Pat Miletich

Patrick Jay Miletich (/ˈmɪlətɪ/; born March 9, 1966) is a retired American mixed martial artist and former sports commentator. He is known for his fights in the Ultimate Fighting Championship, where he became the first UFC Welterweight Champion and UFC 16 Welterweight Tournament Winner. Miletich is also known as a highly successful trainer and coach, having founded Miletich Fighting Systems. This camp is considered one of the most successful in MMA history and has produced several world champions.[2] On July 6, 2014, he was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame.[3]

Pat Miletich
BornPatrick Jay Miletich
(1966-03-09) March 9, 1966 (age 56)
Davenport, Iowa, U.S.
Other namesThe Croatian Sensation
Height5 ft 10 in (178 cm)
Weight169 lb (77 kg; 12.1 st)
StyleBrazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Boxing, Karate, Wrestling
Fighting out ofBettendorf, Iowa, U.S.
TeamMiletich Fighting Systems
Rank3rd Degree Black Belt in Shuri-ryū Karate
3rd Degree Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Oswaldo Alves[1]
Years active1995–2002, 2006, 2008 (MMA)
1999 (Boxing)
Professional boxing record
Mixed martial arts record
By knockout7
By submission16
By decision6
By knockout3
By submission3
By decision1
Other information
Boxing record from BoxRec
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog

Early lifeEdit

Miletich, the youngest of five children, was born in Davenport, Iowa, to second generation Croatian immigrant parents.[4][5] Two of his brothers are deceased. Miletich started wrestling at the age of five, continuing at Bettendorf High School.[5] Miletich also played high school football in Bettendorf Bulldogs and was an All-State nose guard in his senior year.[6] As a senior in 1983-84, Miletich shared the Bettendorf High School wrestling room with future MMA champion Mark Kerr, who was a freshman just beginning his wrestling career. He said he wanted to be a world champion in something and wrestling was something he was good at. Although Miletich originally planned to pursue football after graduating high school, he eventually chose to wrestle in junior college.[6] When his mother developed heart problems, he left school to care for her. Miletich has stated in past interviews that he actually began fighting to help pay her bills.[7][8]

Mixed martial arts careerEdit

Early careerEdit

Miletich started his MMA training at 26.[6] Before this, Miletich trained at Tarpein's Dojo in, Davenport, IA[9] with Grand Master Nick Tarpein, where he learned much of what he knows about karate, and was introduced to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu for the very first time.[6] With Miletich's wrestling background, Jiu-Jitsu came naturally to him. When Miletich coupled BJJ with his strong foundation in boxing/karate, he realized where his fighting career should go; MMA. After learning the foundations of BJJ in Tarpein's Dojo, Miletich decided to branch out and learn BJJ full-time. A friend from Chicago got him into a Renzo Gracie seminar.

After training in jiu-jitsu for a year, the same friend then got him into the Battle of the Masters, an MMA tournament held in Chicago in 1995.[6] Miletich continued fighting at smaller events and enjoyed success. He was undefeated through 15 fights before losing to Matt Hume.

Ultimate Fighting ChampionshipEdit

Three fights later Miletich fought in UFC 16 and won the first UFC Welterweight tournament.

Welterweight championEdit

At UFC 17.5: Ultimate Brazil, Miletich defeated Mikey Burnett to become the first UFC Welterweight Champion. In his fifth title defense at UFC 31 he suffered his first UFC loss as he lost the championship to Carlos Newton by submission. According to Miletich, he had a rematch clause in his contract but it was bypassed by the organization as Miletich's camp already had multiple high-ranked fighters in the welterweight division.[10]

His next fight was a KO win over Shonie Carter at UFC 32.

Move up to middleweightEdit

After the fight with Carter, Miletich moved up to the Middleweight division. This was also partly due to encouragement by UFC management and because his teammate, Matt Hughes, defeated Carlos Newton to win the UFC Welterweight Championship.[10] Miletich returned to fight at his new weight at UFC 36, but quickly lost to Matt Lindland. Miletich decided to take some time away from professional fighting and recover from numerous chronic injuries. Miletich was scheduled to fight Frank Trigg at WFA 3 but pulled out due to injury. He returned in September 2006 to fight Renzo Gracie in an IFL superfight, and submitted to a guillotine choke in the first round. Miletich spoke briefly after the fight about re-aggravating his old neck injury before the Gracie fight. Miletich's last fight was in December 2008 where he scored a second-round KO over Thomas Denny that was televised on the HDNet network.

Over a decade since his last mixed martial arts bout, Miletich was originally scheduled to face Michael Nunn in a kickboxing match on April 18, 2020. However, the bout was rescheduled to July 18, 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[11] Miletich lost to Nunn via split decision.[12]

Fighter coachingEdit

Miletich founded Miletich Fighting Systems, a mixed martial arts academy in his hometown of Bettendorf, Iowa. MFS has trained over 90 televised fighters and 11 MMA world champions, including former two-time UFC Welterweight Champion and UFC Hall of Famer Matt Hughes, former two-time UFC Heavyweight Champion Tim Sylvia, former UFC Lightweight Champion Jens Pulver, and former EliteXC Middleweight Champion and former UFC Welterweight Champion Robbie Lawler.[13]

Law enforcement/military trainingEdit

For over 15 years Miletich has trained local, state, and federal law-enforcement officers and military groups from all service branches, including special-operations groups attached to those branches. He has also written and designed defensive tactics and combatives courses for other combatives companies.[14]

Miletich is also the co-founder of Fire Horse combatives which trains LEO and military personnel.[14]

Miletich was the primary subject matter of L. Jon Wertheim's "Blood in the Cage: Mixed Martial Arts, Pat Miletich, and the Furious Rise of the UFC", which detailed Miletich's biography and his fighting camp (Miletich Fighting Systems).


Miletich speaking at St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa.

Miletich began providing color commentary for Strikeforce on April 11, 2009, for its debut on Showtime and did so regularly until that promotion's demise in 2012.

Miletich was color commentary for ESPN's MMA Live and Legacy Fighting Alliance on UFC Fight Pass. On January 12, 2021 Pat Miletich was fired from his commentary position at Legacy Fighting Alliance for being present in Washington D.C. at the 2021 storming of the United States Capitol, although he had no involvement.[15]

Personal lifeEdit

Miletich is married and has three daughters.[16] He is a Freemason.[17][18]

Miletich was arrested on June 29, 2020, in Moline, Illinois and was charged with DUI. This was Miletich's second DUI arrest, his first coming in September 2018, a charge to which he pleaded guilty in March 2019.[19]

Championships and accomplishmentsEdit

Mixed martial arts recordEdit

Professional record breakdown
38 matches 29 wins 7 losses
By knockout 7 3
By submission 16 3
By decision 6 1
Draws 2
Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Win 29–7–2 Thomas Denny KO (punches) Adrenaline MMA 2 December 11, 2008 2 0:50 Moline, Illinois, United States
Loss 28–7–2 Renzo Gracie Submission (guillotine choke) IFL 9 September 23, 2006 1 3:37 Moline, Illinois, United States
Loss 28–6–2 Matt Lindland TKO (punches) UFC 36 March 22, 2002 1 3:09 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Middleweight bout.
Win 28–5–2 Shonie Carter KO (head kick) UFC 32 June 29, 2001 2 2:42 East Rutherford, New Jersey, United States
Loss 27–5–2 Carlos Newton Submission (bulldog choke) UFC 31 May 4, 2001 3 2:50 Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States Lost the UFC Welterweight Championship.
Win 27–4–2 Kenichi Yamamoto Submission (guillotine choke) UFC 29 December 16, 2000 2 1:58 Tokyo, Japan Defended the UFC Welterweight Championship.
Loss 26–4–2 Kiyoshi Tamura Decision (majority) Rings: Millennium Combine 3 August 23, 2000 2 5:00 Yokohama, Japan
Win 26–3–2 John Alessio Submission (armbar) UFC 26 June 9, 2000 2 1:43 Cedar Rapids, Iowa, United States Defended the UFC Welterweight Championship.
Loss 25–3–2 José Landi-Jons TKO (corner stoppage) WEF 8 - Goin' Platinum January 15, 2000 1 8:00 Rome, Georgia, United States Catchweight (175 lb) bout.
Win 25–2–2 Shonie Carter Decision (unanimous) Extreme Challenge 27 August 21, 1999 1 20:00 Davenport, Iowa, United States
Win 24–2–2 André Pederneiras TKO (doctor stoppage) UFC 21 July 16, 1999 2 2:20 Cedar Rapids, Iowa, United States Defended the UFC Welterweight Championship.
Win 23–2–2 Clayton Miller Submission (triangle choke) Cage Combat 2 May 30, 1999 1 0:40 Ottumwa, Iowa, United States
Loss 22–2–2 Jutaro Nakao Technical Submission (triangle choke) SuperBrawl 11 February 2, 1999 1 9:22 Honolulu, Hawaii, United States Lightweight bout.
Win 22–1–2 Jorge Patino Decision (unanimous) UFC 18 January 8, 1999 1 21:00 New Orleans, Louisiana, United States Defended the UFC Welterweight Championship.
Win 21–1–2 Mikey Burnett Decision (split) UFC Brazil October 16, 1998 1 21:00 São Paulo, Brazil Won the inaugural UFC Welterweight Championship.
Draw 20–1–2 Dan Severn Draw Extreme Challenge 20 August 22, 1998 1 20:00 Davenport, Iowa, United States
Win 20–1–1 Al Buck, Jr. Submission (choke) Midwest Shootfighting 1 June 27, 1998 2 2:49 Clinton, Iowa, United States
Win 19–1–1 Chris Brennan Submission (shoulder choke) UFC 16 March 13, 1998 1 9:02 New Orleans, Louisiana, United States UFC 16 Welterweight Tournament Winner.
Win 18–1–1 Townsend Saunders Decision (split) 1 15:00
Win 17–1–1 Chris Brennan Decision (unanimous) EC - Extreme Challenge Trials November 15, 1997 1 10:00 Davenport, Iowa, United States
Draw 16–1–1 Chris Brennan Draw (majority) Extreme Challenge 9 August 30, 1997 1 20:00 Davenport, Iowa, United States
Win 16–1 Chuck Kim Submission (rear-naked choke) Extreme Challenge 7 June 25, 1997 1 10:46 Council Bluffs, Iowa, United States
Loss 15–1 Matt Hume TKO (doctor stoppage) Extreme Fighting 4 March 28, 1997 1 5:00 Des Moines, Iowa, United States
Win 15–0 Chad Cox TKO (submission to punch) Extreme Challenge 3 February 15, 1997 1 1:48 Davenport, Iowa, United States
Win 14–0 Paul Kimbro Submission (armbar) Extreme Challenge 2 February 1, 1997 1 5:13 Des Moines, Iowa, United States
Win 13–0 Jason Nicholson Decision (unanimous) SuperBrawl 3 January 17, 1997 1 15:00 Honolulu, Hawaii, United States
Win 12–0 Earl Loucks Submission (americana) Extreme Challenge 1 November 23, 1996 1 7:00 Des Moines, Iowa, United States
Win 11–0 Pat Assalone Submission (armbar) Brawl at the Ballpark 1 September 1, 1996 1 4:01 Davenport, Iowa, United States
Win 10–0 Matt Andersen TKO (submission to punches) Gladiators 1 July 26, 1996 1 5:21 Davenport, Iowa, United States
Win 9–0 Yasunori Matsumoto TKO (doctor stoppage) QCU 2 May 11, 1996 1 15:53 Moline, Illinois, United States
Win 8–0 Andrey Dudko Submission (rear-naked choke) BOTM 2 February 10, 1996 1 2:49 Illinois, United States
Win 7–0 Bob Gholson KO (punches) 1 2:20
Win 6–0 Rick Graveson Submission (rear-naked choke) 1 0:46
Win 5–0 Rick Graveson Submission (rear-naked choke) QCU 1 January 20, 1996 1 1:53 Moline, Illinois, United States
Win 4–0 Ed McLennan Submission (armbar) 1 1:28
Win 3–0 Kevin Marino Submission (rear-naked choke) BOTM 1 October 28, 1995 1 3:49 Chicago, Illinois, United States
Win 2–0 Angelo Rivera Submission (rear-naked choke) 1 1:40
Win 1–0 Yasunori Matsumoto Submission (rear-naked choke) 1 7:40

Professional boxing recordEdit

1 fight 1 win 0 losses
By decision 1 0
No. Result Record Opponent Method Round, time Date Location Notes
1 Win 1–0   Donald Tucker UD 4 Jan 20, 1999   Lady Luck Casino, Davenport, Iowa, U.S.


  1. ^ "Interview with Oswaldo Alves". September 7, 2004.
  2. ^ "What It Was Like to Spar At Miletich Fighting Systems Back in the Glory Days - Part 1". Fightland. Retrieved 12 July 2015.
  3. ^ "Pat Miletich Inducted Into the UFC Hall of Fame". Cage Pages. 6 July 2014. Retrieved 12 July 2015.
  4. ^ "Pat Miletich". Sports Pundit. Retrieved 2019-08-24.
  5. ^ a b Mike Simpson (March 4, 2019). "MOTW #7: Pat Miletich" (Podcast).
  6. ^ a b c d e "RFA 10: Pat Miletich to Receive Lifetime Achievement Award". October 11, 2013.
  7. ^ Sariahmed, Lotfi (2007-07-17). "411Mania Exclusive Interview with Pat Miletich". Archived from the original on 2008-06-26. Retrieved 2009-01-20.
  8. ^ Fowlkes, Ben (2011-01-16). "My First Fight: Pat Miletich". Retrieved 2011-02-11.
  9. ^
  10. ^ a b Joe Rogan (March 22, 2018). "JRE MMA Show #18 with Pat Miletich" (Podcast).
  11. ^ Nolan King (June 10, 2020). "Pat Miletich, Michael Nunn set for July showdown – and it's happening outdoors".
  12. ^ Doxsie, Don. "Nunn prevails in steamy Clash of Legends". The Quad-City Times. Retrieved 2020-07-19.
  13. ^ Chuck Mindenhall (March 13, 2014). "The Eagles of Bettendorf".
  14. ^ a b "EP 96: Pat Miletich, Richard Perez, Coach Wink, Damien Brown + UFC Utah" (Podcast). August 7, 2016.
  15. ^ Raimondi, Marc (12 January 2021). "UFC Hall of Famer Pat Miletich says he lost job for being at riot". ESPN. Retrieved 12 January 2021.
  16. ^ Helwani, Ariel (21 October 2013). "The MMA Hour with Rousimar Palhares, Mark Munoz, Pat Miletich, Jon Fitch, Javier Mendez, Garry Cook, Dave Meltzer". MMA Fighting. Retrieved 12 July 2015.
  17. ^ Daniels, Steph (14 March 2013). "Pat Miletich on GSP/Diaz, politics, Fallon Fox and more". Bloody Elbow. Retrieved 12 July 2015.
  18. ^ "Freemasons Victoria". Archived from the original on 2013-09-11.
  19. ^ Damon Martin (July 6, 2020). "UFC Hall of Famer Pat Miletich arrested on DUI charges in Illinois". Retrieved July 6, 2020.
  20. ^ "Imagining an MMA Hall of Fame: Best of the Rest". Sherdog. Retrieved 12 July 2015.
  21. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-07-11. Retrieved 2014-06-04.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External linksEdit

Preceded by UFC 16 Lightweight Tournament winner
March 13, 1998
Succeeded by
New championship 1st UFC Welterweight Champion
October 16, 1998 - May 4, 2001
Succeeded by