Former UFC heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia is done as a relevant mixed martial artist.
In a result reminiscent of his embarrassing knockout loss to the boxer Ray Mercer, Sylvia showed up overweight and out of shape on Friday night for his bout with Abe Wagner on the Titan FC 16 card in Kansas City, and the result was Wagner battering him around the cage for 32 seconds before Sylvia fell face-first to the canvas, and the referee waved off the fight, awarding Wagner a quick TKO.
It was an indecisive stoppage by ref Jason Herzog, but not a bad stoppage: Sylvia didn't seem to know where he was when he crumpled to the canvas, and he wasn't intelligently defending himself.
Sylvia, who weighed in at 311 pounds on Friday, falls to 28-7. He was once among the sport's truly elite fighters, but that was a long time ago. Sylvia no longer takes his conditioning seriously, and although he did enter Friday night on a four-fight winning streak, he's just never been the same fighter since losing three straight fights to Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Fedor Emelianenko and Mercer in 2008 and 2009.
Wagner improves to 8-3.
"I thought I'd have a big speed advantage over him," Wagner said. "I wanted to put the pressure on him, and I knew if I got inside his jab I'd be money."
Wagner was money, and Sylvia was a guy just collecting a check. He'll struggle to collect many more checks in his MMA career: You can't keep fooling the fans forever.
The most noteworthy result on the undercard came when Jason High choked out Rudy Bears with a guillotine just 51 seconds into the first round. It was a very impressive showing from High, who's now on a four-fight winning streak.
Prior to that Aaron Derrow choked out the heavily favored Rich Clementi, sinking in a triangle choke and squeezing it tight around Clementi's neck, causing Clementi to pass out three and a half minutes into the third round. It was scary to see Clementi out cold after the referee stopped the fight, although Clementi got up and walked out of the cage without incident.
The undercard also featured Drew McFedries stepping into the cage for the first time since the UFC cut him in 2009 and beating Gary Tapusoa by third-round TKO.