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Former UFC heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia set for SlapFIGHT debut, fellow fighters concerned

Ultimate Fighting Championship 59: Reality Check - April 15, 2006 Photo by Ryan Born/Getty Images

Tim Sylvia is ready to test his luck as a slap-fighter, according to a report on The Underground.

That’s right, the 47-year-old former two-time Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Heavyweight champion is coming out of his combat sports retirement to face a man nicknamed “Bulldozer” — who is undefeated (1-0) in SlapFIGHT Championship — on April 22, 2023.

“We are extremely excited for the debut of Tim Sylvia at SlapFIGHT,” SlapFIGHT Chief Executive Officer (CEO), J.T. Tilley, stated. “Tim has joined us as a guest cornerman during our past two underground events, and the excitement of the sport has captured his focus. He has reached a multi-fight agreement with SFC and we look forward to seeing him in competition on April 22.”

It will have been a full decade since Sylvia last fought in mixed martial arts (MMA) come Oct. 2023. “The Maine-iac” ended his professional MMA career on the heels of three losses, beginning with Satoshi Ishii and ending with Ruslan Magomedov. The Sylvia win for Magomedov led him to start his UFC run, winning three straight fights before testing positive for myriad banned substances, resulting in his departure from the promotion in 2019.

Sylvia’s debut against “Bulldozer” will take place at SlapFIGHT’s 25th event, which goes down in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Upon seeing the news, Sylvia’s fellow former UFC Heavyweight, Ben Rothwell, was skeptical of whether or not it was a good idea for the notoriously injury-riddled Sylvia to be participating in such an activity.

“The new MRI (Magnetic resonance imaging) i took was clear with no problems,” Sylvia tweeted in response. “But my knees don’t allow me to run and do cardio any longer so i could no longer make the weight.

“Ben thx for your concern,” he added. “Like i said there is nothing wrong with my brain. I am willing to bet our MRI would look the same. As you know Mohegan Sun is the worst athletic commission on the planet. The MRI wasn’t clear and couldn’t be read, so i had to take another one. What they did see was what they thought was trauma from 16 years in a contact sport. Mine looks just like any other fighter competing that long.”

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