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Egg Shen

The 'Today I Learned...' MMA Thread

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That some question whether Pat Miletich was ever a world-class fighter in his own right.

From the MMA Encyclopedia book:

Quote

Pat Miletich was a fine fighter and a brilliant trainer. Pat Miletich, despite revisionist history courtesy of L. Jon Wertheim's Blood in the Cage, was not the top fighter of his generation. In fact, he was never even close. He preyed on local fighters for promoter Monte Cox's Extreme Challenge and beat some pretty good fighters in the UFC. But every time Miletiech fought a world-class opponent, he failed. 

 

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Not quite sure I buy into that if I'm honest.

He did lose a few fights on the bounce later in his career, such as Carlos Newton, Matt Lindland and Renzo Gracie, but he was 35 when he fought Newton, and 40 when he fought Gracie, which may not seem all that old in todays MMA game, but back then it was. He'd fought almost 40 times by the time he fought Lindland in 2002, and been fighting for only 7 years, which is mental.

He fought his last two fights after a break of 4 years away from the cage, with two years in between them, but before that he fought 36 times in 7 years, which averages out at over 5 times per year. Many of them were in multi-fight tournaments held over one night, but he's a former UFC welterweight champion with wins over names like Jorge Patino, Mikey Burnett, Andre Pederneiras, Shonie Carter (twice), John Alessio, and his final win was against Thomas Denny who'd just been in there with Nick Diaz.

He also fought to a draw with Dan Severn, despite being lighter by some 90lbs in weight. 

Like a lot of those guys he suffers from MMA basically being a different sport back then. Weight classes were often non-existent, multiple fights in one night, the whole deal.

He's not gonna go down as the all-time great in the welterweight division by a long shot, especially when you see the guys in the sport when it sorted itself out, but he's definitely one of the all-time great pioneers in that division for sure in my opinion.

Guys like him, Severn, Shamrock, Royce Gracie etc are all-time greats, but we can't hold them to the same standards that we hold fighters from the modern era to, as the sport was way too different back then.

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I get where the comment is coming from, even if I am not sure whether I fully agree with it. 

Miletich's first 15 fights came against non-names. His decision wins over Burnett, and to a lesser extent Townsend Saunders. are highly disputed. Most feel that Burnett in particular should have received the decision. He lost to Tamura, Nakao, Newton and Pele (although the Tamura fight was meant to be close)

On the other hand, the Lindland loss tells us very little. Miletich was fighting a much bigger man and arguably the best 185er of the mid 2000s. He also has legitimate wins, as mentioned, over Carter, Alessio, Patino, and Pederneiras. 

I don't think anyone would dispute his impact as a trainer though. 

 

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That's what I mean though, the industry at the time was so sketchy. There were guys who, as good as everyone claimed they were, had records that were unverifiable, such as Rickson Gracie who has a legit verified record of 11-0, which today would mean fuck all, but he's "rumoured" to have a record that goes well into hundreds.

Thing is, what exactly does he count as a "win"? Beating up schmucks who came to his gym and called Gracie BJJ rubbish? Or only guys he fought in tournaments?

Weight classes were mental then as well, with guys fighting opponents who didn't compete in their weight class.

That's why I hate when you see fans, usually the types who maybe started watching around the time of the Ultimate Fighter gaining traction trying to analyse these guys under modern criteria.

It just doesn't work.

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Said it before, and will say it again: comparing sportspeople from previous eras to modern ones is pointless, particularly when it comes to combat sports. The differences in training methods and philosophy, sports science, societal changes in environment, culture and diet, the structure of the sport itself, etc. There are just too many variables to accurately compare.

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Today I learned that Bas Rutten's New Japan theme was a bizarre remix of Roy Chubby Brown's walk-on theme. 

Skip to 1 minute in to see what I mean. 

 

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On 5/16/2019 at 8:39 AM, David said:

 

That's why I hate when you see fans, usually the types who maybe started watching around the time of the Ultimate Fighter gaining traction trying to analyse these guys under modern criteria.

It just doesn't work.

Pancrase records always interest me too. They are listed under guys fight records (Rutten, Shamrock etc). but the ruleset and legitimacy of all means you could likely throw out most of those wins on an MMA record. Leaves Bas Rutten with a record of 3-0 ūüėĄ

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The ruleset in Pancrase worked against Rutten in many ways. The rules stated that the fighters couldn't strike with closed fists, and that downed fighters would be allowed 10 seconds to get back to their feet. This meant that Rutten had to strike with open fists, which took away some of his punching power. It also meant that it took longer for him to finish opponents, as he couldn't finish downed opponents with GnP. Instead, he had to keep knocking his opponent down until they could not answer the 10 count. 

Nevertheless, even if his Pancrase career was disregarded, Rutten would still make the MMA HOF (IMO). He guided the likes of Ludwig, Kerr, and Newton through the best years of their careers. He also had a lot of input into Sudo's early MMA career. He transformed Sudo's from a pure wrestler into a world-class MMA fighter. Ludwig's current training system, which has developed world-class fighters such as Dillashaw and Benavidez, is heavily inspired by Rutten's training methods. 

Bas was a true pioneer of the game. Comparable to the Gracies, Franky Shams, and Miletich. 

 

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