Inaugural UFC welterweight (then called lightweight at the) 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 who was coming off a successful title defense vs. B.J. Penn 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, 56, 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. "Clash of Legends" will be held under kickboxing rules, a compromise between their respective skillsets. It's happening on Saturday, July 18, in an outdoor setting at the Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds in Davenport, Iowa. The event experienced multiple delays, due to licensing issues and the COVID-19 global pandemic.
“We’re going to put on a good show for the community,’’ said Cox to Don Doxsie for the GQ Times. “We need something like this right about now to kind of bring the community together. ... It has been decades since I had something where everybody I ever knew was calling me for tickets."
The Croatian Sensation concurs.
“I think it’s going to be a very fun atmosphere because a lot of young and very talented guys are going to be on the undercard who need a chance to be on something that’s going to be seen by a lot of people,’’ said Miletich.
Nunn, now 57, is confident.
“The most important thing is that we’re going to be able to make it happen,’’ he said. “It’s no big deal [to fight outdoors]. It’s not like I never fought outside before. To be honest, as long as the weather is great, I think it will be good.’ It’s just all part of the struggle in this thing called life … One day things may be going great and the next day it’s all turned upside down, but you’ve still got to deal with it.’’
“I’ve been training through it all. It’s been hard. It’s been rough because there’s only so much you can do … I’ll do the things I need to do to carry me to victory. I’ll be in great shape. I’ll be ready to go. You can believe that.’’
The event will have a custom set-up that could under ordinary circumstances accommodate up to 12,000 spectators. If Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds hasn't lifted 50% capacity restrictions by June 17, it will still seat up to 6,000. In the case of inclement weather, there is an indoor option that seats 3,000, and a tent may be possible.
Bottom line, get your tickets now!