Pat Miletich is putting the gloves back on.
Miletich is a legend of the MMA. He was the UFC’s first welterweight champion and is a member of the UFC Hall of Fame. Alongside legends like Ken Shamrock and Royce Gracie, he set the gold standard for the sport in the late ’90s.
In his 10 UFC appearances, “The Croatian Sensation” compiled an 8-2 professional record, and won the UFC 16 tournament in 1998. That same year, he claimed the 170-pound championship belt. His activity slowed after losing the belt, but his presence in the sport was still known as an MMA commentator. He also became the head coach of Miletich Fighting Systems (MFS), the training home of multiple UFC champions.
Miletich has tallied a long list of MMA achievements, but the 52-year old isn’t done. According to longtime MMA promoter and manager Monte Cox, Miletich will fight one last time after the coronavirus pandemic calms down.
“You’ve probably heard rumors of this, but Pat Miletich is going to fight again. He’s fighting Michael Nunn, a great boxer. It’s an incredible (fight). This thing will draw. We could draw 7,000-plus in the Quad Cities. They are the two greatest professional athletes or fighters out of that area.”
Instead of fighting in the Octagon, Miletich is targeted for a bout against former boxing champion, Michael Nunn under kickboxing rules. The former welterweight champion has been retired for over a decade, but Nunn’s career was put on hold due to his prison stay.
“Michael has been in prison,” Cox said. “He just got out six months ago. It was a cocaine thing. The feds set him up to buy a kilo of cocaine for 100 bucks. It’s just ridiculous… It was entrapment at its best. But anyway, what he did when he went to prison was he took all the people who came in overweight and didn’t know about nutrition. (He) taught them how to get back in shape, eat right, and put them through workouts and stuff. He really did good.”
Nunn won the IBF middleweight title in July 1988 when he knocked out Frank Tate. He defended his title five times before losing to James Toney in May 1991. He would also go on to hold the WBA super-middleweight title from 1992 to 1994. During both reigns, he also held the lineal championship. Despite his prison sentence, Cox described the former champion as a “good guy” who used to be a pound-for-pound star.
“He’s a good guy. I know him really well. I traveled with him all over the world when he was fighting,” he said of the Miletich foe. “At one time, he was pound-for-pound the best boxer in the world at 35-0. He was untouchable.”
Both athletes have achieved great careers in their respective combat sports. Which fighting legend do you think will take the win in this upcoming showdown? Pat Miletich or Michael Nunn?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 4/24/2020.