It appears former champion Pat Miletich will be the next inductee into the UFC Hall of Fame.
The 48-year-old, who became the organization’s inaugural welterweight champion in 1998, is currently listed on next week’s schedule for the UFC Fan Expo, which is part of the organization’s International Fight Week of events in Las Vegas.
According to an official schedule on the expo’s website, Miletich’s UFC Hall of Fame induction is slated for next Sunday, July 6, at 2:30 p.m. ET (11:30 a.m. PT local time) on the main stage.
MMAjunkie could not reach UFC officials for confirmation.
After posting an 18-1-1 record, Miletich (29-7-2 MMA, 8-2 UFC) made his UFC debut in 1998 and won the UFC 16 welterweight tournament, topping Townsend Saunders and Chris Brennan in the same night. It wasn’t the first time “The Croatian Sensation” earned multiple victories in one night; he won three fights in one night on a trio of occasions to open his pro fighting career with a 9-0 mark in 1995.
At UFC 17.5 (also known as “UFC Brazil: Ultimate Brazil”), Miletich then defeated Mikey Burnett to become the UFC’s first-ever 170-pound champion. At the time, it was known as the lightweight championship but was later renamed the welterweight title.
Miletich made four successful title defenses in the following years. The victories came over the likes of Jorge Patino, Andre Pederneiras, John Alessio and Kenichi Yamamoto. He ultimately lost the title to Carlos Newton in 2011.
Miletich, who became one of the sport’s first truly well-rounded competitors after dedicating himself to learning various martial arts, had competed throughout the Midwest before garnering the UFC’s attention. Even during his 10-fight UFC career, he mixed in bouts with other U.S. and Japanese promotions, and he once fought nine times in a single calendar year.
After competing for the final time under the UFC banner in 2002, Miletich concentrated on training. His Iowa camp, Miletich Fighting Systems, produced a number of future big-show champions, including Matt Hughes, Robbie Lawler, Jens Pulver, Tim Sylvia and others.
Miletich later coached for the now-defunct International Fight League, a team-based MMA promotion that launched in 2006. Additionally, after a four-year layoff from fighting, he met fellow MMA vet Renzo Gracie in a “super fight” and suffered a submission loss at IFL 9. Two years later, in his final pro fight, he ended his career on a winning note after knocking out Thomas Denny at IFL 11.
Back in 2012, UFC President Dana White suggested Miletich could be inducted into the organization’s HOF.
“Miletich is a guy who contributed to this,” White said. “At the time when we bought this company, Miletich had probably the biggest and the best camp in the entire sport. At that time, Pat’s camp was huge, and all the top guys came out of Miletich. … A guy like Miletich could (be in the UFC Hall of Fame).”
In his post-fighting career, Miletich remains heavily involved in the sport. During his broadcasting work with organizations such as Strikeforce and AXS TV Fights, he’s earned praise as one of the sport’s top color commentators.
Miletich would become the 12th member of the UFC Hall of Fame, joining Royce Gracie, Ken Shamrock, Dan Severn, Randy Couture, Mark Coleman, Chuck Liddell, Charles “Mask” Lewis Jr., Matt Hughes, Tito Ortiz, Forrest Griffin and Stephen Bonnar.
For more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.
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