Matt Hughes: 'It's about time' Pat Miletich got in the UFC Hall of Fame
JUL 03, 2014 10:00a ET
The first-ever UFC welterweight champion will be honored and inducted in the UFC Hall of Fame this weekend as Pat Miletich joins other legends of the Octagon like Royce Gracie, Mark Coleman and his longtime student Matt Hughes.
Following his own success as a fighter where he was a four-time defending champion, Miletich would then go on to coach a team of legends where the Iowa-based squad ran roughshod over the majority of the UFC for several years. Miletich led Jens Pulver to an unlikely run as UFC lightweight champion. He helped Tim Sylvia become the best big man in the game on a couple of occasions. He even guided Jeremy Horn to prominence where he once sat as the best middleweight in the sport.
And who could forget Hughes, who Miletich crafted from a powerful wrestler out of Illinois and fine tuned him into a multi-time welterweight champion and one of the greatest fighters in UFC history? Hughes will be the first person to pay homage to Miletich and everything he meant to his success in the UFC.
So after nearly six years out of competition and over a decade since he last fought in the UFC, Miletich will finally find a home in the UFC Hall of Fame alongside Hughes, who doesn't mince words when it comes to the sluggish pace the promotion took to finally put his mentor where he belongs.
“It's about time!”
"It's about time!" Hughes said to FOX Sports when reacting to the news about Miletich going into the Hall of Fame.
"I'm a Miletich guy, Jens Pulver's here this weekend as well so he's excited, too. I'm just happy. I really feel the UFC has done the right thing here. I don't get to decide who goes into the Hall of Fame, I would love to be on the board of making that decision."
It was rumored for years that the reason Miletich wasn't in the UFC Hall of Fame was a falling out the former champion and coach had with president Dana White, and a strained personal relationship between the two alpha males led to his exclusion as an honoree despite his notable accolades in the sport.
Whether cooler heads prevailed or UFC officials ultimately decided it was crazier not having Miletich in the Hall of Fame than just bandaging old wounds and making this about the fighter and coach who played a major part in building the welterweight division not to mention having the first ever "super camp" in MMA.
"Pat being there -- he's the first welterweight champion, look at who he's coached and all the champions he's had in the UFC from his coaching," Hughes said. "He can go in several different counts. He's a great commentator, one of the best coaches that was ever out there and the first welterweight champion. Five-time welterweight champion for the UFC, so he's got all the credentials to be in."
Miletich will officially be inducted in a ceremony on Sunday as part of the UFC Fan Expo and International Fight Week extravaganza going on in Las Vegas through July 6.