Tito Ortiz isn’t the only fighter who can feud with UFC President Dana White for years and return to the organization. Last weekend, the UFC quietly added the profile of former welterweight champion Pat Miletich to their website, prompting speculation that “The Croatian Sensation” may be fighting inside the octagon once again.
The 41-year old Miletich told Fanhouse.com that he met with the organization over UFC 101 weekend, but had not signed a new contract “yet.”
“We had a good talk Dana and I, and then I talked to [UFC matchmaker] Joe Silva,” Miletich said. “It was a good meeting, and it ended positively, which is good, and we had discussed a few options.
“We’re finally able to talk and get some things out of the way,” Miletich stated to MMA Madness. “We touched on me potentially fighting in the UFC again, but nothing was concrete. The door was left open, so that was good.”
The rivalry between the UFC and Miletich goes back many years to 2001, when Miletich lost the UFC welterweight title to Carlos Newton. Miletich was promised a rematch, but the offer was rescinded and the title shot went to Matt Hughes – a student of Miletich – which Miletich took as a slap in the face. Hughes initially turned down the fight, however ended up accepting it at the insistence of Miletich.
Years later, both sides seemed to make amends when White told Miletich that he and Carlos Newton would be coaches on Season 3 of The Ultimate Fighter. However, the idea was scrapped without ever notifying Miletich, and the coaching spots went to Tito Ortiz and Ken Shamrock. Miletich, who found out about the switch while watching TV and seeing Ortiz and Shamrock announced, noted that he felt betrayed.
“Dana has never told me anything that ended up being the truth, besides the fact that his intention was to crush other people’s lives and businesses,” Miletich recently stated on ESPN’s E:60 program.
Never one to mince words, White responded to Miletich’s comments, saying, “Pat Miletich is a very bitter guy right now. Pat is not one of the smartest people you’re ever going to meet. He sees these guys around him, like Tim Sylvia, who made a couple million bucks in his career. Pat Miletich hasn’t made any money because he’s not a smart guy. It’s not my fault Pat Miletich is a (expletive) dummy.”
Miletich went on to note that his comments on E:60 “put gas on the fire”, but that the interview was done a long time ago.
“The interview from the E:60 piece was really, really old,” Miletich noted. ”It was like a year and a half old at least. It was just something that got brought back out and aired.”
“Obviously he’s going to react negatively to that, so I said, ‘we’ve got to squash this.’ I think it’s always good for all of us to at least coincide as best we can and get along because it’s for the benefit of everybody . . . It’s always better to have friends than enemies.”
Miletich also noted that Joe Silva presented him a with a few potential match-ups for the future during their meeting.
“[It’s] just a matter of getting things figured out, I guess, on who I would be fighting,” Miletich stated. “At this point, it needs to be a fight that make sense name-wise. … It was nice of them to leave that door open for me.”
Miletich had recently returned to fighting last December after a two year hiatus, defeating Thomas Denny via KO in the second round at Adrenaline MMA 2: Miletich vs. Denny.