Photo by Esther Lin for Strikeforce.
It's not every announcer that is a former UFC champion. It's not every announcer that coached multiple former UFC champions and even a Hall of Famer. It's not every announcer that built one of the sport's most legendary training camps. It's not every announcer that was one of the first well-round martial artists in the history of the sport with mastery of striking, wrestling and submissions. And it's certainly not every announcer who tells the truth no matter who it might offend.
That card featured some skilled and spirited performances by fighters Luke Harris, Adam Lynn, Muaki Moromo, Nathan Coy and Ryan McGillivray. It also featured some remarkably bad judging by the Alberta judges and some very troubling corner-work from one of MMA's biggest names, Greg Jackson.
And Pat Miletich didn't mince words.
When the judges inexplicably gave Muaki Maromo a split-decision win over Adam Lynn, Miletich said it was the worst call he'd ever seen.
And then superstar coach Greg Jackson literally told a fighter "Wake up, wake up" and shoved his face and shoulder to try to get defending champ Ryan McGillivray to snap out of his stupor. The next words out of Jackson's mouth were "You can still win this fight" to the unresponsive fighter and sending him back out for a fourth round against Nathan Coy.
Pat was quick to identify the issue and suggest that the corner throw in the towel rather than send a dazed and bleeding fighter back out there to take more punishment.
Fortunately the ringside doctor stopped the fight and protected an out-on-his-feet McGillvray.
In Jackson's defense, it was a title fight and McGillvray clearly wanted to continue. In fact it was only when the doctor stopped the fight that McGillvray responded to him at all. Nonetheless, a coach needs to keep a close eye on the safety of his fighter and Jackson was clearly aware that McGillvray was out (you don't say "wake up, wake up" and shove someone who's clear eyed and alert) and yet willing to send him back out there.
Miletich also did a stellar job calling the action throughout the event. He ably dissected a slick guillotine choke to mount set up that Luke Harris pulled off to finish UFC veteran Edwin Dewees. Later he explained the subtle nuances of the Lynn vs Moromo bout.
I hope we'll be seeing Pat Miletich calling more MMA for a long time to come.