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Tim Sylvia in talks to fight former boxing champ Ray Mercer

Long-time MMA promoter and manager Monte Cox is looking to think out of the box for his next Adrenaline MMA shows as he is involved in negotiations to finalize the first-ever MMA rules matchup between a former heavyweight champions in MMA and boxing.

Cox revealed to that an Adrenaline event tentatively scheduled for May 30 in Atlantic City, N.J. could be headlined by former UFC heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia taking on 46-year old former WBO heavyweight champion “Merciless” Ray Mercer.

If signed, the bout would mark Sylvia’s first fight since losing to Fedor Emelianenko this past July during Affliction’s “Banned” event in a match that determined the first-ever heavyweight champion of the World Alliance of Mixed Martial Arts. Prior to that, Sylvia had lost to Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira at UFC 81 last February in a bout in which the vacant interim UFC heavyweight title was on the line.

Sylvia, who held the UFC heavyweight title on two separate occasions, has competed as a pro since 2001 and holds notable wins in his career over Ben Rothwell, Ricco Rodriguez, Andrei Arlovski, Jeff Monson, and Brandon Vera.

He’d be facing an opponent in Mercer who has just one previous MMA fight to his credit, an exhibition match against Kevin “Kimbo Slice” Ferguson that took place on a Cage Fury Fighting Championship card in June of 2007. The fought was fought under the unified rules of MMA and the bout ended after Mercer submitted to a guillotine choke.

Despite Mercer’s MMA inexperience, he still poses a unique threat to Sylvia. While the heavy-handed Slice felt it was prudent to take Mercer off his feet, Sylvia is not known for taking fights to the ground and instead may attempt to trade punches with a professional boxer that was good enough to win a Gold medal at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, South Korea.

For those who might be unable to attend the proposed matchup in Atlantic City, Cox also revealed that he’s currently involved in negotiations regarding a television partner for the event.

  • jj says:

    Mercer’s fight against Kimbo was a total rubber match. The fact that Ray is going to try MMA again blows my mind, honestly what is he doing at 45 years old. I understand the pursuit of a challenge, but this is just foolish. I would assume a lot of people were expecting Kimbo to stand and trade with Ray, since nobody had seen Kimbo do anything else. Tim Sylvia trying to stand and trade with Ray is probably about the worse game plan he can take into this…

  • fanoftna33 says:

    tim needs a win bad and fighting a guy with no ground experience is the way to go. this lets us know that tim has a weak mind to allow himself a former two time ufc heavyweight champion to fight a guy like ray(no disrespect to him because we all know if he fought tim in a boxing match it would end badly for tim).

  • VENOM says:

    Good luck, Tim! But the thing is, what does this fight REALLY do for Tim’s career. If he loses, he might be done as a marquee fighter. If he wins, then what? Does a win against a 46 year-old former boxer really help his MMA career?
    This fight just makes no sense to me! :-/

  • mu_shin says:

    Think PAYDAY gentlemen. Would you rather get paid, if you’re a fading ex-champion who has been beaten badly in three of his last four matches, for getting pounded into next Tuesday by a legitimate contender, or for what basically amounts to an exhibition fight against another former champion from another discipline, who has essentially no qualifications to participate in an MMA match?

  • mindone says:

    sylvia is a jerk.. monte cox too in this case..

  • themyth says:

    why won’t Tim just GO AWAY – he has become a joke – i mean he couldn’t even look good on Blind freakin Date. I hope mercer kick’s his ass harder than Fedor did

  • meatloaf says:

    @ jj “Mercer’s fight against Kimbo was a total rubber match.” WTF?

    I don’t understand how Tim has gone from fighting Fedor to now possibly fighting Ray Mercer.
    But that being said I’d watch it.

  • Brandomania says:

    Of course you will watch it, so will I. It’s like a car wreck that you can’t help but look at. Timmy will snatch up another quick payday and hopefully fade into oblivion.

  • Sam Caplan says:

    The thing is, I don’t think Sylvia is going to take it to the ground like Kimbo did. Mercer may be 47 and may have virtually no MMA experience. However, I see the fight essentially being a boxing match with five ounce gloves on.

    Mercer is long in the tooth, but if Tim decides to stand with him, we’re going to see the difference between a big hitter in MMA and a former world class boxer.

    I followed Mercer’s career closely and he was one of the hardest hitters out there. Yes, he’s well past his prime but speed and reflexes leave you before your strength does. Even at 47, I think Mercer has enough power in his hands to make Sylvia regret not taking the fight to the floor right away.

    If Sylvia does not fight an MMA fight and instead tries to box, it’s going to be a huge mistake. Even Kimbo knew not to stand and trade exclusively with a former heavyweight boxing champion.


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