Tim Sylvia Agrees To Face Alistair OvereemEager to make his Japanese MMA debut, former UFC Heavyweight Champion Tim “The Maine-iac” Sylvia has agreed to face reigning Strikeforce Heavyweight Champion Alistair “Demolition Man” Overeem at K-1 Dynamite!! 2009 on New Year’s Eve.

Sylvia, who has met with limited success since departing the UFC in early 2008, will look to revive his struggling career at the expense of Overeem, who is currently enjoying a career resurgence of his own as a heavyweight and hasn’t lost in over two years.

Sylvia (25-6-0) was set to debut in Japan for the FEG-owned DREAM promotion at Olympia Dream.12 in less than one week, but a hand injury forced him to withdraw from the event.

He left the UFC after losing a UFC Interim Heavyweight Championship bout to Antonio Rodrigo “Minotauro” Nogueira at UFC 81, but then lost back-to-back fights to #1-ranked heavyweight “The Last Emperor” Fedor Emelianenko and aging boxer “Merciless” Ray Mercer in a combined total of just 45 seconds.

The loss to Mercer was particularly humbling, as Sylvia, well over 300 pounds and vastly out of shape, was knocked out by a single punch in a mere nine seconds.

However, he rebounded with a solid victory over Jason “The Juggernaut” Riley at Adrenaline MMA 4 and will look to get back into contention with an upset win against Overeem.


By contrast, Overeem (30-11-0, 1 NC) is currently enjoying the most successful period of his entire career since putting on considerable weight and making the switch to the heavyweight division.

He captured the Strikeforce Heavyweight Championship in a fight with Paul “The Headhunter” Buentello in November of 2007 and has not lost since. Though he has yet to defend his Strikeforce title, Overeem has been busy competing overseas.

While Sylvia is currently in a rollercoaster period in his career, a victory over him would still be an impressive feat for Overeem and may silence some critics who feel that he is dodging tougher competition in the U.S.


Sylvia will need to strike early and often if he wants to stop the freight train that is Overeem, while Overeem has the ability to finish the fight by knockout or submission at virtually any time.

Both fighters look for the finish and they have gone the distance just 11 times in a combined 73 fights.

Overeem’s manager insists that the Strikeforce Heavyweight Champion will defend his title against the winner of the upcoming bout between Emelianenko and Brett “The Grim” Rogers next year.


K-1 Dynamite!! 2009 takes place on New Year’s Eve at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.

The 18-bout card also features the finals of the DREAM Super Hulk Tournament, a DREAM Lightweight Championship fight between Shinya “Tobikan Judan” Aoki and Tatsuya “Crusher” Kawajiri and the final K-1 kickboxing match from Japanese legend Masato.

  1. That fight will be a massacre, Sylvia hasn’t been a top tier fighter since the early days when there were no real fighters in the UFC, only a bunch of brawlers (see Abbott, Tank). Look for this one to end early in the first.

  2. They will likely book Sylvia in a bunch of fights against fellow giants like Hong Man Choi, but yeah, I don’t think that he has much of a chance unless he can KO Overeem in less than 90 seconds.