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Welcome to the UFC, Adam Milstead

What!? Another heavyweight? This can't be right. But it is. The UFC has signed on rising American prospect Adam Milstead.

It may be winter right now, but it's springtime for the UFC's heavyweight division. For the first time in recent memory the promotion's weightiest weight class is getting a much needed injection of fresh talent. This month alone has seen three new big men already with the signings of Bojan Mihajlovic, Marcin Tybura, and Dmitry Smolyakov. Add in the recent pickups of Jarjis Danho, Damian Grabowski, Francis Ngannou, Luiz Henrique, and Bilyal Makhov and you have a division in major flux. One thing has been missing however, looking over the names above, and that's American fighters. This latest acquisition looks to solve that though, as the UFC has picked up Pittsburgh native Adam Milstead for a four fight contract. MMAFighting first reported the news, and while no debut date or opponent has been announced, Milstead is expected to fight this spring. So...

Who is Adam Milstead?

The 28-year-old "Prototype" is a product Mark Cherico's Martial Arts & Fitness Academy, former home came to Cody Garbrandt and a sometimes training partner of Stipe Miocic over at Strong Style MMA in Ohio. He's on his way to the UFC with a 7-1 pro record having gone undefeated since losing his debut in 2011. All of his wins come by stoppage, with five KO/TKOs and two submissions. On paper his level of opposition is unexciting, but fine. Mostly he's faced a combination of regional journeymen and other young, green fighters. It's HW, so anything other than straight can crushing is a good sign. Outside of MMA Milstead has a background as a wrestler and played football for Geneva College.

What you should expect:

Todd Duffee would be the easy point of comparison for a fighter like Milstead. Another big, cut, powerful heavyweight whose most remarkable talent is a willingness to sit in the pocket and throw fight ending punches. There are a few notable differences however. As a striker, Milstead is much more comfortable boxing inside than a fighter like Duffee (and a bit less comfortable out at range) and does a good job mixing his strike selection in the pocket to find openings in his opponent's defense. He's also shown the occasional willingness to do some grappling work on the mat, and even has an armbar to his name.

When he can get a well timed shot in open space he has a decent power double, but otherwise Milstead's wrestling isn't especially notable. He often gets stuffed on shot attempts and ends up working in the clinch instead. He's got a decent dirty boxing game and the power to make up for technique, but it does leave him somewhat limited as a fighter who is only really at his offensive best when he's right in front of you slinging leather. Defensively, Milstead has a few holes too. He moves his head well at range, but when he actually sits down on his punches he's a pretty static target and has gotten tagged a few times because of it. I expect he'll have early success in the UFC just on his physical tools. But, he'll need to really evolve his game (or show an incredible chin) to get into the top 10.

To get us better acquainted, here's his recent bout against Lewis Rumsey: