Sylvia’s Plan To Hurt Sims
Sylvia’s Plan to Hurt Sims
By Joe Hall
Tim Sylvia doesn’t want a quick victory in his first fight back since losing his heavyweight title to Frank Mir. If he were to storm across the ring and land a thunderous right hand that ended his upcoming fight in about five seconds, he’d be very unhappy with himself.
At SuperBrawl on Dec. 11 in Hawaii, Sylvia will get what he’s long been wanting. He gets a fight against his smack-talking stalker Wes Sims, and the former UFC heavyweight champion plans on prolonging the punishment.
"I really want to carry (the fight) a little bit and really beat on him and … just hurt him," Sylvia says. "I don’t think he’s actually been hurt in a fight. He’s been knocked out and stuff like that, but he hasn’t really been beat on and punished, and that’s what I want to do to him."
The bout marks Sylvia’s return to the ring after his right forearm was snapped by Frank Mir in their June heavyweight title fight. In reflection, he admits that he lost his title and got his arm broken because he didn’t respect Mir. "I really didn’t respect him at all," Sylvia says. "He caught me sleeping. We went to the ground, and I really wasn’t cautious … I don’t think he would’ve caught me like he did if I would’ve given him a little more respect."
Even though his arm was in a cast, the dethroned champion hit the gym as soon as he returned from Vegas. He couldn’t punch or train, but he found other diversions, like cardio workouts on the exercise bike and coaching the young guys on his team.
The cast was off in six days, but it was three months before Sylvia could strike with his injured arm. Now, in the last two weeks, he says he’s finally getting sharp again. "I’ve been putting it on some of my sparring partners," he says.
A long break between UFC events, due to the cancelled December show in Japan, has allowed Sylvia to head to Hawaii for SuperBrawl. His history with Sims stretches back to early last year, when "The Project" found his way under the then-UFC champion’s skin through persistent taunting. For whatever reason Sims badgered Sylvia–for a title shot, for attention, for fun–it worked. Sylvia hates him.
"I just think he’s a has-been," Sylvia says. "A wannabe fighter, a wannabe wrestler, and he’s not good enough to do either one…. I don’t think he realizes what he’s getting himself into. He mouths off for two years and now it’s time to back it up. He’s not going to be able to."
Asked about strategy and how he expects Sims to fight him, Sylvia snorts a hearty chuckle before saying, "The only way he knows how, and that’s to just stand there and take a beating. What’s he going to do to me? What can he do to me?"
While Sylvia says a lack of respect is why Mir caught him, he doesn’t seem concerned that an even greater lack of regard for Sims could get him beat. At this point, his confidence is indistinguishable from his eagerness. "What I’m going to do," he says, "it’s going to shut him up."
From the event’s promoter:
Huerta, LaRosa Step Up at XFO 4
LAKEMOOR, Ill. — Roger Huerta thought he had some time off, but an injury to Phil Johns has enabled the up-and-coming lightweight to return to the cage next weekend, facing Japanese star Naoyuki Kotani in a feature bout at XFO 4.
Huerta, who replaces an injured Phil Johns, has a 13-1-1 record and was the runnerup in the Super Brawl 8-man tourney earlier this year. He is coming off a submission win over Jake Short two weeks ago in Extreme Challenge 60. Kotani is 10-3 and the reigning champion of Japan-based ZST promotion.
Also, veteran Tara LaRosa has agreed to step in and fight Alisa Cantwell in the show’s women’s bout, replacing an injured Ryanne Dee. LaRosa, from New Jersey, is 4-1, while Cantwell, from Wisconsin, is 5-1, including a win at XFO 3.
The Xtreme Fighting Organization was faced with trying to improve upon XFO 3, which was its first sellout and the most competitive event in its brief history. Not an easy task, but promoters think they accomplished the task.
A few key improvements include:
 Japanese standouts Naoyuki and Hiroaki Kotani will make their first appearance in the event, and Team Tompkins of Canada returns to give the show an international touch.
 The first XFO title fight is scheduled, with Bart Palaszewski and Virgil Strzlecki battling for the lightweight crown.
 Chael Sonnen of Team Quest, an Olympic alternate in wrestling, has been brought in to face local standout Terry Martin of Combat-Do.
"We’ve tried to make improvements… to give the fans something different each time out," said co-promoter Jeff Curran. "I think we’ve got some really interesting fights with some top-level competition."
Besides the Kotani-Huerta fight, Hiroaki Kotani, a veteran of the famous Shooto organization, will face Alex Gasson of Canada.
"Besides all the new faces, we’ll also have most of the local favorites that have been regulars on the show," Curran said. "Guys like Mark Wallen, Clay and Jason Guida, Jay Estrada and Gabe Lemley will all be back for us."
A bout between Josh Thompson, winner of the recent FFC 8-man tourney, and veteran Dennis Reed has also been added to the event. The card now features 11 bouts.
Tickets for the show start at $25 and can be purchased by calling Curran Martial Arts at 815 356-0454. Doors open at 6 p.m. with the first bout starting at 7:30 p.m.
XFO Lightweight title
From the event’s promoter:
Danger Zone: "Missouri Fury"
November 27th 2004
A night packed with action as competitors from all over the Midwest came to fight in the world famous Danger Zone cage. In the first match, Lance McDowell pulls of as some would say and upset win over Rich Wilson. Wilson came in as the fierce competitor, but McDowell was able to maneuver his opponent around and found a way to make the big man tap.
In the night’s four man submission grappling tournament, Rick Wymer took out both of the Purdy brothers. In a sick and "twisted" moment, Steve Purdy’s arm was in a position to snap for the last full minute of the second round. Richard Wymer is now standing 4-0 in the Danger Zone Cage.
"Electrifying" Ken Sparks delivered the goods as he took down his biggest opponent yet, "The Terrible" Ivan Caraballo. At the sound of the bell, Sparks came out of his corner with an overhand right rocking Caraballo. Sparks then took this match to the ground and finished Caraballo off with a creative choke while mounted on his opponents back.
The Danger Zone will be back to St. Robert Missouri on February 5th to bring more Ultimate Fighting to Missouri. Danger Zone’s: Tour of I-44 will continue and will please all comers.
Dan "The Beast" Severn