Adam Milstead is an MMA fighter. A pipeline technician. A born-again Christian. His collar is as blue as it gets. And with a record of eight and two, with six knockouts under his belt, he’s earned his stripes.
“The Prototype”, as his coach donned him after seeing his picture-perfect fight form, never had it easy. Growing up in a small town on the Chesapeake Bay of Maryland, he and his father scrapped for everything they had. They slept at friends’ houses. On motel floors. In cold basements. But Adam isn’t one to complain.
“The fridge always seemed to stay full,” he remembers. “And there was always a roof over my head.”
Although the two didn’t have much, at least they had each other. Until they didn’t. One day Adam woke up to find his father had passed away in his sleep. To honor him, Adam dedicates his fights to his dad’s memory, commemorating his best friend the only way he knows how.
“I’ll give every bit to be the best at whatever I do, to honor his name and his sacrifice.”
So every morning at 4AM, the technician gets out of bed, works until 6PM, then trains until 11. Work, train, repeat. With two full time jobs, there isn’t much room for sleep.
“Working all day makes it hard to train, so I use Proven4 Pre-Game to boost my energy.” Cherry Limeade is his favorite.
But fighting is just one part of Adam’s life. The Pittsburgh resident spends most of his time repairing pipelines, spending time outdoors, and writing the occasional song on his guitar. This double life of sorts leaves him plenty busy, but one can influence the other.
“Being a pipeline technician has taught me to be proud. Proud, not only to be a professional athlete, but also for being a blue collar American, contributing to both America’s economy and entertainment.”
Milstead is nothing if not proud – maybe to a fault. On February 4th, 2017, the 6’3”, 233-pound heavyweight was set to fight Curtis Blaydes at UFC 104, his second bout at the highest level of the sport. In the first round, “Razor” Blaydes notched seven takedowns of his opponent, in the process, injuring Milstead’s already troublesome right knee. Despite the danger, Adam chose not to tell his corner, and went back in the octagon for the second round. That decision proved to be disastrous.
After another takedown from Blaydes, physics gave way and gruesomely buckled Milstead’s knee. He tore his ACL. The fight was called, and Adam’s eight win streak was abruptly ended. But the grinder took it in stride, tweeting out congratulations for his opponent after the round.
As Milstead knows, it’s not just the wins that make the man, but the losses as well. His grit is a point of pride. “My goal in fighting is to be known not as the best fighter, but the toughest. Someone who never gave up, someone who never knew what the word quit meant.”
So now, Milstead is staging his comeback. He’s rehabbing his knee. He’s done away with the pizza and beer, and he’s cutting weight. He’s got fans to make proud and a father to honor.
“My goal in life is to be happy. To live with no regrets and inspire others to chase their dreams.”