The former UFC heavyweight champion is prepared to fight in Japan in roughly 30 days. Sylvia’s manager, Monte Cox, is actively seeking a fight for “The Maine-iac” on K-1 and Dream’s co-promoted “Premium 2008 Dynamite” card on Dec. 31 or World Victory Road’s Sengoku event on Jan. 4. Cox said Sylvia has been granted a certificate of eligibility to participate in either promotion.
“I don’t think anyone ever knows until about a week before they fight,” said Sylvia of preparing for an opponent in one of the Japanese organizations.
Sylvia (24-5) hoped to return to Affliction in January, but Cox confirmed that the 6-foot-8 heavyweight will sit out the novice promotion’s second show set for Jan. 24 in Anaheim, Calif., which features an Emelianenko-Andrei Arlovski clash.
Sylvia, who also has a contract with Cox’s Adrenaline MMA promotion, has been eyeing a meeting with UFC Hall of Famer Ken Shamrock (26-13-2).
“I was supposed to fight Ken Shamrock December 20, but it’s been postponed to February now,” said Sylvia. “He’s a free agent. I was supposed to fight him in a small show called XP3 Promotions. I believe in Texas, but it’s postponed to February now.”
Cox echoed Sylvia’s position that a bout with the 44-year-old Shamrock was in the works.
However, Melissa Ingram, director of media relations for Ken Shamrock Entertainment Inc., was hesitant to describe the fight as being in “preliminary negotiations.”
Shamrock’s manager Rod Donohoo told Sherdog.com on Monday that the bout was not under consideration.
“Our organization was approached some time ago about the prospect of Ken fighting Sylvia, but it was rejected,” Donohoo wrote in an email.
Donohoo did not disclose the reason the fight was declined. XP3 Promotions told Sherdog.com via email that it has written confirmation from both parties that they are currently in negotiations for the bout. XP3 plans to hold the event on Feb. 7 at the Reliant Arena in Houston.
Despite the opposing sides, Sylvia expects to see much action in the coming months, including a fight with Shamrock.
“I love to fight and a fight’s a fight,” said Sylvia. “He’s a Hall of Famer. He’s a legend. To progress your career you always have to fight somebody like that.
“I don’t know if he’s a stepping stone or anything, but he’s been on some of the same cards I’ve been on and he’s been highlighted over me, so I want to let people that I am better than this guy and there’s no reason he should have been highlighted over me.”
This article was updated at 12:41 p.m. EST with additional information from XP3 Promotions.