Tim Sylvia‘s bid to get back to the UFC has been nothing short of astounding. Heartfelt videos, media interviews, and a full blown Twitter campaign, replete with stand alone accounts, strictly dedicated to bringing Tim back to his old stomping grounds, have demonstrated massive fan support, and has drawn the attention of everyone in the MMA industry. So what happens when all that effort falls on deaf ears? What happens when the man with the power to make dreams come true (sorry Pavia, but DFW is the real owner of this claim to fame), closes the door? For Tim, his answer is to keep moving forward, and keep the fires burning. I secured an interview with ‘The Maineiac’ today, where he discussed his thoughts on Dana White, fans and future endeavors.
“I had some friends that said I should post some blogs, and go on Twitter to tell people how I was feeling. I started doing it, and started getting a huge response. The fans have just been overwhelmingly joyful about wanting to see me back. I had no idea I had such good fan support. It’s shown me a lot of love, and it’s making me kind of get fired up again.”
Current state of affairs
“I’ve been training my ass off in the gym, but if it doesn’t happen, it doesn’t happen, because I still love to fight, and the next person I fight is in trouble. I just believe that’s where I belong, in the UFC. I know I had a couple bad fights, but I’ve had a few good ones, too. I definitely believe that bold statement I made, that I could probably knock out 80% of the UFC’s heavyweight division, and I’m sticking behind that. There’s some Top 5 guys that are studs and would give me fits, but being a HW, a fight can go either way. You know if I land that big bomb, somebody’s in trouble. And vice versa, if they hit me with one, I’m in trouble too.”
“That’s truly who I am, and who I’ve always been. I’ve had some bad influences, and I’ve had people rub me the wrong way, and I just kind of shut myself off a little bit. I stayed off the Underground (forum), and so on and so forth, but that’s who I am, and I want the fans to know that they’re my driving force.”
“It’s definitely a factor in my decision to reconnect with the fans. My son means everything to me, and I don’t want him to grow up with the wrong perception of me. I’ve been a world champion, I’m featured in video games, and I’ve even done a couple of movies. At some point he’s going to know who I am, and I want what he sees to be positive. I want to influence him in the most positive way.”
“I honestly don’t know why he’s so dead set against this. The fans obviously want it. There’s no real personal issue between us. The only thing I can think of is that I asked to be let out of my contract and went straight to Affliction. I know that when Arlovski left for Affliction, he was blacklisted, too. It’s the only thing that I think he still has issue with. That shouldn’t be a factor. It’s time to move on and put our differences aside. You know, putting together quality wins outside of the UFC is kind of hard to do, because all the best guys are in the UFC. I know I can beat most of the heavyweight roster. I can sell those seats a lot easier than those guys like Kongo, with .500 records. Those .500 guys can’t put fans in seats like I can. They’ll never be champions.”
Fighting Sean McCorkle
“Sean and I have been friends for a long time. We’ve trained together. That would be a hard decision for both of us to make, but if that was the condition for us to return to the UFC, I’m pretty sure we’d take the deal. It wouldn’t be personal. The fight would happen and we’d still be friends afterward, but I honestly don’t think they would make that a condition. But yes, if that was the only way to get back in, I’d take it. Hell, I’d take a fight with my own mother to get back in the UFC [laughs].”
Tim turned 36, this past Monday, and he feels the need to seal his fighting legacy within the next few years. He wants to finish his career by the time he’s 40, and would like it to end with the UFC. While open to fighting in other organizations, Sylvia’s heart is still set on the organization that put his name on the map, and even though White has stated publicly that he’s not entertaining the idea of a Maineiac return, Tim is staying positive, and still feels it can happen. I guess we’ll just have to follow the movement to see what happens next.