In unfortunately unsurprising news, Jason Miller was recently arrested again, this time on suspicion of DUI. The former Strikeforce and UFC fighter was booked and released on February 7th, with a scheduled court appearance on March 7th, according to public court records in Orange County, CA. According to TMZ, due to his well-documented history of police confrontation (most notably a live-tweeting of his SWAT standoff), a K-9 unit and approximately 15 cops were dispatched to the scene.
Miller was scheduled to fight fellow ex-UFC middleweight Luke Barnatt in Milan, Italy on May 21st for the Venator FC middleweight title. While this arrest is the latest in a string of minor to major offenses committed by Miller over the past few years, Venator FC's president Frank Merenda is not pulling him from the event. In fact, he took the time to release a lengthy statement that will go down in history was one of the wildest press releases ever written. It includes an explanation as to why Mayhem seemingly thought he was fighting Josh Barnett and not Luke Barnatt, plus a scathing critique of MMA media.
Here's the full statement, and I highly recommend reading every word of it: (H/T MMA Junkie)
MILAN, ITALY (February 12, 2016) - Frank Merenda, President and co-founder of Venator FC, released a statement today:
"We signed a contract with Jason Miller after long reflections with his coach and manager. It was never a decision taken lightly.
"The offenses to justice of Miller fall in the "fines" section, and at the present time there are no serious charges against him. But above all, the problems with the justice of Jason Miller began AFTER his retirement from MMA and we believe that his return to activity can help him greatly with his path to redemption.
"As president of Venator FC I have no intention of taking away his opportunity because Miller was stopped for driving under the influence. As driving under the influence has to be condemned strongly and it's just fair that Miller pays his fine, I would be personally curious to know how many of the "saints" journalists and Miller's haters have never drunk a couple of beers before leaving home.
"Be fined does not make Miller a criminal to my eyes. I will not cancel any match for this reason.
"Indeed, I find it absolutely disgusting the some press rage against a person who is working hard in the gym to get back doing what he loves: Fighting in the cage.
"For all the poor idiots who continue to speak of the mental condition of Miller. Miller is a born actor. These days he's proving his qualities with never ending jokes on the internet and twitter. He was not "drunk" when he said Josh Barnett instead of Luke Barnatt. He is just doing with great skills his PR job, above all with no trash talk and without offending anyone as it's quite normal in modern MMA, but with subtle irony, playing the character of "mental devastated" that every stupid in this world lightly gives to him without actually knowing him.
"Jason Miller is not a saint. We do not defend what he has done wrong in the past. But we are happy and honored to give him the chance he deserves to show how the MMA can be a vehicle for the rebirth of a person.
"For all who would like to see him alone and abandoned by everyone, I only have one word for you: be ashamed of yourself. I believe in Jason Miller. I'll give this guy his chance."
I only have a one word rebuttal to what I've just read: Absolutely incredible and unforgettable moment in PR history. This will be up in the press release Hall of Fame, assuming such a thing exists.
The last thing worth noting out of this tale is Merenda's subsequent behavior on Twitter. I present this without comment.