You know back in my day when you couldn't book fighters for a carnival-style freak show or lopsided mismatch, you simply packed your bags and headed off to a dirt floor arena somewhere in Alabama.
That was until "The Heart of Dixie" went and got itself some good old fashioned regulation.
Now promoters who can't squeak past an athletic commission will have to take their dog and pony show up north because after all, the show must go on.
First up is the highly anticipated rematch between Tim Sylvia and Wes Sims, as the two former UFC heavyweights headline the main event of the International Fighting Confederation (IFC) "Fight Night" from Harbour Station in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada on June 5.
Sylvia and Sims were originally booked to headline a planned Adrenaline MMA show on March 20 in Youngstown, Ohio -- until the Ohio Athletic Commission rejected the bout for being "non-competitive." Brandon Lee Hinkle was expected to replace Sims; however, Sylvia tweeted that it was "off" because "something else was in the works."
Now "The Maine-iac" will face "A Whole Show" as part of a ten bout fight card that also includes Jeremy Horn vs. Dante Rivera, among other UFC veterans.
From event promoter Jack Livingston:
"This is the first time we'll experience superstars of this level in Atlantic Canada. It's never been done before and people can't believe it's coming. Star bound, star struck and the destination is Saint John, New Brunswick. You get down to a world championship fight with these two super athletes, people are going to come from the State of Maine, Eastern Quebec and all over Atlantic Canada to see this event. I'm just ecstatic we could bring this to the entertainment capital of Atlantic Canada."
Sims is coming off a "Miami" beatdown at the hands of Bobby Lashley just last month. Although he's won three of his last four (the exact opposite of Sylvia), he did not compete at all in 2009 except for his stint on The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) Season 10, where he was quickly submitted by Justin Wren.
In addition, "A Whole Show" already owns a TKO loss to "The Maine-iac" when the two met at "Superbrawl 38" in December of 2004.
No question he wants revenge -- but it's hard to imagine he has anything left at this point -- even against Sylvia.
After exiting the UFC in the wake of his loss to Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira at UFC 81, Sylvia went on to get steamrolled by Fedor Emelianenko in his Affliction debut in July 2008. He then tried to mail it in against boxer-turned-MMA fighter Ray Mercer almost a year later and was knocked silly in just nine seconds.
He restored himself to the winning column with a first-round TKO victory over Jason Riley at the Adrenaline MMA 4 event in September 2009. Though he broke his right hand in the bout, the injury has reportedly fully healed.
Now he looks to make it two in a row when the pair head north.
Stay tuned to MMAmania.com for further updates regarding the upcoming IFC MMA show as they develop.