While fans who have embraced MMA in more recent years may not be familiar with the name Justin Eilers, many longtime supporters will likely recall the powerful heavyweight and some of his memorable bouts in the UFC. From KOíng Mike Pyle at UFC 49 in 2004, to his stoppage loss to Andrei Arlovski at UFC 54 approximately one year later, Eilers participated in several violent and short Octagon clashes.
Eilers exited from the UFC in 2006, but went on to compete in 12 more fights, before his untimely death on Christmas Night in 2008. The Miletich fighter was shot by his stepfather Jim Malec, after a heated argument occurred in the family’s house. Eilers was 34.
MMA Frenzy has posted an interesting article from Michael James, which discusses Eiler’s life, his fighting career and the events that led to his death. For example, manager Monte Cox shared this hilarious story about Eilers, which occurred after he was quickly stopped by Arlovski in June, 2005.
“We got him into first class (on the plane), and he looks at another passenger. He says, ‘It’s okay. I’m a fighter. You should see the other guy.’ ‘What’d he look like?’ asked the passenger. ‘Not a mark on him!’ Eilers replied with a smile on his face.”
It’s an interesting read which also features quotes from legendary trainer Pat Miletich.
Photo Credit: Dave Mandel / MMA Weekly