Pat Miletich won the first ever UFC welterweight championship back in 1998, and held the title for 3 years. After he lost the title in 2001, his student Matt Hughes won the belt in the same year and went on to have numerous title defenses as well. The hall-of-fame inductee has since discussed the current state of the division he once spearheaded in a recent appearance with Submission Radio.
The hall-of-fame inductee has since discussed the current state of the division he once spearheaded in a recent appearance with Submission Radio. Among the topics Miletich tackled was Conor McGregor's 2nd bout at 170 lbs, and whether he can actually compete in the division, as he claimed numerous times before the loss to Diaz.
"No. He’s going to get his ass beat by Nate again," he said about McGregor facing the popular lightweight at a higher division. "And even if he were to get lucky and beat Nate, he fights guys that cut down -- some of the guys at 170 are cutting down from 210-215 pounds. I mean, you’re talking skull fractures from punches from guys like that."
"The 170-pounders who walk around at 200, 200-plus, could punch a heavyweight and break his jaw and knock him out," he said. "So these are explosive, very strong guys, who if Conor McGregor even remotely attempts to take them down, he’s going to get shut down. And if he gets hit with a three-punch combo, (he) is going to the hospital."
"I’ll tell you what though, I will say this, Conor McGregor has sold the sport, he’s sold himself. I think he’s brought some of the Chael Sonnen-WWE from Ireland into it, which is great and more power to him. I love the guy, actually."
As for why he thinks Diaz wins again on the rematch, Miletich says that not only will Nate have the experience and the durability, he will also have the mental edge. The 50-year-old is currently training for a long distance run, and after knowing the toll it takes not just physically, but also mentally, he has a growing appreciation on what the Diaz brothers accomplish with the number of triathlons they compete in.
"I think Conor’s going to come in very motivated, bigger, stronger, but he’s not gonna be able to hurt Nate."
"Look, I’m training for a 100-mile run in two-mile altitude. The Diaz brothers do stuff like that on a regular basis," he said. "You cannot get them tired, you cannot hurt them. What can Conor McGregor do to Nate Diaz, that doing a 50-mile or 75-mile run can’t do to him?"
"There’s something different that happens mentally, and I’m learning that now, where training for a fight and getting in a cage is honestly, now when I look back on things, is kind of a joke. The mind games that you play with yourself when you go to war with yourself, when you’re running for 24 hours straight, and the demons that you deal with out on a country road in the middle of nowhere, while you’re running in 95-degree heat with 95 percent humidity and you’ve already been running for 60 miles and you know you’ve got 20, 30, 40 more to go – outsmarting another human being, intimidating them and beating their asses is really not that tough."
Listen to the entire interview above where Miletich discusses other topics on the welterweight division. He speaks about Tyron Woodley wanting big money fights, and gives tips on what Stephen Thompson should do and say to make the public want to see him get the title shot.