It must be good to have an entire fighting system named after you. Pat Miletich looks like the guy no one would pick on in school because his face appears to come from a long lineage of faces that have witnessed other faces get mangled, repeatedly. Miletich has been sending his fists in people’s mandibles for over thirteen years, including legends like Renzo Gracie, Dan Severn, Matt Lindland and the only person that can rock a golden thong effortlessly, Shonie Carter. Miletich was even a member of WAMMA back in the day, until he ‘no longer believed in their execution’ and left the organization that probably still wants to unify every MMA title in the galaxy.
Paul Lazenby from ‘When We Were Bouncers‘ caught up with Pat Miletich to ask him to share one of his craziest stories as a bouncer, and it was pretty wild.
Back in the early 90s, I was working with two other bouncers at a club whose name I forget — it was up on the hill in Davenport [Iowa], on Harrison St. The place was owned by a guy named Little Joe, who also owned a bunch of strip clubs in the area. For some reason, Joe thought it would be a good idea for this particular club that I was working at to have a Hip-Hop Night.
Now, I warned him against it, since there was a lot of gang activity in the area and I figured there’d be a lot of fights and stuff, but he went on ahead with his idea and had his first Hip-Hop night during a massive snowstorm. Sure enough, a bunch of gang-bangers from nearby Rock Island [Illinois] — which we used to call “Little Chicago” — rolled in, along with some other bad guys from Davenport. Pretty soon the place was packed, with me and the other two bouncers being the only white guys in the joint.
It didn’t take long before some rival gangs got into it, and of course the three of us had to dive in to try to break it up. But the crowd didn’t take too kindly to some white boys trying to break up their fight, and so they all joined forces against us!
As soon as the brawl kicked off, I had no idea what was happening to the other bouncers because I was totally preoccupied with fending for myself. Right away I got clamped in a side headlock by somebody, which actually ended up working in my favour because the guy’s head was pressed against mine and protected me on that side.
A lot of the guys were wearing their coats inside, so I was able to fight back by grabbing them by their jackets. Every time I got hold of someone, I’d pull him in and put his head on one side of mine with the headlock-guy’s head still pressed against the other. That protected me on both sides, and it kept anybody from getting clean shots on me.
Who I had by the jacket, I’d pull his lapel across his throat and choke him unconscious with it. Then I’d drop him, grab another guy, and repeat the process. I left a trail of four or five bodies as I worked my way toward the door, with the dummy who was headlocking me never realizing that he was helping me out the whole time. When I finally got to the door, I slid backwards out of the headlock and snatched the guy in a standing rear choke, then backed outside while using him as a human shield.
In spite of the giant snowstorm, a bunch of the gang-bangers were already outside, waiting to jump any bouncer who made it out of the club. I kept my head down as they swarmed me, and dragged my guy out to the middle of the street by which point he’d gone completely limp.
I was just letting him slide out of my arms, when someone came up on my blind side and smashed me in the side of the head with a brick! Lucky for me, I instinctively managed to roll with it, and even though it put a pretty good lump on my head it didn’t hurt me too bad.
The guy yelled out “YEAH!!!”, thinking that a shot that solid would put me down, but I just turned around and looked at him and his jaw dropped like he’d seen a damn ghost! (laughs) He didn’t even have time to raise his hands as I rifled a straight right into his face, and he was still collapsing to the pavement when three squad cars came flying up the street.
The cops barely managed to get out of their cruisers before the crowd had them completely surrounded, and then I realized that I was the only bouncer who’d even made it out of the club. It was just me, five cops and three German Shepherds standing in an outward-facing circle, surrounded by swirling snow and a hundred screaming, cussing people trying to attack us from all sides.
Somehow, we managed to hold them off until enough additional cops arrived to get things under control, but to this day I still think about how ugly that scene could have gotten. Thankfully, the other two bouncers ended up being okay, and I went home that night with nothing worse than a big lump on the side of my head.
There’s actually more stuff on ‘When We Were Bouncers’ about Pat Miletich including the time when he drunkly used a garden rake to fend off nine guys with baseball bats.