion and that the separation was amicable.
Miller likely will become a sought-after fighter on a crowded open market that features M-1, EliteXC, Strikeforce, BodogFIGHT, K-1 HERO’s and the IFL. With a 19-5 record that includes wins over Robbie Lawler, Falaniko Vitale, Denis Kang, Ron Jhun, and Hector Urbina, Miller has garnered a lot of respect for his ability inside the cage or ring. His colorful personality has also allowed him to build a enthusiastic fanbase with a large following via MySpace. Being a quality fighter that is also extremely marketable means that Miller will find no shortage of suitors.
It’s possible that EliteXC could have an inside track for Miller’s services. He is a former middleweight champion for Icon Sport, a promotion that is now owned by EliteXC’s parent company, ProElite, Inc., and also does broadcast work on a semi-regular basis for ProElite.com, a sister-company of EliteXC.
One scenario that shouldn’t be ruled out is Miller remaining in the Zuffa family and signing with the UFC. The UFC is in need of viable challengers for its middleweight title and Miller would be a perfect fit for the division. It’s possible that the public announcement of Miller’s departure from the WEC is nothing more than a procedural move.
Zuffa has been steadfast in its assertion that the WEC is not a feeder league to the UFC. Sources have informed FiveOuncesOfPain.com in the past that Zuffa has been hesitant to transfer fighters from the WEC to the UFC because the company is concerned that it could hurt the WEC’s image. The feeling that was expressed was that as soon as a fighter is transferred from the WEC to the UFC that the public reaction could be that the WEC is a minor-league organization of the UFC. With Miller being announced as becoming a free agent, it sets up a scenario in which Miller could “sign” with the UFC as opposed to being “transferred.”