by Luke Henaghan
In a strange but definitely interesting turn of events it has emerged that Luke Barnatt - newly crowned champion of Italian promotion Venator FC, will be defending his title against none other than Jason “Mayhem” Miller.
Miller has been absent from the sport of MMA since his release from the UFC back in 2012 following back to back losses against Michael Bisping and CB Dollaway, and since then has made headlines for all of the wrong reasons due to several run ins with the law. Despite this, Mayhem has remained a fan favourite and his relentlessly energetic and likeable personality alone is enough to have earned himself a soft spot in the hearts of most MMA fans. Not that he needs it, as his long and storied career has seen him achieve wins over the likes of Sakuraba, Tim Kennedy and Robbie Lawler.
Luke Barnatt’s run in the UFC following the Ultimate Fighter was rather unforgiving. Following very impressive performances in his first two fights in which he achieved back to back stoppages, many saw him as one of the most promising young UK talents in the UFC. However following three consecutive decision losses (two of which were split decisions), Barnatt was controversially released from the UFC.
For Luke, a win over a truly world class veteran like Miller would really help him build a strong case to justify being re-signed to the UFC. If he can get through Mayhem and defend his Venator belt a couple more times, he may just get the attention of the UFC brass and pick up where he left off in the world’s top organisation.
For Mayhem, well… I think Mayhem’s just genuinely happy to be fighting someone.