01-07-15, By JP Scarano, Exclusively for TheFightWorld.Com
This past weekend a long time veteran of the sport of MMA and former 5-time World Heavyweight champion, Tim “The Maine-iac” Sylvia, announced his retirement after 16 years of competition. Sylvia began his MMA career back in January 19, 2001. Standing at 6’8, he was a towering Heavyweight and most of the time was the tallest fighter in this division.
Sylvia was 13-0 before he was asked to join the UFC and in his first UFC Heavyweight fight he won by TKO (corner stoppage) and got his first title shot against then champion Ricco Rodriguez. It proved to be short work for Sylvia when he KO’ed Rodriguez 3 minutes into the first round. Sylvia went onto defend his Heavyweight title twice. In his second title defense he took on Frank Mir who was becoming well-known for his slick jiu-jitsu and submission wins. When Sylvia and Mir met on June 19, 2004 it took less then a minute for Mir to not only submit Sylvia but break his arm as well.
After Sylvia’s fight with Mir he found himself out of the top promotion in the world. He had one fight outside of the UFC and came back with a stunning knock out. He was asked to return the UFC but hit another road block in Andrei Arlovski. These two men would go onto have one of the best feuds to date in the heavyweight division. When Sylvia and Arlovski met it was for the UFC Interim World Heavyweight Championship. Current champion, Mir, was recovering from injuries he sustained in a motorcycle accident.
Arlovski was living up to his nickname of “The Pitbull” by taking the fight to Sylvia and getting the KO. After this fight Sylvia went 3 wins straight before he got another chance at the title. Arlovski aonce again made short work of Sylvia in his rematch and took the title with him. But their third fight in the UFC was a 5-round war where Sylvia won by Unanimous Decision and won his next match in the same manner as well until he met Randy Couture. This fight was suppose to be an easy one for Sylvia but Couture was ready and wanted to prove he was still a champion.
Couture proved you should never doubt him and beat Sylvia by UD. In his next fight, Sylvia came back and looked really good by beating Brandon Vera but he lost his shot at another title when he got submitted by Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. He found himself released by the UFC once again.
After his release, we saw Sylvia fighting for many different promotions but always hoping to get back to the UFC and give it one last run. He took on one of the most dangerous fighters, Fedor Emelianenko, but got submitted in the first round. He then lost one more time by KO but bounced back with 4 straight wins before losing to TUF veteran Abe Wagner. But, proving that you can ever count Sylvia out, he went 3 straight wins again before facing his long time foe, Arlovski. These men went at it once again but it came down to a No Contest (illegal soccer kicks by Arlovski). After that fight, Sylvia suffered 3 straight losses and it was looking like his time was almost up in MMA.
Then January 3, 2015 came around where he was supposed to fight Juliano Coutinho. That fight was cancelled due to Sylvia having problems with making weight and taking meds. This was putting a big hurt on his bank account. When the fight was cancelled Sylvia knew it was time to call it quits and retire.
Sylvia has a record of 31-10-0 (1) and 5 championships to call his own. Not only has Sylvia been busy with MMA he is also a police officer in the State of Illinois on a part-time basis. He was one of the biggest supporters of MMA and one of the key players to make the sport what it is now. We at TheFightWorld.com THANK YOU for all your great matches and wish you the best of luck.
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