Timothy Deane Sylvia
March 5, 1974 
Ellsworth, Maine, United States
|Other names||The Maine-iac|
|Residence||Bettendorf, Iowa, United States|
|Height||6 ft 8 in (2.03 m)|
|Weight||271 lb (123 kg; 19.4 st)|
Heavyweight (2001–2008, 2011–2015)
Super Heavyweight (2009–2011, 2013)
|Reach||80.0 in (203 cm)|
|Fighting out of||Pleasant Valley, Iowa, United States|
|Team||American Top Team (2013-present) Miletich Fighting Systems (2001-2009), Team Wolfpack (2009-2012)|
|Rank||Brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu|
|Years active||2001–2015 (MMA)|
|Mixed martial arts record|
|Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog|
Timothy Deane Sylvia (born March 5, 1974) is a retired American mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter, professional wrestler, and former two-time Undisputed UFC Heavyweight Champion. He has competed as a Super Heavyweight and Heavyweight. While perhaps best known for competing in the UFC, Sylvia has also competed for Affliction, the International Fighting Championships (IFC), and ONE FC. Sylvia was known for his striking abilities and knockout power, with most of his wins coming by way of TKO/KO, and at 6'8, he often used his massive size and reach advantage.
MMA career 1
- Martial arts background 1.1
- Early professional career 1.2
- Controversy 1.3
- Injury 1.4
- Return 1.5
- Reclaiming the title 1.6
Post UFC 1.7
- Titan Fighting Championship 1.7.1
- Fight Tour 1.8
- ProElite 1.9
- New England Fights 1.10
- ONE Championship 1.11
- Inoki Genome Federation 1.12
- Fight Nights 1.13
- Retirement 1.14
- Professional wrestling career 2
- Personal life 3
Championships and accomplishments 4
- Mixed martial arts 4.1
- Mixed martial arts record 5
- See also 6
- References 7
- External links 8
Martial arts background
Sylvia was born and raised in Ellsworth, Maine, attending Ellsworth High School and graduating in 1992. He joined a karate school as a child, and began wrestling in high school. After graduation, he worked construction, community gardening, hanging sheet rock, a bouncer, and painting houses. After high school, he played semi-pro football for three years before becoming interested in MMA, and began to train with Marcus Davis, a fellow bouncer. During this time Sylvia decided to take up boxing and grappling. After training for a year, and winning grappling tournaments, he got the opportunity to fight in a Rhode Island no holds barred amateur event, in which he knocked out his opponent in 17 seconds.
A long time UFC fan, Sylvia and some friends attended UFC 28 in Atlantic City, New Jersey in 2000. In late 2000 Sylvia sold all of his belongings and moved to Bettendorf, Iowa, to train with Team Miletich which had members such as former UFC champions Matt Hughes and Jens Pulver. Sylvia was promoted to a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu on October 31, 2011.
Early professional career
Sylvia made his professional MMA debut in 2001 fighting for the IFC. He went on to rack up thirteen consecutive wins with ten knockouts in organizations such as the Hawaiin-based SuperBrawl, and Extreme Challenge. In 2002, Sylvia signed with the Ultimate Fighting Championship and won a TKO victory over Wesley "Cabbage" Correira at UFC 39 when Correira's corner threw in the towel. Sylvia then went on to defeat Ricco Rodriguez at UFC 41, winning the UFC heavyweight championship for the first time. Soon after Sylvia defended his title with another quick victory over Gan McGee at UFC 44.
After the fight with McGee, Sylvia tested positive for the banned substance Stanozolol. He voluntarily forfeited his title and was handed a six-month suspension, and fined $10,000 by the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC). He later commented that the steroid usage was for shedding excess weight. Sylvia apologized and made no effort to claim innocence.
At UFC 48 in June 2004, Sylvia returned to face Frank Mir for the vacant UFC Heavyweight Championship; he lost. Early on in the fight Mir trapped Sylvia's right arm in an armbar submission attempt. As Sylvia tried to escape the hold, Sylvia's right radius bone snapped about three inches below his elbow. Referee Herb Dean immediately stopped the fight and declared Sylvia unable to continue. Sylvia took exception to the decision and repeatedly claimed his arm was not broken (though the break could be explicitly seen on the slow-motion replay of the fight), even touching it and moving it around to demonstrate. Sylvia was taken to a local hospital where an x-ray revealed that his arm was in fact broken; he then took several months off to recuperate. Afterward, Sylvia said he was glad the referee stopped the fight, thereby saving his arm from further damage.
Six months after his loss to Frank Mir, Sylvia returned (a titanium plate had been attached to his forearm) to the UFC in February 2005, taking on Andrei Arlovski to crown an interim UFC heavyweight champion as Mir, while still the nominal UFC champion, had suffered numerous injuries from a motorcycle accident that left him unable to defend his title. Sylvia was knocked to the ground by an overhand right punch, and while on the ground was caught in an Achilles lock and submitted.
In May 2005, Sylvia defeated Mike Block in the IFC by TKO, then went on to face MMA veteran Tra Telligman at UFC 54. With one second left in the first round, Sylvia landed a left head kick which knocked out Telligman. Sylvia made his cable television debut next, fighting Assuerio Silva at Ultimate Fight Night 3 on Spike TV, winning a unanimous decision after three rounds in a match that was intended to decide the next number one contender.
Reclaiming the title
At UFC 59, Sylvia was finally awarded his rematch with the then-outright champion Andrei Arlovski. During the fight Sylvia was knocked down via an overhand right by Arlovski, only to immediately stand up and swing back on buckled legs. Within ten seconds in a turn of events Sylvia dropped Arlovski with an uppercut, followed by hammerfists that left Arlovski motionless, thus once again taking the UFC heavyweight title. Soon after the match, Sylvia requested, and was given, a rubber match with Arlovski. Their third match took place at UFC 61, This time Sylvia controlled the fight for five rounds by utilizing his massive reach and constantly keeping the jab on Arlovski's face thus keeping him from coming in close. Sylvia won a lop-sided unanimous decision and remained the heavyweight champion.
Sylvia next fought Mundials world Jiu-Jitsu champion, 2-time ADCC world champion and Jiu-Jitsu Pan American champion Jeff Monson at UFC 65. Billed as a classic "striker vs. grappler" match, Sylvia won again via unanimous decision by keeping the fight on the outside with the jab. The fight showcased Sylvia's growth as a mixed martial artist as he avoided danger from Monson on the ground, and even attempted a triangle choke submission himself.
On March 3, 2007, Sylvia lost the UFC heavyweight championship to former UFC light heavyweight champion and future UFC hall of famer Randy Couture via unanimous decision. The judges all scored the bout 50–45, giving Couture his fifth UFC championship.
On October 20, 2007 at UFC 77, Sylvia defeated Brandon Vera via unanimous decision (29–28, 29–27, 29–28). In the post-fight interview he called out Cheick Kongo to fight for the spot as number one contender for the heavyweight championship belt.
Early in 2008, Sylvia requested and was granted a release from his UFC contract, which still had one fight remaining on it. Sylvia cited unhappiness with pay, desire to face
12th UFC Heavyweight Championship
April 15, 2006 – March 3, 2007
9th UFC Heavyweight Championship
February 28, 2003 – October 15, 2003
Sylvia relinquished his title
Title next held byFrank Mir
- Yahoo Sports profile on Marcus Davis
- "ninjashoes.net Official website – biography". Retrieved February 2, 2009.
- "Tim Sylvia whipped into purple belt". MiddleEasy.com. 2011-11-04. Retrieved 2012-08-25.
- Iole, Kevin (August 14, 2004). "UFC fighter flunks drug test".
- "UFC 77 Play-by-Play". Sherdog.
- "Sylvia Departs UFC, Wants Fedor". Sherdog.com. March 28, 2008. Retrieved March 29, 2008.
- "Tim Sylvia Leaves the UFC – Signs with Adrenaline MMA". MMASplatter.
- "UFC Quick Quote: Former champ Tim Sylvia seeks greener pastures". MMAmania.
- "Ray Mercer TKO’S Tim Sylvia In MMA Bout". MMAweekly.com. 2009-06-14.
- "Tim Sylvia headlines Adrenaline MMA IV against Jason Riley on Sept. 18 in Iowa". MMAjunkie.
- Morgan, John and Marracco, Steven "Ohio commission turns down Sims vs. Sylvia at "Adrenaline MMA IV" mmajunkie.com February 16, 2010, Retrieved 2010-05-28
- "'"Tim Sylvia KOs Paul Buentello at 'War on the Mainland. USA Today. 2010-08-15. Retrieved 15 August 2010.
- "Tim Sylvia, Jens Pulver in action on December card in Minneapolis". Retrieved 16 November 2010.
- "Tim Sylvia to Replace Todd Duffee at Titan Fighting Championship". www.MMAFA.tv. 2010-12-28.
- "Fight Tour Presents Tim Sylvia fight, fan expo August 12th–13th". Retrieved 13 July 2011.
- "Tim Sylvia vs. Shayne Adams Pushed Back One Week". Retrieved 13 July 2011.
- "Tim Sylvia set to return against Brian Heden this month". Retrieved 2 August 2011.
- "Fight Tour Rockford: Felice Herrig, Tim Sylvia". Retrieved 17 August 2011.
- "Trio Of Former UFC Fighters Claim Wins Over The Weekend". Retrieved 22 August 2011.
- "Tim Sylvia Wins at Fight Tour: Rockford". Retrieved 23 August 2011.
- "ProElite 2 Set For November 5th, Sylvia vs. Rizzo, Arlovski vs. Fulton Headlining". Retrieved 1 October 2011.
- "Injured Rizzo Withdraws from Nov. 5 ProElite Bout Against Sylvia". Retrieved 17 October 2011.
- ProElite (2011-10-17). "New Main Event, Andreas Kraniotakes VS. Tim Sylvia, Pedro Rizzo Injured". ProElite. Retrieved 2011-11-17.
- "Tim Sylvia will face Randy Smith on June 16th in his home state of Maine". prommanow. 2012-04-25. Retrieved 2012-04-30.
- "Arlovski vs. Sylvia IV in One FC". FightSportAsia.com. 2012-08-03.
- "Former UFC Heavyweight Champion Andrei Arlvoski signs on for ONE FC: 'Pride of a Nation' in Manila". MMAmania.com. July 13, 2012. Retrieved August 31, 2012.
- "One FC 9 Undercard Gets Heavyweights Tim Sylvia, Tony Johnson Jr., 2 More Prelims". Retrieved 11 May 2013.
- "Tim Sylvia vs Satoshi Ishii Full Fight Video Inoki Bom Ba Ye 2012". AsianMMA.com. 2012-12-31.
- "Tim Sylvia vs Dagestan fighter". bloodandsweat.ru. 2013-10-27.
- Tristen Critchfield (2015-01-03). "Tim Sylvia Denied Medical Clearance to Compete at Reality Fighting Event". sherdog.com. Retrieved 2015-01-03.
- Steven Marrocco (2015-01-05). "Ex-UFC heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia retires after issue with MRI". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2015-01-05.
- "Tim Sylvia breaking down being a cop, Ray Mercer and internet rumors". Retrieved 14 November 2010.
- "Tim Sylvia applies to be a police officer". Retrieved 14 November 2010.
- "Tim Sylvia Applies To Police Force Now Fighting Part-Time". Retrieved 14 November 2010.
- "Tim Sylvia will protect the streets of Iowa with his part-time police officer gig". Retrieved 14 November 2010.
|Loss||31–10 (1)||Ruslan Magomedov||Decision (unanimous)||Fight Nights: Battle of Moscow 13||October 27, 2013||3||5:00||Moscow, Russia||Super Heavyweight bout.|
|Loss||31–9 (1)||Tony Johnson||TKO (doctor stoppage)||ONE Fighting Championship: Rise to Power||May 31, 2013||3||3:25||Pasay City, Philippines||271 lb Catchweight bout. Sylvia missed weight|
|Loss||31–8 (1)||Satoshi Ishii||Decision (unanimous)||IGF: INOKI-BOM-BA-YE 2012||December 31, 2012||3||5:00||Tokyo, Japan||Openweight bout.|
|NC||31–7 (1)||Andrei Arlovski||NC (illegal soccer kicks)||ONE Fighting Championship: Pride of a Nation||August 31, 2012||2||4:46||Quezon City, Philippines||Sylvia was unable to continue.|
|Win||31–7||Randy Smith||TKO (punches)||NEF Fight Night 3||June 16, 2012||1||0:12||Lewiston, Maine, United States|
|Win||30–7||Andreas Kraniotakes||Decision (unanimous)||ProElite: Big Guns||November 5, 2011||3||5:00||Moline, Illinois, United States||Return to Heavyweight|
|Win||29–7||Patrick Barrentine||TKO (punches and elbows)||Fight Tour||August 20, 2011||1||2:09||Rockford, Illinois, United States||Super Heavyweight bout.|
|Loss||28–7||Abe Wagner||TKO (punches)||Titan FC 16: Sylvia vs. Wagner||January 28, 2011||1||0:32||Kansas City, Kansas, United States||Super Heavyweight bout.|
|Win||28–6||Vince Lucero||Submission (punches)||CFX: Extreme Challenge on Target||December 11, 2010||1||2:44||Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States||Super Heavyweight bout.|
|Win||27–6||Paul Buentello||KO (punch)||PWP: War on the Mainland||August 14, 2010||2||4:57||Irvine, California, United States||Won inaugural PWP Heavyweight Championship; Weight limit was extended to 275 lb.|
|Win||26–6||Mariusz Pudzianowski||Submission (punches)||Moosin: God of Martial Arts||May 21, 2010||2||1:43||Worcester, Massachusetts, United States||Super Heavyweight bout.|
|Win||25–6||Jason Riley||TKO (punches)||Adrenaline MMA IV||September 18, 2009||1||2:32||Council Bluffs, Iowa, United States||Super Heavyweight bout.|
|Loss||24–6||Ray Mercer||KO (punch)||Adrenaline MMA 3: Bragging Rights||June 13, 2009||1||0:09||Birmingham, Alabama, United States||Super Heavyweight bout.|
|Loss||24–5||Fedor Emelianenko||Submission (rear-naked choke)||Affliction: Banned||July 19, 2008||1||0:36||Anaheim, California, United States||For the WAMMA Heavyweight Championship.|
|Loss||24–4||Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira||Submission (guillotine choke)||UFC 81||February 2, 2008||3||1:28||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||For Interim UFC Heavyweight Championship; Fight of the Night.|
|Win||24–3||Brandon Vera||Decision (unanimous)||UFC 77||October 21, 2007||3||5:00||Cincinnati, Ohio, United States|
|Loss||23–3||Randy Couture||Decision (unanimous)||UFC 68||March 3, 2007||5||5:00||Columbus, Ohio, United States||Lost the UFC Heavyweight Championship.|
|Win||23–2||Jeff Monson||Decision (unanimous)||UFC 65: Bad Intentions||November 18, 2006||5||5:00||Sacramento, California, United States||Defended the UFC Heavyweight Championship.|
|Win||22–2||Andrei Arlovski||Decision (unanimous)||UFC 61: Bitter Rivals||July 8, 2006||5||5:00||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||Defended the UFC Heavyweight Championship.|
|Win||21–2||Andrei Arlovski||TKO (punches)||UFC 59: Reality Check||April 15, 2006||1||2:43||Anaheim, California, United States||Won the UFC Heavyweight Championship.|
|Win||20–2||Assuerio Silva||Decision (unanimous)||UFC Fight Night 3||January 16, 2006||3||5:00||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Win||19–2||Tra Telligman||KO (head kick)||UFC 54||August 20, 2005||1||4:59||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Win||18–2||Mike Block||TKO (punches)||IFC: Caged Combat||May 21, 2005||1||1:26||Columbus, Ohio, United States||Won vacant ISKA MMA Super heavyweight Championship.|
|Loss||17–2||Andrei Arlovski||Submission (achilles lock)||UFC 51||February 5, 2005||1||0:47||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||For the Interim UFC Heavyweight Championship.|
|Win||17–1||Wes Sims||TKO (punches)||Superbrawl 38||December 12, 2004||1||1:32||Honolulu, Hawaii, United States|
|Loss||16–1||Frank Mir||Technical submission (armbar)||UFC 48||June 19, 2004||1||0:50||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||For the vacant UFC Heavyweight Championship; Sylvia's forearm was broken.|
|Win||16–0||Gan McGee||TKO (punches)||UFC 44||September 26, 2003||1||1:54||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||Defended the UFC Heavyweight title; later stripped of title for failing post-fight drug test.|
|Win||15–0||Ricco Rodriguez||KO (punches)||UFC 41||February 28, 2003||1||3:09||Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States||Won the UFC Heavyweight Championship.|
|Win||14–0||Wesley Correira||TKO (corner stoppage)||UFC 39||September 27, 2002||2||1:43||Uncasville, Connecticut, United States|
|Win||13–0||Jeff Gerlick||TKO (punches)||Extreme Challenge 48||July 27, 2002||1||3:17||Tama, Iowa, United States|
|Win||12–0||Mike Whitehead||TKO (knee and punches)||Superbrawl 24: ROTH 2||April 27, 2002||1||2:38||Honolulu, Hawaii, United States||Return of the Heavyweights Tournament Final|
|Win||11–0||Jason Lambert||TKO (doctor stoppage)||Superbrawl 24: ROTH 2||April 27, 2002||2||4:13||Honolulu, Hawaii, United States||Return of the Heavyweights Tournament Semifinal.|
|Win||10–0||Boyd Ballard||KO (knee)||Superbrawl 24: ROTH 2||April 27, 2002||1||3:21||Honolulu, Hawaii, United States||Return of the Heavyweights Tournament Quarterfinal.|
|Win||9–0||Mike Whitehead||TKO (knee and punches)||Superbrawl 24: ROTH 1||April 26, 2002||1||3:46||Honolulu, Hawaii, United States||Return of the Heavyweights Tournament Opening Round.|
|Win||8–0||Matt Fremmbling||Decision (unanimous)||Extreme Challenge 47||March 16, 2002||2||5:00||Orem, Utah, United States||EC 47 Heavyweight Tournament Final.|
|Win||7–0||Gino de la Cruz||TKO (punches)||Extreme Challenge 47||March 16, 2002||1||0:43||Orem, Utah, United States||EC 47 Heavyweight Tournament Semifinal.|
|Win||6–0||Ernest Henderson||TKO (fell out of the ring)||Extreme Challenge 47||March 16, 2002||1||0:29||Orem, Utah, United States||EC 47 Heavyweight Tournament Quarterfinal.|
|Win||5–0||Greg Wikan||Submission (guillotine choke)||Extreme Challenge Trials||November 17, 2001||3||2:20||Davenport, Iowa, United States|
|Win||4–0||Ben Rothwell||Decision (unanimous)||Extreme Challenge 42||August 24, 2001||3||5:00||Davenport, Iowa, United States|
|Win||3–0||Greg Wikan||TKO (corner stoppage)||UW: Ultimate Fight Minnesota||June 2, 2001||1||5:00||Bloomington, Minnesota, United States|
|Win||2–0||Gabe Beauperthy||Submission (arm-triangle choke)||GC 3: Showdown at Soboba||April 7, 2001||2||4:16||Friant, California, United States|
|Win||1–0||Randy Durant||TKO (punches)||IFC: Battleground 2001||January 19, 2001||1||2:05||Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States|
|Professional record breakdown|
|42 matches||31 wins||10 losses|
Mixed martial arts record
- Extreme Challenge 47 Heavyweight Tournament Winner
- Superbrawl Return of the Heavyweights Tournament Winner
International Sport Karate Association
- ISKA MMA Super heavyweight Championship (One time)
Powerhouse World Promotions
- PWP Heavyweight Championship (One time; Current)
- Ultimate Fighting Championship
Mixed martial arts
Championships and accomplishments
Sylvia has confirmed that he is a police officer in the State of Illinois on a part-time basis (one day a month). Being a police officer is something Sylvia has always aspired to do. He is married and has a son.
A grassroots Twitter campaign started on August 1, 2013 for Total Nonstop Action Wrestling president Dixie Carter to sign Sylvia and add him to the TNA ranks. Sylvia himself endorsed the campaign by re-tweeting it to his Twitter followers.
Professional wrestling career
Sylvia was scheduled to face Juliano Coutinho at Reality Fighting on January 3, 2015, However Sylvia was denied medical clearance by the Mohegan Athletic Unit, and as a result the fight was cancelled. Sylvia weighed in at 371 pounds for the fight. When asked why the fight was cancelled Monte Cox, Sylvia’s manager, wrote on Facebook “Not 100 [percent] sure... because of his age he had to do a lot of meds at last minute,” Cox wrote. “In all he needed a stress test, MRI, EKG, eye, blood and physical.” Apparently all the tests ordered by the Mohegan commission have made a significant impact on Sylvia’s bank account, as he wrote on Cox’s Facebook thread that he is “[$2,000] in the hole because of all the [tests] I had to do. After the cancelled fight Sylvia announced his retirement from MMA. He appeared in the cage alongside his proposed opponent and said an MRI issue prevented him from competing. “This is the end of my career,” Sylvia said at Mohegan Sun Arena, adding, “They said that I’ve received enough damage over 16 years.”
Sylvia fought Dagestan prospect Ruslan Magomedov at Fight Nights: Battle of Moscow 13 and lost by unanimous decision.
Sylvia fought Satoshi Ishii at Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye and lost by unanimous decision.
Inoki Genome Federation
In mid-July 2012, it was announced that Tim Sylvia had signed with the Asia-based promotion ONE Championship. The promotion quickly announced that Sylvia would face Andrei Arlovski in his debut, marking the fourth time the two fighters had faced each other. Sylvia and Arlovski faced off at ONE Fighting Championship: Pride of a Nation on August 31, 2012 in Manila. The fight between Tim Sylvia and Andrei Arlovski ended in a no-contest due to an illegal soccer kick by Andrei Arlovski. According to ONE FC rules at the time, soccer kicks are legal only if the referee clears the fighter to do so after determining the grounded fighter can still intelligently defend himself. Arlovski received no such clearance, the kick was deemed illegal. Four days later, One FC eliminated the clearance restriction.
Sylvia fought against Randy Smith at NEF: Fight Night 3 on June 16 in his home state of Maine. Sylvia defeated Smith in 12 seconds via TKO.
New England Fights
Sylvia was expected to take on Pedro Rizzo at ProElite 2 on November 5, However Rizzo later pulled out of the bout due to injury. Sylvia instead competed against German heavyweight Andreas Kraniotakes and won the fight via unanimous decision.
Sylvia was originally scheduled to face Shayne Adams (1–2) on August 13 at a Fight Tour event at the Rockford Metro Centre in Rockford, Illinois. But due to a scheduling conflict with the athletic commission the event will now take place on August 20. Sylvia was then scheduled to face Brian Heden at the August 20 Fight Tour event because the Illinois Athletic Commission would not approve the fight between Adams and Sylvia. However the bout between Sylvia and Heden was later scrapped for unknown reasons and Sylvia would now face submission specialist Patrick Barrentine. Sylvia defeated Barrentine via TKO in the first round. Sylvia weighed in at 280.5 pounds for the bout, 30 pounds lighter than his previous bout against Wagner.
Wagner caught Sylvia on the temple, and the former UFC champ was visibly staggered. As "The Maine-iac" tried to recover, Wagner went on the assault with jackhammer punches that chased Sylvia across the cage. Sylvia avoided the shots as he retreated, but once he reached the cage, Wagner landed a four-punch combination that saw his opponent slump to the canvas. Referee Jason Herzog wasted little time in rushing in to call the fight, and the decision was justified when Sylvia stumbled as he returned to his feet. The entire process took just 32 seconds.
Wagner's speed advantage was evident in the opening seconds, and he looked to pepper Sylvia with strikes on multiple levels as he retreated and stayed away from his opponent's length. Then a right hand brought about the beginning of the end.
Sylvia fought Abe Wagner at Titan Fighting Championships 16 (Sylvia replaced Todd Duffee), Sylvia weighed in at 311 pounds and was defeated 32 seconds into the first round, ending his 4 fight win streak. The super heavyweight matchup served as the main event of Friday night's HDNet-broadcast event, which took place at Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kan.
Titan Fighting Championship
Sylvia fought Vince Lucero at CFX/Extreme Challenge on December 11. Sylvia won the fight by submission due to punches.
Sylvia defeated Paul Buentello by Knockout due to an uppercut at Powerhouse World Promotions: War on the Mainland on August 14. As heavyweight fighter Pedro Rizzo entered the ring during the post fight interview, Powerhouse World Promotions announced Sylvia would make his first title defense against the fellow UFC veteran. The fight never occurred, however, as PWP disappeared after this inaugural event.
The Sims fight was scuttled again (as well as another against UFC veteran Pedro Rizzo), when it was discovered that Sylvia broke his foot at Moosin.
In the meantime, Sylvia fought five time World's Strongest Man Mariusz Pudzianowski at Moosin: God of Martial Arts on May 21, 2010, winning by submission (punches).
Sylvia's next fight was expected to be a rematch with The Ultimate Fighter alumni Wes Sims on March, 20th in Ohio. However, the Ohio State Athletic Commission refused to sanction the bout, saying that the fight was "non-competitive", resulting in the bout being rescheduled to June 6, 2010, in Nova Scotia, Canada, for the IFC Superheavyweight title.
After Affliction folded, Sylvia defeated Jason Riley via TKO (punches) 2:32 into the first round at the Adrenaline IV main event on September 18, 2009 in Council Bluffs, Iowa. It was later revealed through Sherdog.com that Sylvia broke his right hand about a minute and a half into his fight with Riley, spoiling a debut with the Japanese promotion Dream, planned for October 25.
Before his bout with Mercer, Sylvia was scheduled to face Paul Buentello at Affliction: Trilogy. But after the devastating KO loss, Cox and Affliction decided it would be best for Sylvia to sit out the next few months, because of his recent losses.
On February 25, 2009, Sylvia's manager (and Adrenaline MMA CEO) Monte Cox announced that Sylvia would face former boxing world heavyweight champion and 1988 Olympic gold medalist Ray Mercer in a boxing main event at Adrenaline MMA III on May 30, 2009, at the Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort in Atlantic City. However, after the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board refused to sanction the fight, the event was moved to Birmingham Jefferson Civic Center in Birmingham, Alabama and rescheduled to June 13. Only days before the bout, it was changed to be contested under MMA rules, again because of sanctioning problems. When they finally met, Mercer knocked Sylvia out with a single punch nine seconds into the first round. Sylvia weighed in at 310.6 pounds for the Super Heavyweight fight.
On March 28, 2008, Sylvia signed with Fedor Emelianenko at Affliction Clothing's inaugural event Affliction: Banned. The fight took place on July 19, 2008, and saw the former Pride Heavyweight Champion dropping Sylvia and taking his back before securing a rear naked choke, forcing Sylvia to submit at 0:36 of the first round.