When Pat Miletich talks about his years fighting in MMA before it was popular, one fight he probably never brings up is his bout against Mike Burnett. It was a mega event, it was the first time the UFC went to Brazil, and the card was STACKED! Not surprisingly the partisan crowd booed pretty much all Americans slated, except for one Dave "tank" Abbott. The place was packed, cigarette smoke can clearly be seen and veteran referee John McCarthy was the third man in the octagon for every fight. The card is largely unseen dew to it being shown during the "blackout" period in the UFC where it was banned from PPV television in America. Most fans of the sport who got into it after the year 2000 probably can't remember anything about it, or most cards that came before Dana White and associates purchased the fledgling organization in 2001. Which leaves a huge black hole in the conversation about the in-between years of this sport in America. People remember the first maybe five UFC's, then they don't know a single name or event up until Tito Ortiz became champion, so this is a conversation in the dark, it's a plate of food left outside an unmarked grave, it's deep and dark and for the people competing in these "lost cards" their story's are more important than anyone else's. While the entire card is exceptional, my focus in this review is on the main event which would crown a champion in the first ever lightweight division. The organization had for a number of years done bracket style eight to sixteen man tournament bouts that awarded a prize to the last man standing at the end of the night, in this card however the prize for the winner should have been moisturizer for the brutal bending of what little clothing these guys wore. Both men fought in skintight shorts that covered the area below the waist down to the upper thigh, maybe ten inches in length, this fabric of clothing would be the only thing really tested in this match of two of the best at the time. It's one of the weirdest fights (if you wanna call it that) i have ever seen because for most of the 21 minutes they "fight" both guys are basically grabbing each others shorts in a tug of war reminiscent of a sumo match! If it were in Japan the crowd would have loved it, but it was in Brazil, and although Brazilians are no strangers to scantily clad men or woman, this was a particularly booed contest that left many scratching their heads. Maybe ten punches were exchanged and at one point Burnett who's nickname is "the Eastside assassin" despite holding a 5-2 record, really took it to Miletich. Burnett was the aggressor the entire time, he got Miletich in a guillotine choke early in the fight and almost finished him. He threw punches he stalked, while Miletich moved away and forced clinching not by the neck, but by the trousers! The ref should have halted the action and given a stern warning to Pat Miletich for not engaging, but at this point in the UFC all kinds of boring counter attacks were seen as legitimate in a game where if you can't find a defense to it, it doesn't matter. Things couldn't be more different now with people being let go from the company for NOT being exiting enough, most recently Jon Fitch 14-3-1 in the UFC more of an (figurative) assassin then Mike Burnett will ever be, was fudged out of his contract for boring the public to tears with his stifling wrestling game. To me this is one of the great "what if's" in the sport, what if the bout was scored correctly and Burnett won the first lightweight divisional championship? Where would his career have gone? He ended up fighting only once more for the UFC before retiring to a bottle of booze and prescription pill abuse. He would return in 2006 for a stint on "the ultimate fighter" reality show where he was submitted in the first round. He would then gain sub-infamy for unsuccessfully using his body as a battering ram in the ultimate fighter house busting his neck and not being able to compete in the finale, once again snubbing a shot at fighting professionally for the biggest MMA company worldwide. He tried suing the UFC for his neck damages in the house and was unsuccessful at that. His only success has been making a bunch of veteran fighters laugh while his spine broke. I kind of feel bad for him, wherever you are Mikey i hope your doing well, and if your reading this i want you to know that you are, in my mind, the first real lightweight champion.
0 of 0 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?