Former UFC heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia is fighting veteran Tony Johnson at ONE FC 9: Rise TO Power on May 31st. The 37 year old has failed to win his last two fights at heavyweight, but he still wants one last shot at the UFC ... something we've heard at least 500 times before, but this is the latest iteration. (Via MMA Weekly)
I don’t know what is going to happen in the future of the UFC heavyweight division. Ideally I would like to finish out my career where it started and that is in the UFC. There’s great fights out there for me and I’d like to put on a great show for the fans on the biggest stage there is, and that’s obviously the UFC," he said.
UFC president Dana White has shot those hopes down before, and his loss to Satoshi Ishii and no contest against Andrei Arlovski, a fight only given the NC tag because Arlovski forgot to say "pretty please?" to the ONE FC referee before soccer kicking a hurt Sylvia on the ground, more than justify not bringing him back into the fold.
Asked who he’d like to fight in the Octagon, Sylvia answered without hesitation. "Frank Mir, first and foremost," he responded. "You know, unfinished business man. He broke my arm and I wanted to keep fighting and they wouldn’t let me, so I’m irritated."
"I’d like to fight a striker so that we could put on a good show. I have a good friend, Pat Barry, who is in the UFC. I think if him and I fought it would be Fight of the Night or Knockout of the Night. Someone would go to sleep and it would be Fight of the Night," said Sylvia. "We might be able to score both of them. One of us gets Knockout of the Night and Fight of the Night. We’d put on a good show. We’ve had some good sparring sessions so it would be a good fight for the fans.
Putting it bluntly, there's just about no way Sylvia returns to the UFC no matter how many times he says he wants back in. The majority of his post-UFC wins took place at super heavyweight, which the UFC obviously doesn't have. He also requested his release so he could fight Fedor Emelianenko at Affliction, so just on "past business decisions" alone he's probably not coming back. Every avenue I can think of is blocked, so unfortunately for him I doubt his wish ever gets granted.