Monday, March 1, 2010

Tim Sylvia: The Downward Spiral

It was just about two years ago when Tim Sylvia fought Fedor Emelianenko at Affliction: Banned. At that time, Sylvia had just been axed by the UFC after a loss to Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, but was still considered a sought after free agent. Affliction announced its foray into MMA events, and the fight was set up. The fight had huge hype surrounding it. It was Fedor's first fight against a top heavyweight in some time, and many thought Sylvia's style and size could derail Emelianenko.

Not quite. Emelianenko choked out Sylvia in less than a minute. What followed next can only be called bizarre. Sylvia was set to headline Adrenaline MMA 3 in a boxing match against former Olympic boxer Ray Mercer. Then, the fight was changed to an MMA fight days before the event. Then, it happened. Mercer knocked out a noticeably overweight and out-of-shape Sylvia in just 9 seconds. Yes, the same Ray Mercer that was submitted by Kimbo Slice in his first fight in the sport. After beating up and comer Jason Riley at Adrenaline MMA 4, it seemed that Sylvia was ready to take another shot at climbing the ladder.

However, it now seems that Sylvia knows his best days are behind him. He turned down a fight with top (although marred) heavyweight Josh Barnett, and his next choices of opponents are baffling. There's former World's Strongest Man Mariusz Pudzianowski, and Ultimate Fighter 10 alum Wes Sims. These choice are absolutely ridiculous if Sylvia wants people to take him seriously. Pudzianowski may be strong, but Sylvia will likely have the technique and experience to exploit the strongman with relative ease. After an embarrassing performance on the Ultimate Fighter 10, Sims had an equally humiliating performance against rising star Bobby Lashley in his last fight. After those performances, there is seemingly nothing Sims can offer Sylvia, and serious promoters should just let Sims fade away at this point. Both these fights are nothing but "freak show" fights, hardly something Sylvia should do since he constantly has to prove to fans that he is a top heavyweight. If he really wanted to prove he still has it, he would have taken the Barnett fight. The downward spiral ends here Tim. Welcome to rock bottom.

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