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Tag: Tim Sylvia

MMA Fighters Transitioning to Pro-Wrestling: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly


(Let me guess, it’ll sound something like “Tito Ortiz, The Huntington Bad Beach Boy: Future NTA world TNA heavyweight champion of the world.” Capture via ProWresBlog.Blogspot.Com.)

For some MMA fighters, professional wrestling was just a one-time cash grab. For others, it became a second career. Inspired by yet another week of TNA Impact Wrestling’s efforts to get anyone to care about the professional wrestling experiments of two broken-down MMA legends, we’ll be examining fighters who took up professional wrestling after they made their names in MMA in our newest installment of The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly.

Bear in mind that this article is focusing on mixed martial artists who transitioned to professional wrestling careers, and not fighters who started off as professional wrestlers. So that means fighters like Brock Lesnar, Ken Shamrock, Bobby Lashley, Giant Silva, Bob Sapp, Dos Caras Jr. (aka Alberto Del Rio), Dan Severn (Google it) and Sakuraba will not be covered here — although a few of these men will make appearances in this article. Let’s start off on a positive note…

The Good

The Professional Wrestling Career of Josh Barnett.

When you’re thinking of good instances of an MMA fighter turning to professional wrestling as a second career choice, Josh Barnett should immediately come to mind. There have been other fighters who dabbled in professional wrestling, but Barnett is one of the only ones to be just as popular and successful in it as he was in MMA.

Before his transition, Barnett became the youngest heavyweight champion in UFC history by defeating Randy Couture at UFC 36. After being stripped of his title due to a positive drug test, Barnett set his sights on the Japanese professional wrestling scene, where the fans value legitimacy and toughness from their wrestlers more than mic skills and charisma (although Barnett has both in spades). He immediately challenged for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship, and although he came up short, he went on to enjoy the most relevant crossover career of any fighter on this list before his return to the UFC earlier this year put a halt to the wrasslin’ for the time being.

It’d be easy to call his work with the incredibly underrated Perry Saturn or the technical wrestling clinic that he put on against Hideki Suzuki his most impressive stuff, but it’s probably not. Honest to God, Barnett’s biggest accomplishment may be the fact that he managed to pull Bob Sapp — who has the same cardio and technique in wrestling as he does in MMA — through a watchable match. How many people can claim that?

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Tim Sylvia Explains the Delicate Intricacies of Racial Prejudice in the United States


(He also explained why Sour Patch Kids were a better snack than Skittles, but apparently that rant was completely unrelated.)

By now there’s a good chance that virtually everyone reading this has heard that George Zimmerman has been found not guilty for his role in the death of Trayvon Martin. There’s also a good chance that most of you reading this first saw the verdict not on your television, but rather, on one of your social media accounts. The mix of shock, anger, distrust and disappointment – not to mention debate over racial prejudice in the United States – brought on by this case has caused pretty much everyone on Twitter to try to make sense of it, to the point that no matter who you follow, you have a vague idea of what happened, and are still scrambling to make sense out of it.

Fortunately for us, Tim Sylvia took a break from his intense workouts to address the Twitterverse with his reactions to the story. I know that we like to poke fun at Tim Sylvia on occasion around here, but believe it or not, he offered some very insightful opinions, tasteful humor, and observations that no other pundits were bold enough to address. For example…


“Not guilty oh shit here comes the riots.”

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CagePotato Roundtable #24: What Was the Most Memorable Publicity Stunt By an MMA Fighter?


(Photo by Ben Watts for ESPN The Magazine. Click image for full-size version)

With the newest issue of the “ESPN Body Issue” set to hit shelves today – featuring none other than UFC contender (by convenience) Miesha Tate – we decided to take look back at memorable publicity stunts from other MMA fighters. Some were one-time incidents, some were entire careers, and one actually managed to be both. Read on for our picks, and please continue to send your ideas for future Roundtable topics to tips@cagepotato.com.

Ben Goldstein

There was a time when Kimbo Slice was the most popular MMA fighter in the world. That’s not hyperbole. There are actual numbers to back this up.

After Kevin Ferguson — Kimbo’s real name, in case you’ve forgotten — became an Internet legend fighting in backyards, boatyards, and basements, the bare-knuckle brawler decided to go legit and fight in steel cages instead. Kimbo’s first MMA exhibition in June 2007 was a classic freak show against boxer Ray Mercer, which Slice won by guillotine choke in just over a minute. After that, it was a career-defining 12 months in Gary Shaw’s utterly shameless EliteXC outfit, where Kimbo picked up three consecutive wins against Bo Cantrell (who put up no resistance whatsoever), Tank Abbott (a old-school relic just there to pay off his bar tabs), and James Thompson (who was slapped with a standing-TKO loss only because his ear was about to fall off).

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The 9 Most Pathetic Hooks the UFC Has Used to Draw PPV Buys


(At one point, Jones tried to pull away because he thought the handshake was over, but Chael held on for like a half-second longer. It was, without question, the most challenging moment of Jones’s professional MMA career. / Photo via Getty Images)

By Matt Saccaro

The fight game isn’t just about tatted-up white guys with shaved heads hitting each other in the face. If it were, BodogFIGHT and the IFL would still be alive and kicking. Marketing /Hype/PR is a crucial aspect of the fight business — but it doesn’t always go so well.

There were times when the UFC has had stunning marketing triumphs (the whole “Zuffa created the entire MMA world and if you don’t like it you’re a butthurt Pride fanboy” shtick). But there were also times when the UFC’s efforts fell flat on their face like Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante against Dan Henderson.

What were some of these hyped-up but obviously bullshit moments? Let’s have a look…

1. Watch Che Mills, the Unstoppable Killing Machine!


(Source: Getty)

UFC 145’s main event of Jon Jones vs. Rashad Evans was strong enough to sell a pay-per-view on. Sure, sometimes the promo made the two fighters look like jilted lovers, but we’re not gonna hate on the UFC for hyping up a title fight.

We will, however, hate on them for trying to convince fans that a squash match — Rory MacDonald vs. Che Mills — was some kind of epic duel between two young lions. There was only one prospect in that fight, and it wasn’t Che Mills.

The UFC’s inability to do anything with subtlety ruined the promos for this event, the prelims for this event, and most of the PPV portion of this event. Describing Mills as a “new, dangerous welterweight from the UK” was a gross exaggeration. The British striker was only dangerous if you were a TUF bum or if you suffered an accidental knee injury while fighting him.

During the prelims, Rogan was doing the hard sell. THIS CHE MILLS GUY IS A KILLER. HE’S A MONSTER. HE’S A BADASS. HE BEHEADED NED STARK. HE SHOT BAMBI’S MOTHER. Insane falsehoods like this littered the broadcast. Rogan didn’t stop the bullshit once the main card started, either.

We got treated with pro-wrestling-level fakeness about how Che Mills was on MacDonald’s level up until MacDonald, predictably, ran through Mills.

Thus, the only thing that got killed at UFC 145 was Mills’s career.

Since then, Mills hasn’t legitimately won a fight, unless you count Duane Ludwig’s freak injury as a legit win. Earlier this month, Mills lost via TKO to Irishman Cathal Pendred (never heard of him either) at a CWFC event in Ireland.

2. James Toney, Bane of MMA Fighters.

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CagePotato Roundtable #22: What Was the Worst UFC Title Fight of all Time?


(It’s not a UFC fight, but you can’t talk awful title fights without at least referencing Sonnen vs. Filho II. Photo courtesy of Sherdog.)

Today we’re talking about bad UFC title fights – fights that fizzled out after weeks of hype, bored even the most die-hard fans among us, and left us baffled that the winner was considered the best in his weight class. Since we’re dealing strictly with UFC title fights, notable clunkers like Ruiz vs. Southworth II (Strikeforce), Wiuff vs. Tuchscherer (YAMMA), and Sonnen vs. Filho II (WEC) are ineligible for inclusion. Also, we promise that the only appearance of the name “Ben Askren” in this column lies in this incredibly forced sentence. Read on for our picks, and please, pretty please, send your ideas for future Roundtable topics to tips@cagepotato.com.

Jason Moles

Detroit is known by many names – Motown, Motor City, and Hockey Town to name a few. None of which lend to the idea that the birthplace of the assembly line was also a mecca of mixed martial arts or a place to catch great fights on Saturday. Unfortunately, UFC didn’t care; they took the show to the Great Lakes State in 1996 for UFC 9: Clash of the Titans 2 nonetheless. Ken Shamrock and Michigan native Dan Severn were set to face off for the first world title outside of Japan, the UFC Superfight championship. However, thanks to Senator John McCain, instead seeing an exciting rematch that was sure to cover the canvas in bad blood, fans in attendance and at home watching on PPV were treated to what became known as “The Detroit Dance.” And to this day, it is regarded as one of the worst fights in the history of the sport.

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GIF of the Day: Phil Baroni’s Ankle Imploded at ONE FC ‘Rise to Power’ This Morning [w/ FULL RESULTS]


(All gifs courtesy of Zombie Prophet.)

SPOILER ALERT: Despite being one of the only fighters to actually make weight yesterday, it’s safe to say that Phil Baroni’s bout with Nobutatsu Suzuki didn’t go quite as planned at ONE FC ‘Rise to Power’ earlier today.

After getting backed into the cage by a series of knees around the four minute mark of the first round, Baroni was dropped by a Suzuki right hand that appeared to put him down for the count. A few follow up punches wrote this notion home and the referee was forced to step in. Unfortunately, said ref didn’t appear to notice that Baroni’s foot was trying to break free from the rest of his leg and provided little comfort for “The New York Bad Ass,” who now falls to 15-17 in his professional MMA career. At this point in his career, Baroni should consider challenging James “Why Me?” Irvin for the right to be called the most cursed man in MMA.

Of course, Baroni wasn’t the only former UFC star to suffer a tough loss this morning…

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Pretty Much Everyone Came in Heavy at the ONE FC ‘Rise to Power’ Weigh-Ins Today, Including Fatty Boom-Boom


(No, Tim, we do not know where they keep the rest of the honey. Photo via Sherdog.)

You guys, this might come as a Scanners.gif to you, but Tim Sylvia — best known around these parts as Fatty Boom-Boom — failed to make weight for his scheduled contest with Tony Johnson at ONE FC ‘Rise to Power’ tomorrow. Tipping the scales at a hefty-yet-slimmed down 271 pounds (perhaps The Maine-Iac 90 Day Weight Loss Challenge works after all!), Sylvia missed the heavyweight limit by 6 pounds earlier today. While some of you may accuse of us going after the low hanging fruit here, let us not forget that this is the same Tim Sylvia who just weeks ago was informing us of his desires to finish his career in the UFC. This is not a great start.

To be fair, Sylvia wasn’t the most egregious offender at today’s weigh-ins, not by a long shot. That dishonor would be bestowed upon Ryan “The Lion” Diaz, the 13-13 Strikeforce and KOTC veteran who had not competed in nearly three years before agreeing to face Yusup Saadulaev in a bantamweight contest. Weighing in at 144.8 pounds, Diaz surpassed the limit by nearly ten pounds. Somewhere, Anthony Johnson is eating his second straight double fudge ice cream sundae and smiling for completely unrelated reasons.

Sylvia and Diaz, along with Andrew Leone and Lowen Tynanes, will all face penalties for missing weight in the form of purse deductions, although just how much they will lose has yet to be disclosed by ONE FC officials. Thankfully, the scheduled title fights in Honorio Banario vs. Koji Oishi (featherweight) and Bibiano Fernandes vs. Koetsu Okazaki (bantamweight) will actually make it to fruition, as all four fighters successfully made weight.

The entire ONE FC ‘Rise to Power’ fight card can be purchased for just $9.99 through ONE FC’s official website. Featuring the likes of Phil Baroni, Kamal Shalorus, Masakatsu Ueda, and Eduard Folayang, the card is set to kick off tomorrow morning starting at 6:30 a.m. EST.

The full weigh-in results and a video preview of ONE FC ‘Rise to Power’ are after the jump. 

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Tim Sylvia is Still Chasing That UFC Dream, Wants Either Frank Mir or Pat Barry for His Never-Gonna-Happen Return


(Sure, “Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Champion” is a respectable title in its own right, but it just doesn’t carry as much weight at the Playboy Mansion, you know?) 

If there’s one thing you can say about former UFC heavyweight champion and Depends spokesperson Tim Sylvia, it’s that the SOB is persistent. Although his once successful MMA career has become little more than a series of punctuated jokes nowadays — most of which revolve around his fat, fatty, “Fatty Boom-Boom” fatness – “The Maine-iac” will simply not be denied his rightful place back in the UFC’s heavyweight division no matter how many times Dana White pisses in his cornflakes.

But the main issue preventing Sylvia’s UFC aspirations from coming to fruition is one that he doesn’t seem to realize: relevant wins. In the past few years, Sylvia has crushed a few cans (and a professional bodybuilder) in unimpressive fashion, been decapitated in 9 seconds by an aging boxer, dropped a decision to Satoshi Ishii, and been spared a loss on a loosely-defined technicality in his completely unnecessary fourth fight with Andrei Arlovski at OneFC 5. Yet despite all this, Sylvia is still holding onto the hopes that he will end his mixed martial arts career “where it started,” which for all intents and purposes is the UFC. He spoke with MMAWeekly:

I don’t know what is going to happen in the future of the UFC heavyweight division. Ideally I would like to finish out my career where it started and that is in the UFC. There’s great fights out there for me and I’d like to put on a great show for the fans on the biggest stage there is, and that’s obviously the UFC.

And who would Boom-Boom like to face in his glorious return, you ask? For starters, Frank Mir, who infamously snatched Sylvia’s title (and his arm) at UFC 48: Payback, otherwise known as the event wherein Ken Shamrock scored his last relevant win…over Kimo. But the second name on Sylvia’s hit list (just beating out Jared from the Subway commercials because “I ate a thousand of those subs and didn’t lose a fucking pound.”), might surprise you:

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‘WTF?!’ of the Day: Get in Shape with Tim Sylvia (Yes, THAT Tim Sylvia)


(And if you act fast, he’ll throw in “How to Throw a Leg Kick” for free!)

Are you a fat, nerdy MMA fan who lives with his mother and spends his time trolling the Internet? Well, obviously not, so you’ll have to play along here. But if you were overweight, and also decided that the whole “eating healthier and exercising” thing didn’t involve enough former UFC champions for your liking, then would I have a treat for you. Tim Sylvia has founded The Maine-Iac 90 Day Weight Loss Challenge, so that you can get in shape with the former UFC champion.

So what is inspiring Tim Sylvia to challenge his loyal fans? Is he trying to persuade people that fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son? Is he concerned about the rising obesity rates in our children? Believe it or not, it appears he’s doing this due to his own weight issues. I know, I can’t think of a single mean-spirited, sarcastic comment to make here, either, so let’s hear it from the former champion himself:

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UFC Veteran Assuerio Silva Shot Five Times, Currently in Serious Condition

Some shocking news out of Brazil today, as it has been reported that UFC veteran Assuerio Silva was shot five times outside of his gym in Curitiba, Parana and is currently in serious condition at a nearby hospital.

According to multiple sources, the incident occurred on January 29th and came following a dispute with Silva’s former training partner, Robson Freitas, who had allegedly been threatening Silva for some time over issues that have yet to be disclosed. Oddly enough, Freitas has not been brought in on any charges as of this write up.

Silva is perhaps best known for his trio of UFC fights against Tim Sylvia, Brandon Vera, and Cheick Kongo between 2006-2007, all of which he suffered defeats in. Holding notable victories over fellow UFC veterans Fabiano Scherner, Alessio Sakara, and Igor Pokrajac, the 38 year-old Silva has not competed professionally since October of 2009, where he suffered a quick TKO defeat at the hands of Geronimo Dos Santos. If that name sounds familiar, it’s because Dos Santos would be the one-time UFC hopeful who was forced to pull out of his scheduled UFC 153 match against Gabriel Gonzaga when his pre-fight medical exam revealed that he had Hepatitis B. Silva also competed under the PRIDE and Jungle Fight banners, where he compiled a 6-2 record including a victory over Valentijn Overeem.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Silva and his family in this difficult time.

-J. Jones

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