Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Buy Used
FREE Shipping on orders over $25.
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: The item shows wear from consistent use, but it remains in good condition and works perfectly. All pages and cover are intact (including the dust cover, if applicable). Spine may show signs of wear. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting. May include "From the library of" labels.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Blood in the Cage: Mixed Martial Arts, Pat Miletich, and the Furious Rise of the UFC Hardcover – January 15, 2009

4.3 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

See all 14 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
New from Used from
"Please retry"
"Please retry"
$0.01 $0.01

The Amazon Book Review
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
click to open popover

Editorial Reviews


In his latest page-turning sports tour, Sports Illustrated senior writer Wertheim (Running the Table, Venus Envy) tackles mixed martial arts (MMA), a one-on-one bare-fist brawl that combines kickboxing, Greco-Roman wrestling, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and basically any other fighting technique an athlete chooses (minimal rules include no kidney-kicking and no sticking fingers in orifices or wounds). Chronicling the life of MMA legend Pat Miletich (the sport’s Abner Doubleday), Wertheim also traces the history of the ultraviolent contest, dissects the league that dominates it (Las Vegas-based Ultimate Fighting Champion) and examines the appeal (and the stigma) that’s taken it from Internet subculture to pay-per-view king to $500 million commercial powerhouse. Miletich entered the sport in the early 1990s, when it was a no-holds-barred free-for-all (referred to by Sen. John McCain as “human cockfighting”), and wound up a five-time UFC champion; now, he operates an MMA training facility in Bettendorf, Iowa that draws athletes from around the world. A winning writer, Wertheim introduces a colorful, mostly likable cast of fighters, promoters, trainers and executives, brings an unflinching eye to fight scenes (the opening beat-down will certainly grab readers’ attention) and defends the sport just as well as he questions its less-savory operating tactics. (Jan.) —Publishers Weekly
“A seamless combination of sport, entertainment . . . Wertheim has pierced the veil to create an edifying book for die-hard MMA fans and curious bystanders alike. “ —Sam Sheridan, author of A Fighter’s Heart
Blood in the Cage is not only factually accurate, but also a joy to read. Jon Wertheim poignantly writes about the less than glorious rise to the top of MMA legend Pat Miletich while taking you for a ride down the historical trail blazed by some of MMA’s biggest stars . . . this book is a must read.”
Big John McCarthy, legendary UFC referee and founder of Big John McCarthy’s Ultimate Training Academy
“In a book as bracing and forthright as an open-handed slap, Jon Wertheim transcends easy caricature and cheap sensationalism to deliver the first honest journalism about Mixed Martial Arts that this country’s ever seen. Half hype, half hemoglobin—and from its bareknuckles beginnings to its recent arrival as a national pay-per-view pastime—the brief, brutal history of MMA has confounded even its own fans. Blood in the Cage stands above the din.” —Jeff MacGregor, special contributor, Sports Illustrated and author of Sunday Money
“In Blood in the Cage, L. Jon Wertheim tells the story of Pat Miletich, the consummate professional athlete turned world class trainer. Miletich is someone for whom I have considerable respect and admiration and who puts his athletes and our sport first and foremost.” —Randy Couture, UFC champion
“As Voltaire said, ‘That’s why they invented the squeegee.’”—David Mamet, author, playwright, and director

Book Description

HMH hardcover, 2009, Previous ISBN 978-0-618-98621-5
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

New York Times best sellers
Browse the New York Times best sellers in popular categories like Fiction, Nonfiction, Picture Books and more. See more

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (January 15, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0618982612
  • ISBN-13: 978-0618982615
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,921,644 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Related Media

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Kevin Quinley VINE VOICE on January 11, 2009
Format: Hardcover
As one sign that MMA is now mainstream, there is a growing bookshelf dedicated to the sport and its luminaries. In 2008, we saw the autobiographies of Matt Hughes, Tito Ortiz, Chuck Liddell and Randy Couture. Kelly Criger's "Title Shot" is excellent in offering profiles of various elite MMA training centers around the country. That fine book has one glaring omission, though, in that it did not profile Miletich Fighting Systems in Bettendorf, Iowa.

Author and Sports Illustrated writer L. Jon Wertheim fills that void with a vivid, fascinating and entertaining "Blood in the Cage." "Blood' tracks the parallel emergence and transformation of Pat Miletich with the burgeoning sport of mixed martial arts. The fact that a writer for SI was paid to write an entire book about MMA is another sign that the sport has arrived.

Wertheim offers a flattering but not fawning portrayal of Miletich, a hardscrabble kid who went from tough guy punk to brawler to MMA champ to a trainer of the elite. Miletich and his stable of fighters mirror their Midwest location: hard working, conservative, methodical. The Croation Sensation reached his peak before the UFC hit the big time, but now Miletich trains some of the top competitors in MMA. He is the Yoda or Mr. Miyagi of MMA.

Until someone better comes along, Wertheim has written perhaps the best book yet on MMA and the rise of the UFC. Nor does he idolize the latter, noting the issue of performance enhancing drugs, the closed financial deals and the heavy-handedness of it bald F-bomb dictator, Dana White. Still, reading Wertheim you can almost feel yourself in the octagon, as the book brims with authenticity. (The only blooper I spotted was a point where Wertheim said the Miletich fighters trained with Russian kettle drums.
Read more ›
2 Comments 11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
I certainly started the New Year off with the proverbial BANG, by finding this book on New Year's Day at one of my local big bookstores. I hadn't expected this book to be out for another two weeks yet, so imagine my surprise at finding it on the shelf in the martial arts section staring up at me.

Now I fully intended on buying the book, and did so about an hour later, after I had actually read the first 30+ pages while standing there in front of the shelf where I first found it. This book is simply that good.

From the very first line in the introduction, "LEMME BREAK YOUR NOSE" to the very last page, I was captivated by not only the story the author was telling, but also the way in which he told it. The writing style is quite gripping and compelling as I literally hung on every word and couldn't seem to be able to read it fast enough, to which my girlfriend can attest as she had been wandering around the store wondering where I had disappeared to for almost an hour. I had no idea that I had been standing there reading it for that long.

The author takes you on a dual journey of sorts as he details the life of Pat Miletich and the rise of the UFC, which although they started their respective lives at different times, they were destined to come together with the results being not only favorable for each, but also inevitable. Can one truly say that either one would be what they are today without the other? I don't think so.

This book, like
...Read more ›
Comment 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As someone not familiar with the sport of MMA, I bought this book because I have enjoyed the author's previous work. And boy, am I glad I picked this one up! Terrific writing illuminates the world of UFC and the fastest growing sport in the world; MMA.

Anyone currently a fan of Pat Miletich and his bloody yet thrilling escapades would do well to read "Blood", but the real winners are sports fans like myself who, until now, had turned up their noses at MMA. After reading the book and watching some highlights on YouTube, I am thoroughly impressed with the athleticism, dedication, and sportsmanship of the competitors.

Though it appears that UFC CEO Dana White is now in over his head in terms of controlling a billion dollar business, I see nothing but good things for the sport. Best to Miletich, the competitors of MMA, and, certainly, author L Jon Wertheim for their fine work.

Highly recommended to all sports fans!
Comment 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I only gave it 4 stars, because there has to be something out there that is better. Is this a good reason to only give it 4 stars? Not when I was reading it.

An easy read. This book covered so well how Pat Miletich had an effect on MMA. Also, a great book to find out the early rise of the UFC, which I knew very little about.

It was a much better book than I expected.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
Excellent book and excellent read... Just ahead on the curve in terms of MMA's mainstream popularity, Pat Militech never got the fame or wealth he deserved. He is a true warrior and fighter.

I recommend this book to anyone interested in MMA, wrestling, jiu jitsu, high level athletes or the machine that is the UFC... Even if you have no intention of stepping into a ring and getting punched in the face, this is a well written biography and will not disappoint.

I place this book next to Sam Sheriden's A Fighter's Heart... Buy it, read it and pass it on...
Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Pages with Related Products. See and discover other items: chinese martial arts