Pat Miletich. Photo courtesy of the International Fight League.
Former UFC welterweight champion and Miletich Fighting Systems founder Pat Miletich was victorious in his first bout in over two years last night in Moline, Illinois as the MMA pioneer scored a first-round TKO of journeyman Thomas Denny in the main event of Monte Cox’s second Adrenaline MMA show.
During an early exchange, Miletich tagged Denny with a looping left hook that stunned him and then scored an easy takedown. Miletich spent the majority of the first round controlling Denny on the mat. Denny was able to get back to his feet on one occasion, but Miletich was quick to push him back down to the canvas.
The fight stayed standing in the second round, where Miletich blasted Denny with two consecutive right hands that sent the King of the Cage veteran crumbling to the ground. Miletich (29-7-2) pounced on Denny (26-18) and delivered a few more unanswered punches before referee Michael Reid stepped in to save Denny.
“They say the last thing to go when you get older is your power, so that’s exactly what I was looking for - to land heavy shots and hurt him,” Miletich said after the fight. “I boxed for a lot of years and I can still box. I have heavy hands and I know that when I connect with them, people are going to get rocked.”
While a continuation of his storied MMA career remains uncertain at this point, Miletich actually expressed interest in moving to the world of boxing to take on some of the sport’s more renowned names.
“I’d actually like to fight someone like Antonio Tarver or Winky Wright… somebody from the boxing world,” Miletich stated. “That would be interesting.”
“The Croation Sensation” has one professional boxing match under his belt - a 1999 unanimous decision win over cruiserweight Donald Tucker.
The show’s co-main event saw former IFL heavyweight standout Ben Rothwell rebound from a dissapointing loss to Andrei Arlovski earlier this year to defeat Chris Guillen via TKO in the first round.
Rothwell stuffed a takedown attempt from Guillen in the opening minutes of the fight and quickly pushed his opponent down to the mat. From there, Rothwell (30-6) smoothly transitioned to side control, where he pounded on Guillen (13-12) with a number of elbows until Guillen opted to submit at the 3:40 of the first round instead of receiving further punishment.
After the fight, Rothwell noted that he needed to improve following the loss to Arlovski, and decided to stay cautious against Guillen instead of going for his usual go-for-broke style as a way to help himself mature as a fighter.
“I hope everyone can appreciate the whole aspect of our sport,” Rothwell said. “I needed to improve every aspect of my game. I love to give knockouts, but at the same time, I have to make sure that I can be able to fight another day. I tried to do this in the most exciting fashion that I could, and I hope everyone can appreciate some elbows to the head… because that’s what did it.”
Other action on the event’s televised main card saw former IFL middleweight champion Ryan McGivern (13-6) score a first-round submission of Geno Roderick (6-7) and PRIDE Fighting Championships veteran Mike Russow (11-1) earn his second straight Adrenaline MMA win over Braden Bice (5-7).
Complete results from the event:
L.C. Davis def. Billy Kidd - Submission (Modified Guillotine)
Danny Rodriguez def, David Fuentes - Submission (Rear-Naked Choke)
Jesse Lennox def. Ryan Williams - Submission (Triangle Choke)
Pat Curran def. Ramiro Hernandez - Unanimous Decision
Ryan McGivern def. Geno Roderick - Submission (Rear-Naked Choke)
Dan Loman def. Gabe Lemley - TKO (Strikes)
Mike Ciesnolevicz def. Derek Mehman - Submission (Guillotine Choke)
Michael Russow def. Braden Bice - Submission (North-South Choke)
Ben Rothwell def. Chris Guillen - Submission (Strikes)
Pat Miletich def. Thomas Denny - TKO (Strikes)