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And Now He’s Retired: Tim Sylvia Retires Due to Morbid Obesity (And Possible Brain Problems)


(Tim Sylvia, in his bantamweight debut. / Photo via Getty)

UFC 182 was certainly the talk of the town this weekend, yet we couldn’t help but notice a former UFC Heavyweight Champion call it a day after going on an Arby’s world tour to train for his most recent bout.

According to The Underground, Maine’s own Tim Sylvia retired yesterday, shortly after his super-heavyweight fight against Juliano “Banana” Coutinho at Reality Fighting 53 was cancelled. Sylvia, who was planning on entering the battlefield at a whopping 371 pounds, was not cleared to fight by  the Mohegan Tribe Department of Athletic Regulation at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, CT., and thank the good Lord for that.

However, manager Monte Cox confirmed on Facebook there was a problem with his pre-fight MRI, and the bout was cancelled due to other issues apart from his weight. Nevertheless, the face-off picture of a bloated Timmeh surfaced on social media and MMA sites around the world, and that was enough for its experts to stare at it without blinking for the whole duration of the UFC 182 main card (except for the main event, of course).

On the tail end of a three-fight losing streak, last night would have been the 42nd time Sylvia competed in a professional MMA contest. As one of the proud Miletech boys fighting out of Bettendorf, IA., Sylvia made his debut at UFC 39, earning a TKO stoppage over Wesley “Cabbage” Correira. He would go on to win the heavyweight strap in his next fight, knocking out Ricco Rodriguez in one round at UFC 41. However, a failed post-fight drug test saw him stripped of the title after his win over Gan McGee at UFC 44.

After his arm was snapped like a wishbone courtesy of Frank Mir at UFC 48 for the vacant heavyweight title, Sylvia would lose to arch rival Andrei Arlovski shortly after, being his second unsuccessful attempt at claiming back his gold. After winning three fights in a row, “The Maine-iac” bested “The Pit Bull” to win back his title at UFC 59, and went up 2-1 in their rubber match at UFC 61. Considering their heavyweight trilogy was part of the UFC’s dark days, most fans will remember Sylvia’s title reign for the amount of times he showed up to the arena as a spectator with the belt around his waist, not to mention walking into restaurants with it on as he accompanied Matt Hughes to umpteen dosages of fried foods on UFC All Access.

Sylvia would eventually lose the belt to Randy Couture at UFC 68, and despite numerous title fights in the UFC, his loss against Pride champion Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira would be his last one, and ultimately, his final fight inside the Octagon.

He’s gone 7-6 with 1 “No Contest” (courtesy of a soccer kick from Arlovski at One FC 5 in their fourth bout) since then, losing to Fedor Emilianenko in 36 seconds, Ray Mercer in nine seconds, and Abe Wagner in 32 seconds. Apart from wins over Paul Buentello and Mariusz Pudzianowski, there hasn’t been much upside to his career as of late.

Hell, he even tried to get back into the UFC not long ago, but it wasn’t going to happen as long as UFC head honcho Dana White was pulling the strings, even though he’s still tied for most successful heavyweight title defenses.

We bid you adieu, Mr. Sylvia … but for God’s sake, lose some weight.

-Alex G.

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