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Pechanga’s Muay Thai card is AXS TV’s 300th show for combat sports

Pat Miletich

Igor Zinoviev, left, shares a light moment with Pat Miletich during a weigh-in for an Independent Fight League event on May 18, 2007.

(Brian Bahr / Getty Images)

Mixed martial arts legend Pat Miletich will be the analyst Friday of AXS TV’s 300th combat sports broadcast when the network airs “Lion Fight Muay Thai 25” at the Pechanga Resort Casino in Temecula.

AXS TV, counting Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban as part of its ownership group, has showcased MMA and related sports since 2004 on “Inside MMA,” with Michael Schiavello providing play by play and Miletich, a 2014 Ultimate Fighting Championship Hall of Fame inductee, on color commentary.

The show has featured several UFC fighters, including women’s bantamweight title contender Holly Holm, along with prospects Sage Northcutt, Henry Cejudo, Brandon Thatch and Sergio Pettis.

Miletich, the UFC’s first middleweight champion, known as the “Croatian Sensation,” has become an ambassador of combat sports after competing in MMA, kickboxing, Muay Thai, Brazilian jujitsu, boxing and wrestling.

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He’s the founder of Iowa-based Miletich Fighting Systems and has trained 90 fighters who’ve competed in televised bouts, including former UFC welterweight champion Matt Hughes and current welterweight champion Robbie Lawler.

Unlike veterans Tito Ortiz, Ken Shamrock and others fighting past their prime, Miletich says he has no interest and is enjoying this role and other pursuits, such as a 100-mile race he’ll enter.

“I reached all of my goals as an athlete and as a coach,” he said. “Once you get to a certain point in life.… Look, if I’m fighting a guy my age, I’m obviously not what I used to be and if I were to do something like that, I’m not coming back to fight in a spectacle fight.

“I don’t want to fight some guy getting off a wheelchair to fight. If I’m going to do something, I’m going to do it 110% and because I want to be a champion at it.”

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Muay Thai fighting features kickboxing, with the use of elbows and knees permitted.

“Lion Muay Thai 25” bouts feature John Wayne Parr and Cosmo Alexandre fighting for the vacant super-middleweight title and undefeated women’s welterweight champion Jorina Baars meeting Martina Jindrova.

Doors open at 4 p.m., and the televised portion begins at 7 p.m., with tickets priced at $50 to -$100.

Baars dominated Cris “Cyborg” Justino in a Muay Thai fight last year. “Cyborg” is the fighter many view as the biggest threat to UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey.

“In Muay Thai, [Baars] is the queen,” Miletich said.

Alexandre-Parr is the third meeting after each fighter has won one of the prior bouts.

“I don’t get excited for fights very often because I’ve seen thousands, but this one is really special,” Miletich said. “These are the premier strikers on the planet and the level of skill is far superior than any striking you would see in MMA, by far.”

AXS TV is on AT&T U-verse Channel 1106, Charter Channel 794, DirecTV Channel 340, Dish Channel 167 and Verizon Channel 569.

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