Former UFC Heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia will be back in action later this month. Sylvia will be facing Brian Heden in the main event of an event promoted by Fight Tour in Rockford, IL on August 20.
At one time considered a top Heavyweight, Sylvia was a two time UFC champion between 2003 and 2007. But after a number of performances that left fans dissatisfied, Sylvia was released from the company in early 2008. He followed his release up with a high profile fight, main eventing the first Affliction show against Fedor Emelienenko, and losing in under a minute. Since the Fedor loss, he has moved down to smaller regional events, competing at Super Heavyweight and putting together a 4-2 record.
His opponent, Brian Heden, has been fighting on these kinds of cards for the past 5 years. Sherdog cites him as holding a 16-9 record. He's been in there with some interesting names, including Brett Rogers and Dan Severn, with his biggest name win coming last year against Sherman Pendergarst.
Fans have hated Sylvia for a long time, and his recent run of performances at Super Heavyweight have not earned him many new fans. But that 2003-2007 run positions him as one of the most dominant UFC Heavyweight champions of all time, even if it came at a low time for the division. It seems unlikely that he'll make a run back to that level, or if that is even his goal, but hopefully he'll be committed and turn in a strong showing here.
Also signed for the event: Sean Salmon (who will see a lot of screen time on UFC videos this week thanks to being headkicked into unconsciousness by Rashad Evans a few years back) vs. LaVerne Clark, a long (LONG) time MMA journeyman who once competed in the UFC way back at UFC 16. The complete card professional is below.
Tim Sylvia vs Brian Heden
Shayne Adams vs David Hess
Sean Salmon vs LaVerne Clark
Felice Herrig vs Kelly Warren
Carson Beebe vs Steve Kinnisen
Nate McCoy vs Ruddy Gray