It might be hard to believe when looking at him now, but there was a time not too long ago when Tim Sylvia was paid money to compete in physical activities. I know right? I’m seriously. It was the mid-2000′s, and ”The Maine-iac” weighed in at a svelte 265 pounds. He was also the UFC Heavyweight champion, but looking back, I think the former accomplishment is arguably more impressive than the latter.
Regardless, after testing positive for stanozolol in his second title defense over Gan McGee at UFC 44, Sylvia would voluntarily relinquish his belt in disgrace*…and wind up receiving an immediate fight against Frank Mir for the belt he had just vacated at UFC 48 on June 19th, 2004 — ten years ago today.
It did not end well.
Not unlike a monster mash, Sylvia’s arm-breaking loss to Mir got on in a flash (again, my sincerest apologies). After a brief exchange on the feet, Sylvia latched onto Mir and drove him to the canvas, likely thinking that a ground and pound TKO over a fighter of Mir’s caliber would make for a nice addition to his already impressive resume. Problem was, Sylvia could barely get settled before Mir locked up a tight armbar that had “The Maine-iac” suddenly trying to slam his way out of trouble.
It was too late, and Mir proceeded to fracture Sylvia’s right radius bone in half. Herb Dean would lose his goddamn mind while witnessing this and wave off the fight, emitting a chorus boos from the audience so overwhelming that Bruce Buffer even forgot to announce Mir as champion.
The damndest thing is, Sylvia didn’t seem to care or even realize what kind of damage had been done to his arm — Herb Dean had to convince *him* that his arm had been broken. And even after seeing the footage of his arm doing just that, Sylvia would still not accept the stoppage.
“We’ll fight again,” said Mir in his post-fight interview. “We’ll fight right now,” Sylvia angrily replied.
I don’t know what was more impressive in that exchange, Sylvia’s toughness or his stupidity. Let’s go with toughness.
Unfortunately, Mir and Sylvia never would meet again. Mir would be forced to vacate his title after breaking his leg in a motorcycle accident and would not compete again for nearly two years. Sylvia, however, would eventually go on to reclaim his heavyweight championship and defend it two more times before running into some guy named Randy Couture at UFC 68. He would get axed from the UFC a couple fights later, get wrecked by Fedor in under a minute at Affliction: Banned, and then put on approximately 415 pounds while eating (heh) even quicker losses to Abe Wagner and Ray Mercer. Sylvia has since been rallying for another fight in the UFC ever since, but are you fucking kidding me?
Just moments prior to Sylvia’s bone-shattering loss, Ken Shamrock picked up his last UFC win (and last notable win) over Kimo Leopoldo via KO (knee). It was quite an impressive accomplishment for the 40 year-old to say the least. The years that followed, however, would be filled with heartache. Heartache and defeat and lawsuits and more defeat. Also, heartache. But hey, Shamrock seems to be enjoying life as a bodyguard to the stars these days, and has even repaired his relationship with the UFC. So hooray for happyish endings.
We’ve thrown a video of Shamrock vs. Kimo below for your enjoyment. Drink in the nostalgia, you buncha bitches.
*Say what you want about Timmeh, you gotta give the man credit for owning up to his mistake and accepting his punishment like a man (looking at you, Vitor).