Fearfully fearless, Jason Ellis remains ‘Still Awesome’
Shattered wrists, a broken hand, broken arms, dislocated shoulders, a snapped-off tailbone, torn ACLs, torn MCLs, broken feet, a broken ankle, 20 knockouts, a compound fracture, no PCLs, and no meniscus. It’s all worse when you’re younger, right? Then you just get used to it. That’s according to Jason Ellis, anyway.
The 48-year old Melbourne, Australia native is most famously known for his role as a radio host on The Jason Ellis Show as well as a former professional skateboarder. However, he’s truly a modern-day renaissance man. Although, he may surely make the argument that he lacks the proper talent required to be classified as such.
Ellis began his adulthood with the aspiration of becoming a pro skateboarder which was a status that he quickly achieved. As would be the case for his life and goals that followed, he’s been able to do anything he sets his mind to. That has, however, been to varying degrees of success as alluded to in the opening paragraph.
From singing in his hilariously named band Taintstick to some small acting roles like in Paul Blart: Mall Cop, the man of many nicknames is always up for getting himself into some kind of new activity. And he has a very simple reason as to why.
“Because I’m gonna die,” Ellis told The Body Lock, “I don’t want to not try … I mean, I don’t know, if something just sounds absolutely horrific and doesn’t seem like I’m gonna get anything out of it then I don’t think I need to try that. But pretty much everything else is on the list. I want to do stuff, I want to know. I feel like until you do it, you don’t really know. Especially when you’re a guy that doesn’t read a lot of books. I gotta get in there. Let me see what’s up with it. Because sometimes I might think something sucks until I do it.
“I just try to experience life, man. I’m really trying to get in there. My little brother passed away when he was 24 and I’ve just felt like since then I’ve seen all the things that he wanted to do. He would have loved to have come to America and seen the things that I’ve seen. So I just always say yes to stuff and do things. Why not?”
The answer to the “why” is essentially that final two-word question. Life is made up of experiences and the more one has, the more life they have. As a sponge soaks up water, “Shark Heart” absorbs various actualities. Sometimes that process isn’t the most physically pleasant either.
Apathetically anticipating his next knee surgery due to the recovery time that will lead to being temporarily fat and lazy thanks to good ole father time, his words, not mine, most of Ellis’ endeavors have involved putting his body and mind up against the extreme. For example, going toe to toe with a one-armed former UFC heavyweight interim champion Shane Carwin. And whether it’s one arm or no arms at all, that’s a horrifying task to try and overcome – fighter or not.
The boxing match with Carwin took place in 2016 and saw Ellis inevitably knocked out by the Coloradoan brute. But from the concept’s birth, the Aussie saw the entertainment factor in it all which was more than enough. He never stood a chance – whether it was play fighting or not. And don’t get it twisted, Ellis expected a play fight with the man who he considers a friend. Unfortunately for him, Carwin looked to turn the clock back to 2010 when he was leaving the likes of Frank Mir and Gabriel Gonzaga wide-eyed on the UFC canvas.
Regardless, Ellis had no regrets. Well, in the build-up that is.
In terms of the relationship he had with the combat sports world, it dates further back as in 2009, around the time Carwin happened to be on top, Ellis decided it was time to really test himself. So that meant getting himself ready for the toughest sport he could possibly attempt.
Ellis’ professional MMA debut was a lot like former pro wrestling star Phil “CM Punk” Brooks’ which came a matter of years later. They were both celebrities from another athletic world entering in right out the gate with zero amateur experience. The biggest difference is that Ellis would not jump right into the major leagues and end up coming out embarrassed.
A second-round guillotine choke was what got his hand raised and it wouldn’t be until eight years later where he stepped foot back inside a cage to compete.
“It was a little bit of an accident, the first one,” Ellis reflected, “I was training and I had befriended the pros at Team Quest and so I got a little bit by the bug and a few people were like ‘You should have a fight’ and I was like, ‘I should, huh?’ Looking back on it, I don’t think it was the greatest idea. I did not have that much knowledge of the game. But I just wanted the test. It just sounded so terrifying to me and I was retiring from being a pro skateboarder.
“That seemed like such a challenge that it was to kind of fill the gap of not being the skateboarder guy that I thought I was my whole life. So I mean, I was very fortunate I had Ryan Parsons, [Muhammad] ‘King Mo’ Lawal, and Jason ‘Mayhem’ Miller in my corner. I was the most spoiled person. No amateur fights, just one pro fight like it was … It was, you know, I think I was in shock for pretty much the first round. And then I was able to pull that win out but it was just one of those … It was almost like a Make-A-Wish thing.” he laughed.
Among the titles that Ellis claims to his name is also “author.” His third book released on Dec. 10 and is called Still Awesome: The Trials and Tribulations of an Egotistical Maniac.
To kick things off, the readings start with the details of his experience during and after his first fight. What sucked the most for the Hollywood resident was the weight cut he was forced to endure. Or as he referred to it; the starvation. That was the biggest difference between his two bouts.
“That was the first time I ever cut weight and I was with a boxing trainer and he was like, ‘You’re not cutting weight, you’re dieting. You don’t have a wrestling background, if you cut weight, you’ll be destroyed the next day,'” he shared, “So I agreed to it and it was a really hardcore, not like Dolce Diet, it was … I was starving, man. Because I made weight the next time almost 10 years later and it was so easy. I’m like, ‘Fuck, man. Why didn’t I do it like this?'”
For Ellis, having gone through MMA in the two fights that he has had, it unsurprisingly gave him all-new respect for the athletes that compete within its walls. In trying it himself, he never looked to cut any corners – no matter how hard he may have unintentionally had others try to help him out more than your average rookie.
“I thought this [second] time I feel like I have enough knowledge to at least know how I won or how I lost and it was time,” he expressed, “I didn’t know how far this was gonna go. I actually thought when I signed to King of the Cage I kind of planned on having maybe three or four fights.
“Then they gave me guys’ tape. Once again, frickin royal treatment like they’re giving me tape on guys like, ‘What about these two guys?’ and I’m like, ‘These two guys can’t fight.’ He’s like, ‘I know it’ll be a highlight reel!’ I’m not here to do that. I just want my coach to go; ‘If you win this that’s a real achievement to you.’ Then that’s a good fight for me. It’s like this is a really tough fight. So I picked the guy where my coach said ‘if you fucking win this, dude, you should be proud of yourself.’ And then it went horribly wrong and I still managed to win and because I think it went so bad and I managed to still keep going then the need to do it again really died off because I just wanted to know if I could handle it, you know? If I got in real trouble would I shell up or will I keep trying? I don’t need to be tested any more than I got tested that night. That was pretty close to being knocked out.”
At this point in his life, the whole idea of fighting in MMA again is likely behind him unless something he can’t say no to pops up. Whether that’s just enough self-belief in being able to beat an opponent or if it would be a guaranteed entertainment session. Because the negative to being involved with as much as he is overall, it doesn’t just impact him but everything orbiting the world of Ellis.
He’s still down for throwing hands in the ring though. At his most recent Ellismania event, Ellismania 19, he even scored a nice TKO victory.
Like for a lot of fighters, fighting is their way of life, of course, but it also can act as an outlet – a form of therapy. Because generally, it takes a lot to be a fighter and many, to put it bluntly, have seen their fair shares of shit.
Every day, Jason Ellis gets in front of a microphone and speaks, that’s what he does. And having done it for as long as he has, it’s allowed those who listen to really get to know him as well as him to himself. Thus leading to the creation of several books now.
In 2016, the Aussie revealed himself to be bisexual. Something that was seemingly one of the few secrets he had left to have shared as a public figure.
“The first book is about my childhood and my life and then the second one was just the book [people] – because we had a New York Times bestseller – they just wanted us to make another book,” Ellis detailed. “And so we made a joke book on how to be awesome, which is, it was really … like, how to shave your back and neck hair, and shit. It’s pretty stupid. But since then, I got a divorce and I met somebody else and sort of came out when it came to my sexuality. There was a lot more that I didn’t know about myself that I was into.
“I’ve really hidden it my whole life because I wasn’t sure what it was and I was definitely pretty sure that I didn’t think anyone else wanted to know about that. And then my wife was okay with it and her friends knew about it. I was like, man, why am I hiding being bi? Like, what’s the big … what is that? It’s bad to be gay or half gay or quarter gay, I don’t … what? And then sometimes it would bother me to think that I’m hiding it because I talk all this shit on the radio. Like, I’m not scared to talk about everything that happens in my life. But you know that there’s this one thing that you’re you’re hiding. So I just thought ‘die by the sword.’ Fuck it. I’m just gonna tell people.”
Out of all the difficult things Ellis has done, perhaps for many others if they were in his position, the most difficult would have been coming out publicly. Yet he attacked it head-on as he does with everything else. And hopefully, no injuries are involved with any of those stories … but we’ll just have to read the new book to find out.
In the end, it comes down to helping oneself while being able to help others if possible.
“I went on the [Howard] Stern show and talked about it and then that felt good,” he recollected, “And then people messaged me that were in my position that were hiding, and said what a big deal it was to them that I talked about it. So then it was just on after that. I just thought I don’t really care about what anybody else thinks now. I only want to help these people that think that they’re so bad for doing some of the things that, you know, it’s just who you are.
“I’m a big supporter of the gay and lesbian community and the bi and pansexual, whatever you want to label everybody. I just feel like if you are that, if it’s consensual adults, I fail to see the problem here and I feel like anybody that is the same as me should not hide it. So I do kind of rub it in everybody’s faces and that – my friend who helped me co-write the book, Michael Tully, he was like, ‘What you’re doing, the stories, the life that you live, I don’t think a lot of people know that even happens.’ Because I didn’t know. And I was the guy that in the first book, I’ve been very fortunate in things with my pants off. Lots of girls, all kinds of everybody’s naked parties. The guys, they do some crazy stuff and I felt like it’d be fun for other people to know that and it also might help some people.
“So this one is it’s ‘Still Awesome,’ it’s a bit sarcastic in the first place, but this one can be debatable for sure. But that’s my life. I’m not hidin’ it.”
As time goes on, the ink collector isn’t getting any younger and he feels that, physically. So while he still plans to box every now and again, the next thing on his list looks to be stand up comedy. Which, shouldn’t be all too hard for a professional talker to get into – punchy or not.
Jason Ellis has become a jack of all trades, living fearfully in the moments of whatever wild idea he comes up with next. But at the same time, being so fearless when it comes to getting there.
As he keeps crawling out onto the other side, it’s just another experience gained and another story to add to a long winding tale.
Jason’s new book can be purchased at JasonEllisBook.com.