ter a long and vocal campaign, former UFC heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia apparently is getting one last chance to make good in the big show.
Or, for now, the smaller brother to the big show.
Sources close to the event today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com
) that Sylvia (30-7 MMA, 9-4 UFC) has signed a deal and will fight recent Strikeforce heavyweight grand prix champion Daniel Cormier (10-0 MMA, 7-0 SF) at an event planned for Sept. 29 at Power Balance Pavilion in Sacramento, Calif.
Sylvia and his manager, Monte Cox, declined to comment.
Regardless, Sylvia is now headed to Showtime for his Cormier bout.
Interestingly, Sylvia signed a multi-fight deal despite the impending close of the Strikeforce heavyweight division.
The five-time heavyweight champ has racked up three wins since a first-round TKO loss to "The Ultimate Fighter 10" veteran Abe Wagner that drastically set back his comeback. Overall, he is 7-3 since he fought Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira for the interim heavyweight title at UFC 81 and lost by third-round submission.
Since that fight, Sylvia's career has been a roller coaster of ups and downs. He's lost to Fedor Emelianenko by submission in 36 seconds and been knocked out by former boxing champ Ray Mercer in nine seconds. Since then, however, his only setback has been to Wagner, though most of his competition has been against regional talent.
Cormier is now recovering from a broken hand following his win over Josh Barnett in the grand prix finals, which took place in May.
Earlier this year, Sylvia vigorously campaigned for another shot in the UFC and urged his Twitter followers to do so. At one point, he even shot a video of a workout and posted it online, presumably to show he was fit enough to compete in the UFC.
But UFC president Dana White flatly rejected the idea of a Sylvia return.
"No," White then told MMAjunkie.com when asked whether Sylvia could possibly be seen again inside the octagon. "I don't even know what Tim Sylvia's done. The last Tim Sylvia fight I saw, he got knocked out by a boxer. What has he done since then?"
White, in fact, also denied rumors of a potential Strikeforce deal just this week.
A dearth of heavyweights in Strikeforce may have provided the golden opportunity, though. Cormier and Barnett were the only two heavyweights official to Strikeforce, and after Cormier outpointed Barnett, few options were apparent for a final Strikeforce-Showtime fight required before the disbanding of the division.
Sylvia is undoubtedly happy to take that role.