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August 4, 2014


[NEF Press Release]

 Lewiston, Maine (August 4, 2014) – Former two-time Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Heavyweight Champion of the World Tim "The Maine-iac" Sylvia (31-9) will return to his home state of Maine for his next mixed martial arts (MMA) fight on September 6 at "NEF XIV" in Lewiston.  That night, Sylvia will take on fellow UFC veteran Christian Morecraft (8-3) in a match to determine the first-ever New England Fights (NEF) Maine State MMA Super Heavyweight Champion.  Never one to shy away from controversy, Sylvia recently called in to the NEF Podcast for an explosive interview in which he spoke on a slew of topics including the UFC, the company's president Dana White, fighting in his home state of Maine again, and retirement.

Sylvia was quite vocal, especially on his Twitter and Facebook accounts, in trying to get a spot on the fight card for the UFC's Maine debut in Bangor later this month.  His fans and friends rallied behind him, but their requests to UFC President Dana White to let Sylvia fight one more time in the UFC, for the promotion's debut in his home state, fell on deaf ears.  Sylvia rebounded quickly, signing to fight on "NEF XIV" just three weeks later in Lewiston, Maine.

"Dana is the way he is," proclaimed Sylvia.  "Everyone knows how Dana White is, and he's never gonna change, unfortunately... Everybody knows what Dana White is, what kind of person he is...  Coming from Maine, I don't know... it's just stupid.  Put me and Frank Mir on the card and it would be a hell of a fight.  A lot of Mainers deserve that.  They deserve to see me fight in the UFC again in the state of Maine.  You guys (NEF) stepped up and offered me a great deal.  I appreciate it.  It gives me the opportunity back in Maine to fight again."

The interview turned to the question of whether Sylvia would continue to make overtures to the UFC for a return.  His answer seems to indicate that he has put that chapter in his life behind him.

"At this point, I really don't give a shit," said Sylvia of returning to the UFC.  "They just added a super heavyweight division, I hear.  So, it's like, it seems like every month, every other month they're doing something just to entice me or to piss me off and say, 'Ha ha, look what we're doing now and you're still not welcome back.'  They're just doing shit just to piss me the fuck off.  It's really annoying.  Now that they have a super heavyweight division, give me a chance to win another belt in another division.  Randy Couture’s done it.  BJ Penn's done it.  There's no way I could ever fight light heavyweight.  Well, now they're adding super heavyweight.  I know I could win that belt, as long as guys like Cain Velasquez doesn't step up and fight for the super heavyweight belt.  I'm a realist.  I know Cain is the best guy out there right now.  I still have the punching power.  If I hit him, if I got lucky and hit a good shot off him, I'd knock him out.  He's a smart fighter.  He'd go in there and take me down, take me down and then when I think he's gonna take me down, he's gonna stand up, and it would just be a horrible, physical fight for me if I had to fight 25 minutes with that guy."

While the new super heavyweight division has not been officially announced by the UFC, Sylvia offered some inside information on the rumors he had heard.

"From what I understand, they're gonna bring a lot of the sumo fighters over and have those guys fight," continued Sylvia on the speculated rise of the UFC super heavyweight division.  "I know (retired professional basketball superstar) Shaquille O'Neal's mentioned that he wants to fight in the UFC...  Shaq used to be a really good friend of mine.  I've lost touch with him, but, not a fight I'd want to take because we're friends, (laughing) but I'd just take him and dump him on his head and pound him out."

On September 6, Sylvia will face fellow UFC veteran Christian Morecraft in the main event of "NEF XIV" to crown the first-ever NEF Maine State MMA Super Heavyweight Champion.  Morecraft, ten-years Sylvia's junior, is looking for his ticket back to the big show, and a win over Sylvia could propel him there.

"I think my experience is gonna overcome a lot of his attributes," said Sylvia of Morecraft.  "He's pretty athletic.  He looks pretty strong.  I think my experience is gonna take over.  I'll do what I have to do to win this fight...  I think his chin is suspect to be honest with you...  I'm fighting in my home state, so I'm planning on putting on a show.  I'm gonna try to knock this kid out."

Recently, Sylvia revealed on his Facebook page that he had taken a new job in construction, prompting many to speculate that he was nearing retirement from the MMA game at the age of 38.  Sylvia spoke candidly on retirement.

"I'm getting to the end of it," admitted Sylvia.  "There's no doubt about it.  You can't fight Father Time, unfortunately.  I've set myself up for the future.  I've got a really great job."

Over the past two years, rumors have circulated that Sylvia was close to signing with the world's second largest MMA promotion, Bellator.  The relationship never came to fruition.  Sylvia offered his opinion of the recent ouster of Bellator President Bjorn Rebney and his replacement, former Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker.

"I think Scott being in is great for Bellator," stated Sylvia.  "I didn't sign (with Bellator) because the money wasn't right... The good thing about this is that Spike (TV) owns Bellator, and they have the money to compete with the UFC.  That's what they need.  The UFC needs to have a competitor.  They can't just keep buying people up."

From 2012-2013, Sylvia competed for Asian fight promotion ONE Fighting Championship (ONE FC) in the Philippines.  While Sylvia had good things to say about the promotion itself, he was critical of the commission based on his experiences fighting there.

"I think that's a great organization," recalls Sylvia of ONE FC.  "The commission sucks.  They're horrible.  The worst commission I've ever worked with.  But, promotion-wise, the way the organization runs, great people.  They put on great fights, a good show.  They take care of the fighters.  Just the commission over there is the biggest crooks I've ever seen on the face of the planet.  It's worse than boxing...  They really, really screwed me over the last fight I had over there.  And there's a few things that took place that were kind of bogus.  They stopped the fight because there was too much blood...  They were worried about losing sponsors.  It's like, this is bullshit.  This is my career.  This is my livelihood.  You just took $25,000 out of my pocket because you're worried about what people see and you might lose a sponsor.  It was just bullshit."

Sylvia closed out the podcast interview with his thoughts on coming back to Maine to fight for a second time at "NEF XIV" on September 6.

"The best part of fighting in Maine is that it's my home state," continued Sylvia.  "My family and close friends will go to it.  We get to hang out and all afterwards and stuff.  It's warming to me.  It warms my soul when I get to fight there in Maine."

To listen to the full NEF Podcast interview with Tim Sylvia, please visit

Fans can follow Tim Sylvia on his official Facebook fan page, as well as on Twitter @timsylviamma.

NEF's next event, “NEF XIV,” is scheduled to take place on Saturday, September 6, 2014 at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston, Maine with a bell time of 7:00 pm.  In the main event of the evening, Tim "The Maine-iac" Sylvia (31-9) returns to Maine to face fellow UFC veteran Christian Morecraft (8-3) for the Super-Heavyweight Title.  Featherweight Champion Ray "All Business" Wood (4-0) returns from injury after a year of recovery against Brazil's Gabriel Baino (6-1).  Bantamweight Champion Paul Gorman (10-8) defends against Tim "The Terror" Goodwin (8-4).  Plus, Bruce "Pretty Boy" Boyington (6-7) and Jesse "The Viking" Erickson (3-2) will meet for the Lightweight Title, Ryan Sanders (6-5) faces Ryan Quinn (10-4-1), and John "First Class" Raio (2-5) competes in his final fight.

Tickets for "NEF XIV" start at just $25 and are on sale now at or by calling The Colisee box office at 207.783.2009 x 525.  For more information on the event and fight card updates, please visit the promotion’s website at In addition, you can watch NEF fight videos at, follow them on Twitter @nefights and join the official Facebook group “New England Fights.”