October is shaping up to be quite the wacky month for mixed martial arts (MMA) in 2023.
It was revealed today (Mon., July 24, 2023) that Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Hall of Famer and first-ever Welterweight champion, Pat Miletich (29-7-2), will end a 15-year MMA retirement to face Mike Jackson (1-2, 1 no contest) at a Caged Aggression MMA event on Oct. 14, 2023.
MMA Junkie confirmed with the promotion that the 175-pound Catchweight bout will be a fully-sanctioned standard non-title fight, featuring three five-minute rounds.
#UFC Hall of Famer Pat Miletich (55) will fight Mike Jackson (38) in Davenport, Iowa on Oct. 14 for the Caged Aggression MMA promotion.— Nolan King (@mma_kings) July 24, 2023
Promoter Mike Goodwin tells me it will be a fully-sanctioned pro MMA bout. Three five-minute rounds. pic.twitter.com/w8RG4iYgNX
The pairing is random on a surface level, set to go down the same weekend as Miletich’s fellow UFC Hall of Famer, Mark Coleman, also makes his combat sports comeback. However, Miletich, 55, and Jackson, 38, were formerly close — Miletich cornered Jackson in his second UFC fight in 2018. However, they have built up a rivalry outside the cage since then, bantering back-and-forth online after Miletich shared his experience as part of the Jan. 2021 Washington, D.C. protest.
Jackson reacted to Miletich’s postings, labeling him a “domestic terrorist,” which led to them challenging each other to a fight.
Jackson will be Miletich’s first MMA opponent since the former titlist earned a second round knockout against Thomas Denny on the Illinois regional scene. Miletich has fought once since then, however, competing in a kickboxing match against Michael Nunn in July 2020.
Fight fans will famously remember Jackson most for his UFC 225 battle with Phil “CM Punk” Brooks, which was when Miletich cornered him. Jackson originally won the fight via a unanimous decision before it was later overturned due to Jackson testing positive for marijuana. He fought twice more in UFC after the Brooks fight, winning by disqualification against Dean Barry and then suffering a first round knockout from Pete Rodriguez in Oct. 2022 (watch highlights).
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