Another Pat Miletich product made an impressive debut this past weekend when Mike Ciesnolevicz (17-3-1 NC) forced Neil Grove (7-2) to tap in just 1:03 of the first round due to a nasty heel hook. Miletich Fighting Systems has long been considered one of the top teams in MMA having produced such fighters and champions as Matt Hughes, Jens Pulver, Robbie Lawler and Tim Sylvia just to name a few. If you named all the fighters who came up through the Miletich System and have trained there from time to time it would read as a who’s who of MMA fighters.
At UFC 95 this past Satuday, Ciesnolevicz kept the ball rolling. While this was Ciesnolevicz’s first actual fight in the UFC, he is no stranger to the big time as he has often been a cornerman for other M.F.S. fighters in the past. Before getting his shot in the UFC, Ciesnolevicz was a mainstay for the now defunct IFL promotion. He went 5-3-1NC in the IFL and was a part of two championship teams as a member of the Quad City Silverbacks coached by Pat Miletich.
Before venturing into MMA Ciesnolevicz earned his Bachelor’s degree in Health & Physical Education from Lock Haven University located in Lock Haven, PA. While he never wrestled in high school he did walk on to the wrestling team, combine that with past experience in Karate, Judo and Kickboxing then basically Ciesnolevicz was a mixed martial artist before he even realized it. The only thing from there was for him to hook up with a great school and coach and that he did.
Ciesnolevicz normally fights at light heavyweight, but his debut in the UFC was at heavyweight against a much bigger guy in Neil Grove who stands at 6’6, 263 lbs., while Ciesnolevicz comes in at 6’0 and weighed in at 230 lbs..
When asked why he would fight at heavyweight, he said he was willing to take whatever was offered to him to get the opportunity to fight in the ‘big show’ and he trains with all the big guys at M.F.S including Tim Sylvia and Ben Rothwell so fighting bigger guys is nothing new. There is no word yet what weight class or who his next opponent will be, but from the looks of things thus far, Ciesnolevicz will be glad to fight anyone the UFC puts in front of him.
By: Dusty Adams