In a ceremony today at the UFC Fan Expo, Pat Miletich became the 12th inductee into the UFC Hall of Fame. Miletich was joined onstage by fellow Hall of Famer and former training partner, Matt Hughes. He was introduced by UFC president Dana White.
It seemed like Miletich would never get this chance as he had a standing feud with White that stemmed from “The Croatian Sensation” being passed over for a coaching stint for the third season of The Ultimate Fighter.
Miletich made his UFC debut in 1998 and won the UF C 16 welterweight tournament, beating Townsend Saunders and Chris Brennan in the same night. Then at UFC 17.5, Miletich defeated Mikey Burnett to become the first ever UFC champion at 170 pounds.
Miletich defended the championship on four occasions before losing the belt to Carlos Newton in 2001. His last UFC fight occurred in 2002 before focusing on training fighters. He created Miletich Fighting Systems, which produced a number of future stars like Hughes, Robbie Lawler, Jens Pulver, Tim Sylvia and others.
Miletich was honored to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.
I’m very humbled by the way Dana’s handled this,” said Miletich. “It’s impressive.
“There was a time when this sport had one foot in the grace and another on a banana peel. You have to give (Zuffa) credit. I’ve had a great life, great friends, and I’m very honored to be here.”