Long-time MMA promoter and manager Monte Cox is looking to think out of the box for his next Adrenaline MMA shows as he is involved in negotiations to finalize the first-ever MMA rules matchup between a former heavyweight champions in MMA and boxing.
Cox revealed to FiveOuncesOfPain.com that an Adrenaline event tentatively scheduled for May 30 in Atlantic City, N.J. could be headlined by former UFC heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia taking on 46-year old former WBO heavyweight champion “Merciless” Ray Mercer.
If signed, the bout would mark Sylvia’s first fight since losing to Fedor Emelianenko this past July during Affliction’s “Banned” event in a match that determined the first-ever heavyweight champion of the World Alliance of Mixed Martial Arts. Prior to that, Sylvia had lost to Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira at UFC 81 last February in a bout in which the vacant interim UFC heavyweight title was on the line.
Sylvia, who held the UFC heavyweight title on two separate occasions, has competed as a pro since 2001 and holds notable wins in his career over Ben Rothwell, Ricco Rodriguez, Andrei Arlovski, Jeff Monson, and Brandon Vera.
He’d be facing an opponent in Mercer who has just one previous MMA fight to his credit, an exhibition match against Kevin “Kimbo Slice” Ferguson that took place on a Cage Fury Fighting Championship card in June of 2007. The fought was fought under the unified rules of MMA and the bout ended after Mercer submitted to a guillotine choke.
Despite Mercer’s MMA inexperience, he still poses a unique threat to Sylvia. While the heavy-handed Slice felt it was prudent to take Mercer off his feet, Sylvia is not known for taking fights to the ground and instead may attempt to trade punches with a professional boxer that was good enough to win a Gold medal at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, South Korea.
For those who might be unable to attend the proposed matchup in Atlantic City, Cox also revealed that he’s currently involved in negotiations regarding a television partner for the event.