After thirteen years, forty-two fights, seventy-nine rounds, and two UFC heavyweight titles, Tim Sylvia is hanging up the gloves and calling it a career.
The 6’8” powerhouse of a heavyweight began his MMA career in April of 2001. His fifteenth consecutive victory had him earning the UFC heavyweight title in UFC 41, by knocking out Ricco Rodriguez. After one defense, which was another W, Tim tasted his first defeat when Frank Mir broke his arm in UFC 48. Although his forearm was clearly broken, Sylvia wanted to continue on.
I got to interview Sylvia on various occasions, starting when he was preparing for his fist bout against Andrei Arlovski in UFC 51.
He struck me as a down to earth country boy who loved to hunt, as well as fight. That was my first UFC event live, and although he was defeated that night, I was standing behind Sylvia as he stood there and signed autographs and pose for photos with the fans. I thought that was a class act.
Sylvia would go on to meet Arlovski on three more occasions, winning two and one a no contest. Sylvia’s last fight in the UFC was in 2008, a submission loss to Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. In 2009, and ill advised, he took on former WBO boxing heavyweight title holder, Ray Mercer, who dropped and stopped Tim in just nine seconds of their MMA bout. Sylvia fought on, winning here, losing there, but, he has not been in the win column since the summer of 2012.
After nearly a year and a half layoff, Sylvia was raring to get back in the mix of the fight game, and he was scheduled to fight this past Saturday on the Reality Fighting event. After tipping the scales just twenty-eight pounds shy of four hundred. The Athletic Department wanted more evaluation on his health.
After that being said, Sylvia decided to call it a day on his career, it was reported that Tim told the fans that he was ending his career due to medical reasons. Tim calls it a day at the age of thirty-eight.