Former UFC heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia has announced that he’s hanging up his gloves after failing a pre-fight medical prior to his latest fight at the weekend.
Sylvia had been set to fight Juliano Coutinho at Reality Fighting 53 in Connecticut, but was pulled from the fight by the Mohegan Department of Athletic Regulation after an MRI scan indicated he had signs of brain trauma.
“They saw a suspect of concussions or whatever,” Sylvia explained on the latest edition of The MMA Hour radio show. “I’m like, ‘Yeah, I’ve been fighting for 16 years, played semi-pro football for three years. I’ve had some concussions.’ I think if you look at any fighter after 16 years, he’s going to have that on his brain.”
Sylvia, who had weighed in at a whopping 371lbs for the fight, says he’s still waiting to find out more details regarding the issue.
“The athletic commission is going to send all my MRIs to a neurologist here in Davenport, Iowa who is a friend of [manager] Monte [Cox]’s and some other guys that I know, have a look at them and see what he has to say.”
According to the 38 year-old this latest fight was probably going to be his last anyway, but the medical appears to have sealed the deal.
Sylvia was a two-time UFC heavyweight champion and produced a 9-4 record inside the Octagon between 2002 and 2008. He left the promotion on bad terms – a decision that he would later regret when UFC president Dana White continually ignored his requests to return later in his career.
‘The Maine-Iac’ suffered a rough spell after leaving the UFC, losing fights to both Fedor Emelianenko and Ray Mercer in the space of 45 seconds of fighting combined, which damaged his reputation.
However, he continued fighting regardless, and competing for a series of smaller promotions like Pro Elite XC and Titan FC he then salvaged some pride by piecing together a 7-1 record up to June of 2012.
he’s since hit upon another losing streak though, with three losses and one no-contest leaving him with an overall 31-10-1 career record.