One of the first things you learn as a grappler is when to submit. Tim Sylvia missed that lesson. Sylvia’s Break is Mir’s Fortune describes their UFC bout from last Saturday night:
The closest man to the action saw what happened. Truth be told, he heard it too. With 253-pound Frank Mir applying as much pressure as he could to six-foot-eight Tim Sylvia’s gangly right arm, it shouldn’t have been such a surprise. Yet when referee Herb Dean jumped between Mir and Sylvia just 50 seconds after their UFC heavyweight championship contest commenced Saturday night, a cascade of boos showered down from the 10,000-plus fans inside the Mandalay Bay Events Center.
Moments later, when the six big screens throughout the arena simultaneously aired a Sylvia’ forearm move in a way it wasn’t designed to do, the ‘boos’ turned into ‘oohs.’ And with that, Dean was vindicated, Frank Mir (8-1-0) was the proud owner of a new belt, and Tim Sylvia (18-1-0) was on his way to a local Las Vegas hospital with two broken bones following the first loss of his career.
Sylvia had plenty of time to tap out, but he didn’t, and he paid the price.
Frankly, I didn’t know what happened when the ref jumped in. Sylvia’s elbow was slipping out, so I thought he was safe. I guess he was safe — from having his elbow dislocated. In the replay, a spot in his forearm (an inch or two below the elbow) visible pops out. That’s what the ref saw — and heard.
Tap early, tap often, kids.
The fact that Sylvia then acted unhurt makes me wonder, was he on drugs?