Tim Sylvia (24-6) will not be retiring in the foreseeable future, according to comments made by his manager Monte Cox to MMAWeekly.com. “He’s an MMA fighter, that’s what he does for a living. He’s got to keep fighting—he’s too young to quit.”
Sylvia, a 33-year old former UFC heavyweight champion, has lost his last two fights in a combined forty-five seconds to Ray Mercer and Fedor Emelianenko. While Emelianenko is often considered to be the greatest pound for pound mixed martial arts fighter in the world, Mercer is a forty-eight year old former boxing champion well past his prime.
Sylvia, a 6’8” Pat Miletich-trained fighter, has shown a preference for fighting on his feet throughout his career. While many mixed martial arts fighters such as Andrei Arlovski, Anderson Silva and Nick Diaz have expressed an interest in boxing, Sylvia’s crushing defeat provides a pretty strong reason to steer clear. While a win over an aging Mercer would have done very little to progress Sylvia’s career, many believe the 9-second knockout loss might have ended it. While Cox insists there’s more fighting in store for Sylvia, he has already been pulled from a planned fight against fellow heavyweight giant Paul Buentello at Affliction’s third show scheduled to take place this August.
The loss to Mercer marks the third in a row for Sylvia with his last win dating back to October of 2007 against an undersized Brandon Vera. Sylvia’s downfall began when Randy Couture defeated him in a five round decision victory to claim the UFC’s heavyweight title over two years ago. Sylvia bounced back from the Couture loss with the decision win over Vera.
The future for Tim Sylvia is unclear at this point. His recent devastating defeats have left his career in question. The only certainty is that Sylvia desperately needs a victory his next time out.