Pat Miletich’s Disastrous Trip To Kuwait
In 2001, Pat Miletich found himself travelling to a still war-torn Kuwait to coach David Menne in a one-night middleweight tournament that also included the likes of Matt Hughes, Carlos Newton, ‘Pele’ and several Russian fighters, which was being funded by a Syrian promoter to entertain the ruler of the country, Sheik Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah.
It soon became clear things weren’t going to go smoothly when the Syrian promoter announced that there wouldn’t be an official weigh-in since all the fighters were roughly the same weight and they didn’t have a scale.
This was unacceptable to Miletich and the other U.S. fighters who insisted the weigh-in take place, but when Menne attempted to leave the room to get his own scale to use, the Russians in attendance locked the doors.
However, when the other fighters, led by Miletich, rallied around and threatened to quit the tournament the weigh-ins proceeded, leading to two Russians alternates being scratched from the card and two others having to cut more weight.
On the night of the fights, Dave Menne emerged as the winner over Georgia’s Karimula Barkalaev by decision to claim a gold belt and cheque for $125,000, but a mob of angry Russians and Chechens then entered the ring looking to cause trouble.
Luckily for the Americans, it just so happened that a group of Navy Seals were also in attendance that night and they soon surrounded the troublemakers, enabling the fighters to safely exit the building. Believing they would be targeted again at the hotel they were staying in, Miletich arranged for the Sheik to book them into a different five-star hotel.
Sure enough, while collecting their belongings, they narrowly escaped another confrontation with the Russians again and were then driven to their new accommodations before finally returning safely home a few days later.