Miletich will receive the first-ever George Tragos award. | Photo:
The National Wrestling Hall of Fame Dan Gable Museum Thursday
announced that former UFC champion Pat Miletich
will receive the organization's first MMA-related award.
Miletich will receive the amateur wrestling organization's
first-ever George Tragos award, which honors wrestlers who have
adapted their skills to excel in mixed martial arts.
Miletich is the perfect person to receive this inaugural award
because of his diverse accomplishments," said Kyle Klingman,
director of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Dan Gable Museum.
"Pat's name was at the top of everyone's list to receive this award
because he embodies wrestling through mixed martial arts and, most
importantly, through training others to be successful."
Miletich will receive the award at the George Tragos/Lou Thesz
Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame induction weekend spanning July
22-23. Tragos, after whom the award is named, was a skilled
submission wrestler during the 1920s and 1930s while throwing the
discus for Greece in the 1924 Olympic Games.
The UFC's first welterweight champion, Miletich debuted with the
UFC in 1998 and would go on to capture the belt later that year at
Ultimate Brazil. The fighter holds notable wins over Mikey
Landi-Jons and Shonie
Carter and is also revered for his work as a trainer. The
founder of Miletich Fighting Systems, the former champion has
groomed such champions as Matt Hughes,
Pulver and Tim Sylvia
inside his Bettendorf, Iowa, facility.
1972 Olympic gold medalist and former University of Iowa head coach
Dan Gable will present Miletich with his award.
"I give [Miletich] a lot of credit for the development of mixed
martial arts," said Gable. "He is one of the guys who had the
foresight to believe that MMA could be a thriving entity. When I
think of mixed martial arts, I think of Pat Miletich.
He was a wrestler from Iowa who continues to push and believe in