Pat Miletich remains somewhat coy about his potential return to fighting, but deep down it is evident that the fire still burns.

Chatting for a few moments last week, he didn’t add much in regards to following up his out-of-nowhere statement that he was interested in fighting the winner of the Bellator one-for-the-aged matchup between Royce Gracie and Ken Shamrock. Miletich, a UFC Hall of Famer, is in great shape, apparently healed from neck injuries that nagged at him over recent years, and touting the success of his reformed diet as a motivator for jumping out of retirement.

Should Miletich, who expertly analyzes at cage and ringside for AXS TV Fights, return and Bellator continues to draw attention to itself with their tent-pole events, it would seem to make sense that they forge ahead with what Miletich called the Geritol Division. And why not?

As written here before, the Bellator product is quite unappealing to the run-of-the-mill MMA fan. Save for the recent signing of former UFC champ Benson Henderson, the vast majority of the company’s lineup is a cast of unknowns to the average weekend fight watcher. The Kimbo-Dada matchup on the same card as Gracie-Shamrock is an absolute sideshow and most would say an embarrassment. However, Bellator’s quest to recycle old-timers is compelling. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea but it is logical to assume these fights are going a long way in keeping the company viable and in the good graces of its owners Viacom.

There are countless notable names that could come out of the woodwork if Bellator went whole-hog on the Geritol bunch.

If Ken Shamrock has returned, why wouldn’t Frank Shamrock? Would their on-again, off-again relationship finally lead to the biggest Brother vs Brother fight of all time?

If Miletich does return, wouldn’t it be interesting to see him go up against Carlos Newton in a rematch of their UFC title fight from 2001? Newton won by a bulldog choke but then lost his belt to Miletich’s protégé Matt Hughes in one of the most exciting finishes in MMA history. Still, Miletich never got to exact his own measure of revenge.

Dan Severn is still kicking around. He’s fought mostly on the C-circuit over the past several years but fights against Gracie or Shamrock would be attractive.

Frank Trigg is a hugely popular figure in MMA circles, not just for his fighting but his analysis and social media presence. Of course a third fight against Hughes would be the one to get but Hughes’ tie to the UFC is unbreakable. Trigg could possibly go for a hat trick of wins over Dennis Hallman.

Maybe Oleg Taktarov could put down movie scripts long enough to get back into the swing of things, perhaps against Gary Goodridge, Pedro Rizzo or Mark Coleman.

The biggest of the gets for Bellator would be Chael Sonnen. He’s not a Geritol-user at this point in his life but he could talk up one heck of storm against any rival. Sonnen still has legitimate fighting chops so it would take somewhat younger fighter to be his opponent but the list is still entertaining: Forrest Griffin (rematch from 2003); Jeremy Horn (three wins over Sonnen already); Trevor Prangley (trilogy fight with a win each heading in).

And if a borderline old-timer like Sonnen could come back, so too could Gina Carano, the original leading lady of MMA. While she would never fight Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino again, Carano could battle someone like Shayna Baszler, who has been relegated to hanger-on in the Ronda Rousey posse.

There are two other fights out there that from a strictly selfish point of view would be worth seeing again. The first, however, actually never got started.

In 2005, Heath Herring was getting final instructions from the referee at a K-1 Dynamite event when his opponent, Yoshihiro Nakao, felt compelled to lean in and give Herring a kiss. Not surprisingly, Herring went all “Texas Crazy Horse”, reared back, and KO’d Nakao. It was ruled a no-contest, appropriately so since the contest never had an opening bell. Tell me who wouldn’t want to see these two actually get after each other?

Staying in Japan, this time at Pride 21, Don Frye and Yoshihiro Takayama engaged in what surely has to be the wildest start ever to a fight. Essentially they grabbed each other behind the head and blasted each other square in the face. No technique, no footwork, just raw aggression. By the end of the fight, which came at 6:10 of the opening round, Takayama couldn’t see out of either eye and his entire face was a swollen mess. It was spectacular display that if even remotely repeated would be a wild sight.

Many other names from yesteryear could be listed to form a formidable Geritol Division. There’s no reason for Bellator not to do what they do best.

About The Author

Scott Zerr
Staff Writer

Scott joins The MMA Corner having spent the last 14 years in mixed martial arts as Director of Media & Fighter Relations for the Maximum Fighting Championship. He will provide The MMA Corner with insight on breaking news in the sport, plus an insider's perspective on business developments, matchmaking, fighter signings, and much more. In addition to his longtime work in MMA, Scott was a sports reporter before moving into media relations and marketing. After growing up and working in Edmonton, Alberta, Scott has since moved to Bakersfield, California to be with his wife Christina (an avid fight fan, thank goodness) and kids.