Inaugural UFC welterweight (then called lightweight) champion and UFC Hall of Famer Pat Miletich wrote the blueprint for MMA - to reach the highest level, you have to be able to hang in the gym with national- kickboxers, BJJ players, and wrestlers.
Miletich is as well arguably the greatest coach in MMA history. In 2003, MFS fighter Tim Sylvia was the UFC heavyweight champ, MFS fighter Matt Hughes was the UFC welterweight champ, and Jens Pulver was coming off a successful title defense vs. B.J. Penn and might well have been the UFC lightweight champ, but was stripped over a contract dispute. And there were only five weight divisions at the time. Miletich, now 51, has not fought since 2008, but for years has been competing in ultramarathons and does an S&C routine that would crush the average CrossFit gym owner.
Michael Nunn was once considered the pound-for-pound best boxer in the world. Nunn, 57, and has not boxed since 2002. The bad news is he just served 15 years on Federal cocaine trafficking charges. The good news is there was little to do in lockup but exercise.
Now the two will fight, on a card promoted by yet another legend, Monte Cox, who managed the MFS team and has promoted more MMA events than anyone in history. The "Clash of Legends" main event will be held under kickboxing rules, a compromise between their respective skillsets. The event experienced multiple delays, due to licensing issues and the COVID-19 global pandemic. It's happening on Saturday, July 18, in an outdoor setting at the Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds in Davenport, Iowa.
The card is a mix of kickboxing and boxing events. It also features MMA vets Jeremy Castro, Ramiro “Junior’’ Hernandez, and the great Jeremy Horn, each of who will be making their professional boxing debuts.
You can watch it via online PPV at DoneRight.tv. Starts at 7:00 pm ET.
Also on the card are long-time MMA competitors Jeremy Horn of Sandy, Utah, of Davenport, all of whom will be competing for the first time as professional boxers.
In the main event of Quad-Cities’ fighting event of the decade, UFC Hall of Famer Pat Miletich, who had been 25-0 as a kick-boxer, got in several good kicks, including one that swept former boxing P4P #1 Michael Nunn’s feet out from under him in Round 3, but Nunn’s fists ultimately earned him a Split Decision in the 4-round fight (37-39, 39-37 and 40-36). Nunn hadn’t fought in 6.751 days, due to incarceration for narcotics trafficking.
“I looked like a catcher’s mitt,’’ said Miletich post-fight.
Nunn thought it was a 6 rounder, and was surprised when it was called in 4.
“I knew I had two more rounds in me but they said it was over,’’ he said. “I’m going against a guy who runs 26 miles all the time so I knew I had to be in condition. I knew this was going to be his last fight in his hometown so I knew I had to lay it on the line so I got myself in top condition.’’
Int the opener, Liberty’s Roberto Negrete scored a unanimous decision over Chicago’s Daniel Buenaventura to extend his professional record to 3-0.
Iowa Golden Gloves champion Mitchell Leconte of Cedar Rapids then battered Des Moines’ Tony Crowder for two rounds in his pro debut, dropping Crowder four times with body shots before Crowder quit.
Then Cedar Rapids’ Devoniere Jackson won a decision over Ryan Rutherford in a kick boxing match and Minneapolis’ Terrance Walker scored a bloody second-round TKO of Davenport’s Ryan Antle III.
Pachino Hill dominated East Moline’s Will Omar, earning a second-round TKO. Veteran boxer Jason Medina of Moline won his kick-boxing debut with a split decision over Sean Huffman of Knoxville, Tenn.
Jeremy Horn, 44, and a veteran of 118 MMA fights, registere
h/t d a third-round TKO of 50-year-old Marty Lindquist.
Junior Hernandez of Bettendorf decisioned Jeremy Castro of Clinton in a clash of MMA vets making their boxing debuts.
Next, former boxer Mike "The Assassin" Lundquist got into the ring and proposed to his girlfriend, Megan Emory, and got the right decision.
Donovan Dennis then out Anthony Williams.
A bad blood match between Davenport’s Stephen Edwards and Fred Thomas followed and was remarkably close given their respective records, 12-1-1 and 1-18-3, respectively. After the win, the pair walked around the ring arm in arm, and Edwards took the mic to declare that the two settled their differences the right way.
“In the Quad-Cities, we’ve just got too much violence going on right now,’’ said Edwards.
As dictated by COVID-19 restrictions, chairs were in groups of 10 or less, with the clusters at least six feet apart. Attendance was estimated at 3,500. Miletich vs. Nunn: Clash of Legends is believed to be only the third professional boxing card with fans in attendance since the pandemic began.