Tim Sylvia was born March 5, 1976. From the time he was a child, he studied martial arts, joining a karate school at an early age. He began to wrestle in high school. For a time after graduating he worked construction. It was during this time that he made the decision to take up grappling and boxing. He entered his first grappling contest after just one year of training and took first place. Not long after that momentous beginning he gained the opportunity to fight in a no holds barred amateur event in Rhode Island. During this event he knocked out his opponent in only 17 seconds. Having been a UFC fan for quite some tie, Sylvia made a point to attend UFC 28 in Atlantic City in 2000. Once there he ran into Pat Miletich; former UFC champion and trainer. Miletich invited Sylvia to come to Iowa and train. Later that year Sylvia sold all of his belongings and made the big move to Iowa to do just that. This would turn out to be the beginning of his professional career.
Sylvia made his MMA debut in 2001 when he began fighting for the IFC. Before long he would accumulate 13 straight wins; including 10 knockouts. The following year, in 2002, he signed with the Ultimate Fighting Championship and went on to win a TKO victory of Cabbage Correira at UFC 39. From that point, he went on to defeat Ricco Rodriguez at the UFC 41. This would become his first UFC Heavyweight Championship.
Not long after he defended his title and achieved a rapid victory over Gan McGee. Following the fight with McGee, Sylvia unfortunately tested positive for a steroid. After testing positive he was stripped of the title and a six month suspension and $10,000 fine was subsequently imposed by the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
When Sylvia returned to the fighting arena following his suspension he faced Frank Mir in June 2004 at UFC in June of 2004 to fight for the UFC Heavyweight Championship He lost the event and became injured in the process through an armbar submission attempt. Sylvia's radius bone broke just below the elbow. The fight was stopped immediately by the referee as he declared that Sylvia was unable to continue fighting. Sylvia claimed that his arm was not broken and even tried to demonstrate that he could move it. Never the less, officials insisted the fight end and Mir was awarded the title. After x-rays revealed that his arm was in fact broken, Sylvia was forced to take several months off in order to recuperate.
After making his second return, Sylvia scored a victory over Wes Sims but suffered another loss while battling Andrei Arlovski in an effort to become interim UFC Heavyweight Champion following Mir's motorcycle accident. Later that same year; however, he defeated Mike Block and then went on to score several other wins. In March of 2007 he suffered a significant loss in a battle for the UFC Heavyweight Championship and subsequently underwent back surgery.
Andrei Arlovski - "The Pitbull"
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira - "Minotauro"
Brad Blackburn - Bad
Chris Lytle - Lights Out
Dan Christison - The Sandman
David Tank Abbott
Don Frye - The Predator
Ed Herman - Short Fuse
Eric Esch - Butterbean
Ernesto Hoost - Mr. Perfect
Gabriel Gonzaga - "Napao"
George St. Pierre - "Rush"
Gilbert Yvel - The Hurricane
Heath Herring - The Texas Crazy Horse
Ian Freeman - The Machine
Igor Vovchanchyn - Ice Cold
Jason MacDonald - The Athlete
Jason Von Flue - Live Wire
Jeff Joslin - The Inferno
Jeremy Horn - Gumby
Joachim Hansen - Hell Boy
Josh Barnett - "The Babyface Assassin"
Josh Burkman - "The People's Warrior"
Keith Jardine - The Dean of Mean
Kenny Florian - KenFlo
Marcus Aurelio - Maximus
Mark Coleman - The Hammer
Mark Weir - The Wizard
Marvin Eastman - The Beastman
Matt Hamill - The Hammer
Mauricio Rua - "Shogun"
Mike Swick - "Quick"
Mirko Filipovic - "Cro Cop"
Nick Diaz - "Diablo"
Patrick Cote - The Predator
Paul Buentello - The Headhunter
Peter Aerts - The Dutch Lumberjack
Phil Baroni - The New York Bad Ass
Quinton Jackson - "Rampage"
Randy Couture - "The Natural"
Rashad Evans - "Sugar"
Richard Clementi - No Love
Roman Zentsov - The Russian Hammer
Sam Hoger - The Alaskan Assassin
Sean Sherk - "The Muscle Shark"
Shonie Carter - Mr. International
Spencer Fisher - The King
Tim Sylvia - "The Maine-iac"
Travis Lutter - The Serial Killer
Urijah Faber - California Kid