UFC President Dana White and Frank Shamrock are currently engaged in a war of words related to Shamrock’s potential entrance into the UFC Hall of Fame.
White believes Shamrock isn’t quite UFC HOF material at the moment, but listed another MMA pioneer as a potential candidate: Pat Miletich.
Miletich’s UFC record is a solid 8-2, though one of those losses—in the UFC welterweight championship—was due to a rather uninspiring bulldog choke submission. However, in addition to his professional fighting background, Miletich also helped usher in some of the best MMA fighters through his Miletich Fighting Systems (MFS) camp in Bettendorf, Iowa.
Here is what White said regarding the UFC HOF and Miletich (via MMAJunkie.com):
“Guys that have been inducted are guys who have contributed to the growth of the sport and the UFC over the last 11 years. That's the way you could really look at it.
"It's not just what they accomplished inside the octagon. It's what they did outside, too—guys who have absolutely busted their ass and flown around the world and taken time away from their family and other things they were doing to help build the sport and help build the UFC.
“Pat was actually the champion, and he lost to Carlos Newton when we bought the company. He was Matt Hughes' coach. Jens Pulver. Tim Sylvia. A guy like Miletich could (be in the Hall of Fame)."
In addition to Hughes, Sylvia and Pulver, fighters such as Robbie Lawler, Ben Rothwell and Josh Neer once called MFS home, and the camp was successful in bringing in outside help whenever needed.
Miletich now focuses on training the next generation of MMA superstars, and rightfully deserves a place in the UFC Hall of Fame.
Speaking of Shamrock, it’s a shame that the UFC Hall of Fame is essentially a popularity contest controlled by White. For better or for worse, there should be some type of voting system—or something beyond White’s say-so—to invite MMA legends into the Hall of Fame.