Why Signing Tim Sylvia to Fight Daniel Cormier Is the Best Move Zuffa Can Make

Anthony GannonContributor IIIJuly 24, 2012

Photo by fightsite.hr
Photo by fightsite.hr

The world of MMA media recently blew up with rumors that former UFC heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia had signed with Strikeforce and would face heavyweight grand prix champion Daniel Cormier.  

It didn’t take long for Dana White to shoot that rumor down by confirming with The Underground that Sylvia was not in fact signed to a Strikeforce contract.  

This may seem like a strange sentiment, but that was highly disappointing.  

Sylvia has become a favorite whipping boy of MMA fans for his post-UFC antics.

After the bizarre move of requesting a release from an organization that every fighter strives for, he went off and suffered consecutive knockouts to Fedor Emelianenko and Ray Mercer in a combined time of just 45 seconds.  

Since then, he’s posted a 7-1 record on the regional circuit against unheralded opposition, including a 32-second knockout loss to Abe Wagner.  

Suffice it to say, since being granted a release by the UFC, Sylvia has not exactly set the world on fire. He often shows up for his fights in awful condition, several times weighting in over 300 pounds.  

However, MMA fans still know his name, and whether it’s positive or negative—and let’s be honest here, it’s all negative—he gets attention. The fact that just about every major MMA media outlet jumped on the rumor is a testament to that. 

Daniel Cormier needs an opponent—that much is clear. After winning a dominant unanimous decision over Josh Barnett in May, and with the UFC poaching the remainder of Strikeforce’s quality heavyweights, there is no opponent left for him that sparks any interest.  

Let’s sincerely hope that legitimacy is not the concern here, because that would be a joke. Silvia may have done a marvelous job of turning himself into a punch line, but he’s still a decent heavyweight and has some name value.  

Cormier is just marking time until the Strikeforce heavyweight division is dissolved and he’s brought to the UFC where he belongs. Anyone Strikeforce can sign to fight him isn’t going to be top-of-the-food-chain material, so they may as well be able to spark enough interest to put some eyeballs on the screen.  

Tim Sylvia can provide that. 

Cormier is scheduled to fight again on September 9th. I’m not Tim Sylvia’s personal assistant or anything, but I’d wager that he’s free on that date.