Tim Sylvia's Blogs
Poll: Sylvia vs. Pudzianowski
By: Mike Fridley
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Red Ink: Sylvia/Pudzianowski
By: Jake Rossen
File Photo: Sherdog.com
While it has never been easy to be a Tim Sylvia fan -- the tall, smug fighter is neither an underdog nor ring dynamite -- the past year has been especially troublesome. Since the former UFC heavyweight champion defected from that promotion in 2008 to pursue a big money deal with Affliction, he has endured two losses in three fights. One of them was forgivable (the loss to King Fedor) and one was not (a viral video KO at the elderly hands of pro boxer Ray Mercer).
To enjoy more exposure in Strikeforce or in Japan, Sylvia will have to turn the punchline title over to Mariusz Pudzianowski, the no-necked strongman champion who is pursuing an improbable career in MMA. In two fights, Pudzianowski has displayed skill on the level of a very large, very powerful child throwing a tantrum. If he had an iota of wrestling ability, his physical pressure would be a nightmare. But as a fighter, he relies solely on explosive movements and basic brute force; as a novelty act, he falls somewhere in between Primo Carnera and the Green Power Ranger.
This is all high risk for very little reward. Sylvia beating Pudzianowski is an unremarkable chapter in the story of his career. Not beating him would probably be the end of it.
What It Means: For Sylvia, an opportunity to display a restored commitment to conditioning; for Pudzianowski, preserving his value as a carnival attraction.
Might Look Like: A complete mess.
Wild Card: Pudzianowski just fought two weeks ago. While beginners can maintain a busy fight schedule, they’re usually much younger. And better. And not facing former champions.
Who Wins: Unless Sylvia has completely checked out, Pudzianowski will get a boxing lesson similar to the jab-fest suffered by equally squat-framed Jeff Monson back in 2006. Sylvia by TKO. Read more
Sylvia Goes for Broke
By: Jake Rossen
File Photo: Dave Mandel|Sherdog.com
At a point I can’t even identify, Tim Sylvia became a punchline. This was not always the case. From the beginning, he was awkwardly built -- to the point where he was once popped for banned substances just to streamline his frame -- but had earned the right to be taken seriously. He was a 6’8” heavyweight who used his reach and boxing to make life hell for opponents. He ran a five-fight win streak in the UFC. He knocked out Andrei Arlovski and Ricco Rodriguez when it counted. He busted up Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. There was something there.
Then came the big-money offer to fight Fedor Emelianenko. (He lost.) Then came the viral video loss to Ray Mercer, a 48-year-old boxer who was once submitted by Kimbo Slice. Then came the attempts to book garbage fights against Wes Sims to powder and diaper his ego. A guy makes those moves, and the jokes start writing themselves.
Unfortunately, Sylvia’s latest bid is another monkeys-on-unicycles brainstorm: he’s slated to fight “world’s strongest man” Mariusz Pudzianowski May 21. It will be Massachusetts’ first sanctioned mixed martial arts card. If first impressions count, the state had better hope for a power outage.
Sylvia doesn’t need these fights. What he needs are competitive bouts that can help restore some of the intimidation factor. There is still a place in the heavyweight division for a decent boxer with arms like telephone poles who is hell to take down. He should book a Mercer rematch to correct that glitch, and then pursue fights in Strikeforce or Dream that could put him in some kind of position for a comeback. If he loses to Pudzianowski, a fire hydrant of a man with one “pro” fight to his name, there isn’t going to be anything left of his career to salvage. Read more
Media Blackout: Sylvia Refuses Dot-Com Interview
By: Jake Rossen
The popularity -- and correlating distractions -- of mixed martial arts has made securing fighters for interviews slightly more difficult than a few years ago. They’re pushed and pulled in a lot of different directions, and a Web site request for comment doesn’t usually trump sponsorship obligations, family, or sleep.Read more
On the whole, though, combat athletes tend to make themselves more available and amenable than their MLB, NFL, or PGA equivalents, most of whom insulate themselves in a Snuggie’s worth of PR and league foot soldiers.
Shocking then, that Tim Sylvia turned down an interview from Fighters.com shortly before Friday’s rebound bout against Jason Riley in Nebraska. Sylvia, savvy media player he is, apparently asked for some of the questions beforehand. And he might’ve been right on board until the interviewer -- identified only as “Chad” -- previewed this home run: “Did you bed [Andrei] Arlovski’s ex-girlfriend, Patricia Mikula?”
Chad, Chad. Do you think “Stuttering” John Melendez passed a list of questions over to Ringo Starr’s publicist before asking what we did with the money his mother gave him for singing lessons? If you have to go there, go there unannounced.
The ambush interview can be amusing in the right hands, but in the end, using a crowbar to peer into an athlete’s personal life is only going to result in a greater divide between press and personalities. And if that happens -- if performers begin to look and sound as clinical as the bores in other sports -- fans are going to have a harder time relating. That’s a big, big component of this sport’s success: athletes as accessible, regular people. Not bubble boys.
Killer Instinct: Sylvia Sharpens Acting Skills in ‘Halloween 2’
By: Jake Rossen
You loved him as “Aryan #1” in 2007’s “The Death and Life of Bobby Z” and as “Man in Coma” in the Ray Mercer documentary: now see Tim Sylvia as a serial killer.Read more
First reported by Fighters.com and confirmed by Sylvia’s manager Monte Cox, Sylvia is performing stand-in duties for Michael Myers in “Halloween 2.”
Currently, he's in Boston shooting "Oxy Morons."
Sylvia ‘Extremely Embarrassed,’ Ready to Fight
By: Greg Savage
Former UFC heavyweight champ Tim Sylvia was removed from his Aug. 1 Affliction bout with Paul Buentello after suffering a knockout loss Saturday to Olympic gold medalist and former boxing champion Ray Mercer.Read more
Affliction VP Tom Atencio informed Sylvia that they couldn’t take a chance on the California State Athletic Commission forcing him off the card.
Aside from being “extremely embarrassed,” Sylvia told me Tuesday that he is ready to go but understands the problematic nature of his knockout loss.
Sylvia Weighs in at 311 Pounds
By: Sherdog.com Staff
Former WBO heavyweight boxing champion Ray Mercer will have a little more of Tim Sylvia to contend with when the pair meet Saturday night at Adrenaline III inside the BJCC Arena in Birmingham, Ala., for an impromptu MMA bout.Read more
The 6-foot-8 Maine native usually sheds down to within five pounds of the 265-pound heavyweight limit during competition. However, Sylvia weighed in Friday at 311 pounds to Mercer’s 257-pound frame –- a far cry from the former UFC champion’s usual tale of the tape.
The bout, originally intended as a six-round boxing match, has fended off criticism since its inception. It took its biggest hit yet Thursday when athletic commission reps stepped in to squash it all together, claiming it had not been properly approved and regulated.
Sylvia to Abandon MMA for Boxing?
By: Jake Rossen
Fighters Only gives good blurb by quoting former UFC heavyweight Tim Sylvia pondering a permanent move to pro boxing.Read more
"It’s something I've always wanted to pursue and if it works out like I'd like for it too [sic], I can switch over,” he told the magazine. “I don't want to be done with MMA, but the money is a lot better in boxing … I would love to fight some of the heavyweight champs, you know? I mean the paydays are ridiculous!"
Yes, they are, providing you have a rabid country supporting you -- or you’re a densely muscled genetic freak who’s been boxing since puberty. Sylvia has a good reach and credible stand-up skills relative to MMA, but in boxing, he’s going to be channeling Randall Cobb-levels of ineffectiveness.
And worse: 33 is an awfully advanced age to be debuting in anything other than the local softball league. Wisely, Sylvia will ease his way into it by taking on animated corpse Ray Mercer in Alabama June 13. Try not to injure anyone while stampeding to the box office.