Pat Miletich: Tim Sylvia is the poster child for overachievement

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Tim Sylvia came under fan fire over the weekend for his performance vs. Andrei Arlovksi.

After a solid first round, Sylvia faded some in the second, and was caught with two brutal straight rights, which dropped him.

Arlovski followed up with two soccer kicks, before the referee indicated he could as required under One FC’s unusual rule set. Sylvia was unable to continue and the bout was declared a No Contest, in a further highly unusual step (ordinarily an intentional foul that results in a fighter being unable to continue means the fight is decided in favor of the injured party).

The fans who wished Sylvia had kept fighting have never been soccer kicked in the face by Andrei Arlovski.

While not always a huge fan favorite, Tim Sylvia has earned the respect of Pat Miletich, one of the greatest trainers in MMA history, who had a unique window onto Sylvia’s development.

“I’ll tell you what,” said Miletich. “Of all guys on the planet who were not physically gifted by God… that guy was great. When Tim was training with us, when he moved out from Maine, I would watch him try to jump rope, and he’d literally almost break down in tears because he couldn’t do it.

“I’d look at Hughes and Pulver and those guys and say, ‘I just don’t have the heart to tell this guy to go back to Maine. He’s trying so damned hard.’

“He stuck with it, and ended up winning the heavyweight world title. I would say that Tim is the poster child for over-achievement. If there’s anybody out there that doubts themselves, take a look at the belief that Tim Sylvia had in himself. He won a world title, and that’s pretty impressive.”

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