Pat Miletich: Corners should throw in the towel more

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Pat Miletich is the architect of mixed martial arts. He created the blueprint that every great MMA champion has followed since – you have to have skills in wrestling, kickboxing, and submissions, sufficient to hang with national class exponents in each separate discipline. Miletich was the first UFC welterweight champion, and was greater still as a coach, producing during 2002-2003 UFC champions in a majority (three of the five) of the weight divisions.

In short, Pat Miletich knows more about MMA than you do, or anyone. Miletich appeared recently on Ariel Helwani’s The MMA Hour, and discussed why corners are reluctant to throw in the towel.

Saturday night Junior dos Santos lost to Cain Velasquez, taking a more or less unceasing beating before finally falling on his head in the fifth and sitting back insensate.

UFC president Dana White expressed regret that the fight was not stopped sooner.

“I’m a guy who’s been around the sport for a long time, and boxing, and seen men who are too tough for their own good,” said White. “And I think Junior dos Santos is one of those guys, in the last Cain fight and in this Cain fight. And I think that fight should’ve been stopped. I just don’t think he needed to take anymore punishment.”

“I always like to say that if anybody in his f—ing corner cares about him, please, throw in that towel. I thought the fight was done in the third round. Is Junior dos Santos tough enough and does he have the heart to go through it? Yeah, but does that mean he should? If you look at the fight, it ended in the fifth. That guy took seven, eight minutes more punishment that he didn’t need to take until it ended. That seven or eight minutes, I don’t know man. I just, I don’t like it.”

Miletich explains why a fight that could have been stopped wasn’t.

“God, you know, there’s a lot of pride involved,” said Miletich. “A lot of the guys that are cornering these guys, many times are training partners, pretty strong, virile young guys who don’t see themselves as vulnerable probably, to be honest with you.”

“I witnessed a fight Friday night, Roger Carroll getting beat up by Scott Holtzman. It was a hell of fight, but Roger Carroll took a — I can’t even count how many elbows he took. His face was swollen shut and there was no use of the fight going on.

“I’d seen enough and I said that on TV. The boys agreed with me, but it wasn’t getting stopped. I think it’s just a matter of people not — they care so much about the guy that they want to see him win. I don’t know, they’re blind at points. Junior dos Santos took a serious ass whopping, and I tend to agree with some people that, yes, that should’ve been stopped.”

The high-percentage danger in combat sports is not suffering an immediate injury in a fight, it is the cumulate effects of heavy blows, leading to Pugilistic Dementia, a variant of chronic traumatic encephalopathy.

“I think it’s already there,” said Milietich. :I’ve seen it in guys that I’ve trained with in the earlier days… In both boxing and MMA, guys that aren’t the same as they were when we were all young. So it’s there.”