Monday, June 15, 2009


It’s been a tough month for former UFC Heavyweight Champions.

Just as Andrei Arlovski had his boxing debut postponed after being knocked out by Brett Rogers on June 6, fellow Zuffa refugee Tim Sylvia has been scratched from his August 1 Affliction bout against Paul Buentello courtesy of a Ray Mercer knockout last Saturday (June 13).

Affliction Veep Tom Atencio (courtesy of MMA Fanhouse):

“It’s his second knockout in a row, and I don’t want to take a chance on anything. The fight is less than 60 days away.”

“The Maine-iac” stunned the Birmingham, Ala., crowd on Friday with a scale-busting weight of 310 pounds at the weigh-ins for his MMA-turned-boxing-turned-MMA fight against former pugilist powerhouse Ray Mercer.

It only took 10 seconds for “Merciless” to flatten his corpulent counterpart the following night.

Sylvia had been on the shelf since getting steamrolled by Fedor Emelianenko at Affliction “Banned” in July 2008. That’s more than a year of inactivity, which along with his weight, could be have been a factor in Saturday’s fight.

The unsanctioned bout puts Sylvia on a three-fight losing skid. The former UFC headliner has now dropped four of his last five contests. He’ll need all the help he can get to ensure that he breaks out of his slump sooner rather than later.

It just won’t be against “The Headhunter.”

Buentello was last seen using Kiril Sidelnikov’s face as a human punching bag for almost three full rounds at Affliction 2: “Day of Reckoning” earlier this year. He went on to eventually score a late third round technical knockout over the Russian Sambo specialist, who later tested positive for having banned substances in his system after the match.

A search for Sylvia’s replacement is expected to be underway shortly.

Affliction 3: “Trilogy” will feature a main event between WAMMA Heavyweight Champion Fedor Emelianenko and top-ranked division player, Josh Barnett. Former Dream middleweight champion Gegard Mousasi is also expected to make his fighting debut on American shores.
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