***UPDATE: The Association of Boxing Commissions (ABC) has intervened and prohibited the Sylvia vs. Mercer main event to continue under boxing rules. As such, promoter and manager Monte Cox has agreed to switch the bout back to MMA rules in order for the event to continue.
If at first you don’t succeed…move to a state that has no regulatory body.
That’s what Manager and Adrenaline MMA promoter Monte Cox did when the New Jersey State Athletic commission refused to sanction a boxing match between former UFC heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia (0-0 Boxing) and Olympic Gold Medal winner and former WBO Heavyweight champion Ray Mercer (36-7-1).
Now the greenhorn and old hand will lace up their 12-ounce gloves for the main event of Adrenaline III: "Bragging Rights." The event takes place this Saturday, June 13 in the state of Alabama. The hybrid boxing-mixed martial arts event will be held inside the confines of the 17,000-seat BJCC arena in Birmingham.
Originally the bout was to be an all-MMA event but Monte Cox had a change of heart.
Mercer was made famous by his brutal knockout win over Tommy Morrison and is also known for his unorthodox style. As far as Sylvia, one can only imagine what kind of boxing style he will unveil for the fine folks of the Yellowhammer State.
Mercer added to his lore when he jump started Kimbo Slice’s MMA career, which ironically, was sanctioned as exhibition under the New Jersey Unified MMA rules. Kimbo went on to ground-and-pound "Merciless" out of commission in the first round.
Sylvia hasn't fought since challenging "The Last Emperor" Fedor Emelianenko on the Affliction: 'Day of Reckoning' card. Sylvia was broken down within 36 seconds, submitting to a rear naked choke. The fight went on to become a "30 second" commercial for Elite XC: 'Heat.'
For those more intrigued by the MMA fights taking place that night, former UFC fighter Rich Clementi (34-14) will take on Sasuke Zapata (17-1) while long-time MMA fighter Jeremy Horn (80-19-5) will take on undefeated Chris Davis (5-0).
This will be "No Love" Clementi’s first fight since getting dumped by the organization he fought for nine times. In his last fight, at UFC 17, Clementi was submitted by Gleison Tibau in the first round.
For Horn, the beat goes on. In his last fight the outmuscled Horn somehow managed to avoid being submitted by Brazilian jiu-jitsu stud Rousimar Palhares at UFC 93.
Here is the full line up for Adrenaline III:
Ray Mercer (0-0) vs. Tim Sylvia (24-5)
Rich Clementi (34-14) vs. Sasuke Zapata (17-1)
Chris Davis (5-0) vs. Jeremy Horn (80-19-5)
Joe Jordan (44-12-2) vs. Juan Zapata (17-0)
Keith Johnson (5-2) vs. Nick Rossborough (11-10)
John Salter (1-0) vs. Roberto Traven (6-3-1)
Tony Godbold (3-2) vs. Josh Martin (6-2)
Josh Barnes (4-3) vs. Brad Tidwell (2-1)
Bryan Goldsby (10-4) vs. Joey Maimberga (5-2)
Sean Hall (0-0) vs. Tuan Pham (1-0)
Brandon Esch (0-1) vs. Justin Trawick (0-0)
Keith Cunagin (5-3) vs. Robert Rodda (1-0)
Adrian Miles (5-2) vs. Daniel Ritchie (6-1)
Ron Mitchell (7-1) vs. Brandon Powell (2-0)
Barry Clifford (11-5) vs. Matt Smart (5-1)
For more on Adrenaline III click here.