The promotion where Tim Sylvia was once a dominant champion is now refusing to help cover his medical expenses — for an injury he suffered while in the company.
UFC 48 was the location of one of the more gruesome injuries in the early 2000’s in MMA. During the heavyweight championship fight between champion Tim Sylvia and an up-and-coming Frank Mir, Mir locked in an arm-bar that broke Sylvia’s arm. You can see the actual pop in Sylvia’s arm once the submission was locked in, and it resulted in multiple arm fractures for the champion. And a TKO win for the challenging Mir. That night over 16 years ago Sylvia lost his belt, and today he is still having issues with his arm.
Earlier this week the former champion took to social media to show the current state of the arm that Mir broke, and how gruesome it looks. The initial surgery years ago was paid by the UFC, however, the screws from the original surgery have begun to protrude out of his arm. Sylvia supposedly contacted the UFC to see if they could help with any financial assistance, which they subsequently refused.
On Sylvia’s Instagram post he wrote: “The screws are backing out from my arm break when I fought Frank Mir.” He went on to add “My doctor contacted the UFC ‘cause it was paid for by them the first time. Sort of under workman’s comp. The UFC says it’s not their problem and will not cover it. I don’t have insurance and it’s going to cost well over $10,000 to get fixed. Any thoughts on what I should do?”
Sylvia’s fiance started a GoFundMe for the former champion, and in the days it has been up it has raised over $10,000 dollars for the man who once reigned over the UFC’s heavyweight division. Normally the UFC covers fighter insurance for any injuries taken place during the actual fight, however, it’s unclear how long this runs for. However there have been occasions previously where the UFC would take care of fighter injuries far after the fact. Tim Sylvia isn’t as lucky, apparently.
Sylvia has long since been retired, last fighting in October 2013. The former two-time UFC heavyweight champion also fought under the Affliction, and ONE Championship banner most notably. He finished his career with a record of 31-10 (1 NC).