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Old 03-06-2012, 11:12 AM   #1 (permalink)
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With surprising fan support, Tim Sylvia 'pretty much begging' for UFC second chance

http://mmajunkie.com/news/27730/with...ond-chance.mma

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If you're an MMA fan and you spend any time at all on Twitter – or Facebook, MMA forums or any other online destination – you've probably seen a fairly big campaign to get Tim Sylvia back in the UFC.

Even Sylvia, a former UFC champ, admits the support is surprising.

But he hopes it'll amplify his message to the UFC: "I made a mistake. I was wrong. I'm sorry. I screwed up. But give me a second chance please. I'm pretty much begging."

Sylvia (30-7 MMA, 9-4 UFC) has been persona non grata at the UFC since 2008, when he requested out of the one remaining fight on a UFC contract he found unsatisfactory. He then signed with Affliction Entertainment – a now-defunct promotion that briefly tried to compete with the UFC – and suffered a submission loss to Fedor Emelianenko.

Then came an embarrassing nine-second knockout loss to 47-year-old boxer Ray Mercer, and Sylvia dropped off the MMA radar.

Since then, though, he's quietly amassed a 6-1 record with five stoppages. He's defeated some decent names such as Paul Buentello and Andreas Kraniotakes. Admittedly, though, it's hard to find top-tier heavyweight competition anywhere but the UFC.

That's why he hopes UFC official can forgive him.

"It was a stupid mistake I made, especially with how it all worked out," Sylvia today told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio). "But I know (UFC co-owners) Dana (White) and Lorenzo (Fertitta) and all those guys have given second chances – Tito Ortiz being one of them, B.J. Penn, Mark Coleman, the guys who did the **** jokes on Twitter and all that stuff. Even Nate Marquardt is getting a second chance with Strikeforce."

And really, that's all Sylvia wants: a second chance. "The Maine-iac," who celebrates his 36th birthday today, doesn't see fighting past the age of 40. And after spending six years with the UFC from 2002 to 2008 – including stints as the heavyweight champ – and building his name there, he hopes to end his career there, as well.

In fact, he said his desire is so pure – that it's about the competition, not the money – that he's making UFC officials an interesting proposition.

"I don't care about the money," he said. "I've made that statement. I don't need a lot of money. I just want to end my career in the UFC and retire fighting the best. I even made a bold statement where I don't even want a show purse. Just give me my win bonus or if I win a fight-night bonus, give me that.

"I don't even care about fighting for a title."

Soon after Sylvia's campaign caught steam, MMAjunkie.com asked White if he was paying attention. White, though, said the Mercer loss was his only recollection of Sylvia's post-UFC career, and he apparently was unaware of his recent run on the regional circuit.

White also said that the heavyweight division now is more mature – much more so than when Sylvia and Andrei Arlovski's three fights were about the only thing of note in the UFC's paper-thin division.

"If you look at when Tim Sylvia was in the heavyweight division, I say it all the time: It's when we had the weakest heavyweight division in the company's history," White said. "Him and (Andrei) Arlovski were knocking each other out every weekend."

In other words, White isn't sure Sylvia can compete with the new generation of big men.

Sylvia, though, doesn't see it that way. He thinks he can compete with just about anyone in the division, including champ Junior Dos Santos ("he has holes in his game") and top contender Alistair Overeem ("he has a better physique than I do, but I think I'm just as strong and just as good a striker").

In fact, if you look the next rung on the heavyweight ladder, he thinks he's both a better fighter and a more marketable draw.

"I don't why they won't let me back, but I know I'm more of a draw than half those guys," Sylvia said. "I know I'm more of a draw than (Pat) Barry and (Christian) Morecraft and (Matt) Mitrione and (Cheick) Kongo. Even if they have something against me, marketing wise and money wise, it seems like it would be smart on their half to use me."

So for now, Sylvia keeps fighting the good fight. He'll take what MMA bouts he can, and he'll continue to campaign for a UFC return online. In the meantime, he and manager Monte Cox hope they'll eventually get a call for a return to the octagon.

"I just want to put on a great show for the fans," he said. "That's what the fans want to see. They've spoken. The fans have spoken, and they want to see me back in the UFC.

"At least just give me one shot."
I wouldn't mind seeing it
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Old 03-06-2012, 11:15 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I say let him back in. With the loss of Lesnar, CroCop, and with Big Nog on the shelf the UFC HW division needs a little shake-up. I say bring Silvia back and let him fight Struve or Pat Berry.
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Old 03-06-2012, 11:26 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I have no interest in seeing "chicken legs" back in the UFC. And let's not all be niave enough to believe this not about the money. He's even got an agent so is he trying to say his agent is doing this for fun?
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Old 03-06-2012, 11:30 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I think Sylvia would be mid-lower tier in the UFC HW division now.
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Old 03-06-2012, 11:31 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I have no interest in seeing "chicken legs" back in the UFC. And let's not all be niave enough to believe this not about the money. He's even got an agent so is he trying to say his agent is doing this for fun?

So your saying Silvia only wants back in the UFC for money? Im sure thats part of it. So your telling me that if Silvia was on an FX card against Struve, Barry, or Hunt that you are not the least bit interested? Im not a Silvia fan, but I think it would be interesting to see how he measures up against the UFCs new HWs. Im sure he would not be in the UFC for long.

He is still somewhat a name and could be a good way for the UFC to promote an event.
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Old 03-06-2012, 11:42 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I still remember when Tim Sylvia fought Ray Mercer.

In the beginning Sylvia and his management said it would be a fight without kicks. At the last second they changed the rules and kicks were allowed and Ray Mercer was PO'ed.

Fight begins, first thing Sylvia does is kick Ray Mercer in the leg.

Ray Mercer gets PO'ed and KO's Sylvia with a big right hand.

Its not often you see karma strike that quickly?

Sylvia never seems able to get himself into shape for his fights. He always sets a slow and boring pace and lumbers around one-dimensionally looking like an old person moving around the octagon without their cane.

I hope the UFC doesn't let him fight, I don't think he belongs there. Even heavyweights the UFC cut would KO him in the 1st, easily.

Strikeforce and Bret Rogers is moreso on his level...

But, I think even Bret would KO him in the 1st...
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Old 03-06-2012, 11:50 AM   #7 (permalink)
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So your saying Silvia only wants back in the UFC for money? Im sure thats part of it. So your telling me that if Silvia was on an FX card against Struve, Barry, or Hunt that you are not the least bit interested? Im not a Silvia fan, but I think it would be interesting to see how he measures up against the UFCs new HWs. Im sure he would not be in the UFC for long.

He is still somewhat a name and could be a good way for the UFC to promote an event.
Not sure how you got all that out of my post. Sounds like you're projecting a bit. I simply said I don;t believe he is being truthful when he says it is not about the money and I have no interest in watching him fight.
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Old 03-06-2012, 11:52 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I think the "fan support" are mostly people who want to see him get ko'ed again.
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Old 03-06-2012, 11:59 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Not sure how you got all that out of my post. Sounds like you're projecting a bit. I simply said I don;t believe he is being truthful when he says it is not about the money and I have no interest in watching him fight.
You said you have no interest in watching Sylvia fight in the UFC, I am simply asking if he was matched up with one of the named HWs. Sure maybe Sylvia is in it for the money, hes not going to admit it. But Im also sure hes not going to want to embarass himself. And if it is about money then he would certainly make more if he wins fights.

Besides, he is no spring chicken so of course he is in it to make as much money as he can. What better place then the UFC.
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Old 03-06-2012, 12:07 PM   #10 (permalink)
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You said you have no interest in watching Sylvia fight in the UFC, I am simply asking if he was matched up with one of the named HWs. Sure maybe Sylvia is in it for the money, hes not going to admit it. But Im also sure hes not going to want to embarass himself. And if it is about money then he would certainly make ore if he wins fights.

Besides, he is no spring chicken so of course he is in it to make as much money as he can. What better place then the UFC.
Well yes I would watch it becasue I am a fan of MMA and I really like Struve. Hunt is always only seconds away from knocking someone into tomorrow. Pat Barry, ahhh, maybe but would probably skip that one. Let me put it to you this way: if I had a choice to watch Struve/ Hunt fight Silvia or fight Shogun I would pick the Shogun fight. Same goes for Dos Santos, Carwin, Gonzaga, Mir. In fact, pick any other heavy weight you want, I'd rather watch them than Silvia.
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