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Tim Sylvia: I ruined Andrei Arlovski’s career. Hey, I want back in the UFC.

By Zach Arnold | May 18, 2010

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He had a very interesting interview on Tapout Radio on Monday and I figured I’d pass along some quotes from the interview. At times he sounded like his confident self but other times he sounded very much like someone who regretted leaving UFC and now wants back in the big show.

Thoughts on his upcoming fight against Mariusz Pudzianowski this weekend

On training for the fight

“We brought in guys that weigh 325, 310, big strong wrestlers you know trying to grab me, push me in the cage, take me down, muscle me around and stuff like that and then I [unintelligible] my sparring sessions with some pro boxers and guys who are good at wrestling and good at stand-up, just trying to prepare for everything and now we got some guys who weigh 350 and stuff just lay on me and see if you know… submit them and get back up immediately, too. So, we feel real confident about this.”

Impressions on watching Mariusz’s MMA fights

“Not at all (impressed). No, I’m not impressed at all. We actually thought he would be better than he was to take this fight you know, but I don’t think so and I know he’s not going to get any better in two weeks after his last fight.”

How do you see the fight with Mariusz Pudzianowski going?

“I think that once I hit him one time with a left hook or a straight right, he’s probably going to fade real quick. I don’t think he’s been hit, you know, I don’t think anybody in Poland has punched him like I’m going to punch him.”

How is your recovery from a recent hand injury?

“It healed up great, they put a plate on my carpal and it’s real good. I probably knocked out probably six or seven guys with it since I’ve been back you know with 16 ounce gloves and headgear so it’s solid again and people are paying for it.”

“The right arm has four titanium plates in it.”

Where are you training right now?

“My home is still MFS (Miletich Fighting Systems). I’m still living in Bettendorf. This is where I train full time but this last time I’ve been in Indiana for three weeks at Team Wolfpack…” Tim stated that he will hold his training camps in Indiana from here on out.

Life outside of the major leagues in MMA

You were supposed to have a fight with Wes Sims in Eastern Canada.

“It is no longer happening. We asked for a retainer and the guy all of a sudden, ‘ I guess we’re not going to do this fight.’ So that’s the problem, I’ve had like five fights canceled so Monte finally smartened up and said, “Anybody that wants me to fight, get a $10,000 retainer” and if it doesn’t happen, we walk away with $10,000.”

Do you want back in UFC or Strikeforce?

“Oh yeah, absolutely, yeah, no one’s the UFC and no one’s really going to be and anybody who tries to be goes out of business. So, let’s just come to the fact that nobody’s going to be as good as UFC and stop trying to pretend that you’re going to be. No one’s going to be as good as NFL football, you know, that’s just the way it is. You get your NFL and you have everything else. You get the UFC and you get everything else. That doesn’t mean that there’s not quality fighters out there and there’s not good fights going on and good shows but let’s just not try to be the UFC because no one can be.”

“Yeah, I would definitely (like to) get back in the UFC or Strikefofce. We have talked with Strikeforce and you know right now we don’t know what’s going to happen but we definitely want to fight for one of them. There’s guys that I want to fight in both shows so I would imagine what would work better for me would probably Strikeforce because they’d be a little more lenient with me instead of locking you down and there’s a lot of things you can’t do when you fight for the UFC where Strikeforce I could probably fight a little more often. UFC’s just got so many guys now like all the top guys that seem to be only fighting twice a year and you know I don’t want to do that.”

The current heavyweight landscape in MMA including Andrei Arlovski’s struggles

“I want to fight Overeem, I want to fight Fedor again, you know, Werdum’s a good fight, Brett Rogers and I would have a good fight. I think Arlovski would just be number three again, me probably knocking him out again. I think he’s kind, I don’t know, I think I ruined the poor guy to be honest with you. Once I knocked him out he hasn’t been the same.”

Did you take away Arlovski’s heart?

“[Arlovski’s heart] comes in the form of a UFC Heavyweight title. I took that from him and ever since then he hasn’t been the same. Some guys can handle it and some guys can’t.”

Are you happy to see how the UFC Heavyweight division has progressed with big stars like Brock Lesnar and Shane Carwin?

“Yeah, I think it’s great, it’s great for the heavyweight division, it’s great for the sport that you got quality heavyweights there performing really well and people are starting to see the heavyweight fights against versus the 205 pound divsion and the 170 division.”

What do you think about fight fans who say Fedor needs to be in the UFC in order to prove himself?

“He’s been tested. He’s been tested. He’s fought Cro Cop. When Cro Cop was Cro Cop, the best in the world, you know, the guy killing everybody. When Nogueira at the top of his game. I was at the top of my game, you know, I just didn’t perform well. He’s fought Arlovski. You know Arlovski was coming off of what, four or five wins. You know, he’s been tested, he’s the real deal. Granted you know Brock and Carwin would be a different test for him because they’re big, strong wrestlers… The Colemans and the Randlemans that fought him weren’t in their prime. They’re still bad asses but those guys weren’t in their prime. But also Fedor being in a cage against a big strong wrestler like Brock and Carwin and it definitely would be different for him.”

Where does Brett Rogers go from here after his bad showing against Alistair Overeem?

“I like, he’s a good man, I don’t want to talk shit about that guy, he’s a good guy, he’s a blue collar man, he used to change tires, he’s done well for himself. He’s just, the only thing that I’ve seen from Brett is that he’s been thrown into some deep waters very early in his career. I wouldn’t say that he got lucky against Arlovski but everybody thought he was going to get killed and he didn’t. He knocked him out and then everybody just like, ‘Oh my God, he’s the next big thing.’ You know Brett really is still learning and he’s a ways away from guys like Fedor and Overeem. They just didn’t have anybody else to throw to those guys so poor Brett is the guy that gets thrown against him. They still need to build him. He still you know needs a half-a-dozen good fights and get more experience. He’s had only what, 10 fights? 10, but yeah 10 with the last two was Fedor (the best in the world) and then Overeem three in the world, four in the world, you know.”

Who’s the best pound-for-pound fighter right now in MMA?

“There’s just so many. I think you have to go by their actual weight division. If you’re looking right now, Fedor definitely at heavyweight. Light Heavy, you would have to go with Shogun right now I think. Middleweight, I don’t even know. I don’t even know, I mean, Rich, Wanderlei, Vitor, there’s a lot of guys in that division. I mean Anderson Silva probably, definitely the best at 85 I guess. 70 is obviously St. Pierre. 55 I would probably still say BJ and then 45 Aldo. I don’t think you can just pick one guy being the best, you know, you can’t say St. Pierre is the best fighter out there out of anybody because if you put St. Pierre against Fedor, Fedor’s going to crush him.”

Topics: Media, MMA, StrikeForce, UFC, Zach Arnold | 26 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

26 Responses to “Tim Sylvia: I ruined Andrei Arlovski’s career. Hey, I want back in the UFC.”

  1. 45 Huddle says:

    Signing with Affliction not working out so well for him now.

    He would have already made that $800,000 in the UFC and probably still been with them today…. With more future earning potential.

    The only two guys who made out of the Affliction deal were Fedor and Arlovski….

    • Or Sylvia could have lost his next fight and gotten cut. And then he would be the dumbest man alive. Since apparently Sylvia was never a top fighter and a fraud as champ, wouldn’t that have been a more likely scenario than Tim Sylvia: UFC Gatekeeper?

      • 45 Huddle says:

        The UFC is constantly bringing fighters back.

        He would have probably already made more if he stayed with the UFC.

        And the difference is that he would have some sort of future. Right now he is on the freakshow circuit. Not much of a future.

        • There’s zero guarantee he would have made anything near $800K and likely never would have gotten anywhere near a payday like that in the UFC. Now, if he beat Fedor, he would have made $800K and punched a ticket worth a whole lot more than that.

  2. Mark says:

    It was a gamble worth taking IMO. Sure, he’s never done anything in his career to deserve 800 grand a fight, but hey, if they’re giving it why wouldn’t you take it? It’s easy to say in hindsight “I knew Affliction wouldn’t last”, but if they were throwing 4 times the money you made at your old job at you, you’d take it and put your blinders on because the deal was so good..

    And remember, Sylvia was not the most popular guy around Zuffa HQ. Dana jumped at the chance to cut him even with one fight left because he was just happy to get rid of him since his fights have sucked since 2006. If he had another awful performance and won like in the Vera fight maybe he’d have been cut or if he lost maybe he’d be cut. But if he was brought back, it’s not like he’s going to be making that much less than what he went out making or would have re-signed for.

  3. EJ says:

    Sylvia leaving the UFC was incredibly stupid on his part, he was never a fan favorite and he basically spit in the UFC’s face when he started running his mouth about money.

    He’s yet another example of what happens to guys who start listenting to their agents and get so deluded that they think they are the show and not the UFC.

    He will never again be in the UFC and he will spend the rest of his career fighting in lesser orgs, regretting everyday the decision he made to leave the only company that could make him a star.

    • Zheroen says:

      If the UFC could have made him a star, don’t you think that would have happened by the time they released him? Or are you spouting 45’s delusional “he was set up and sent in as a sleeper agent to kill Affliction without realizing it because Zuffa are the most clever masterminds on the planet!” BS?

      Seriously, wake up. I’m so sure that you’d pass up the opportunity to quit your current job for a chance to make 8x your current salary from a competitor for one night’s work.

  4. edub says:

    So EJ and 45 you really think that Sylvia making $800,000 for one fight was a bad choice for him?

    How in the world do you think he would of made that fighting his way back up the HW latter in the UFC? He probably would have gotten by 1 or 2 challengers at the most and then been beaten. After that he either gets cut or his contract gets insanely restructured.

    Getting walloped by Fedor or not the guy made $800,000 for about 50 seconds worth of work. Thats pretty damn good in my book.

    • 45 Huddle says:

      If my memory is correct, he was making $100k/$100k per fight in the UFC. So it’s not like he was making chump change. He would have had those 4 fights by now. And even if he was cut, he would have still been able to come back with a few wins outside of the UFC. Probably for less, but at least there would be a future.

      As of right now, he will never fight in the UFC again.

      Stupid move.

      • Sylvia was released from his contract by the UFC. Chances are they were looking to renegotiate him down, not up, and when he saw a bigger opportunity outside the promotion (much bigger), he wisely took it.

        If he stays in the UFC and gets 75K guaranteed his next fight, that’s all he’d have been guaranteed period. Another loss and he’s probably cut. Even bouncing back and forth in and out of the UFC he wouldn’t have touched 800K by now. Especially given his propensity to not train for fights (see: Mercer, Ray).

        • 45 Huddle says:

          Still naive you are.

          They let him go because they knew the amounts Affliction was going to pay were unsustainable. Plus, if Sylvia were to get lucky and beat Fedor, it would only help their cause. A win/win.

          Sylvia was still better off staying with the UFC and not asking for his relase. Which is what happened. He ASKED for his release…. Not the UFC releasing him.

        • I see. The rational mind sees Tim Sylvia and thinks “This is a man the UFC would keep no matter what”.

          He’d need to fight and win multiple times in the UFC, in a row, to make $800,000. Each of those fights requires a full camp that costs money, meaning he takes home less too.

          Ed. — It’s interesting to note that because he fought Fedor in CA that he had to pay the 10% state income jock tax, meaning he paid $80,000 in taxes for that fight in CA as opposed to if it happened in a no income tax state like Nevada.

        • 45 Huddle says:

          That $80,000 is like 2 training camps. Yikes, kind of kills your point.

          He has only fought 3 times since his last fight in the UFC, which was February 2008. The guy is so blacklisted right now that he can’t find a fight if he wanted to. The guy is begging to get back into the UFC. Which is proof that he knows he didn’t make the right decision.

        • He’d still need to fight a whole lot more times than 2 to make $800,000. He would be guaranteed to fight no more than once. Ask someone like Phil Baroni if he’d trade his UFC deal now for $800,000 2 years ago.

      • Oh Yeah says:

        If he won 4 fights, he would have made 800k. Do you think he could have done that?

        The UFC released Werdum after he wouldn’t renegotiate downward (as he was not in the forseeable title picture). What were the odds of Tim even keeping that 100k/100k contract after losing?

        Hopefully he saved his money. Or seeing how he’s ballooned, at least spent it on cheap calories.

      • Grafdog says:

        “Would I do it all over again? Yeah, absolutely,” Sylvia said of the Emelianenko fight. “I knew there was no way that I would get a chance to fight Fedor unless I left the UFC. I had the opportunity to do it and I took it. It was a great payday. What if I won that fight? It would have been the smartest thing that Tim Sylvia and Monte Cox (Sylvia’s manager) have ever done. We lost, and instead 45huddle is calling us stupid.

  5. Michaelthebox says:

    I think it was a good move for him to abandon the UFC for the Fedor payday.

    The dumbfuck move was taking the Mercer fight.

  6. […] now, Sylvia has a big fight with Mariusz Pudzianowski this weekend. Tim says he’s been training with 300+ lbs. wrestlers, isn’t impressed with Pudzianowski’s […]

  7. Mark says:

    So none of you would take close to 1 million dollars for one night’s work? An amount that he’d have to fight and win 4 times for under his old deal? Come on. There’s company loyalty and then there’s stupidity. Tim Sylvia has a family to take care of, and when you’re thinking about setting your kids up for a good life you don’t care about some company who doesn’t care about you. Like him or not (and I sure don’t) he went with what was the best move at the time for his families future. Arm chair agent in hindsight all you want, but I guarantee you’d be swayed by the money too.

    And also realize in his mind he was sure he was beating Fedor, which meant even if the company bombed on the show, he still got paid and was now more desirable to Dana than ever.

    • The Gaijin says:

      Where you are wrong is that you left out the part about Tim Sylvia really being a sleeper agent for the UFC to destroy their competitor and make an example to all other “greedy” fighters. Don’t forget the part about how incredibly smart they were to “cut” him, so as to trick him into taking said contract and how dumb he was to take it when it netted him more in 1 fight w/ the potential for an obscene upside than he would have made over 3 years of fighting for them at far less rates with the same security (but that just shows you how smart they are).

      You clearly do not know the bounds of their guile and intellect.

  8. Mr.Roadblock says:

    He made the right move taking the Affliction fight. He’s not a draw and he’s not nearly as good as any of the new guys coming up.

    He’s a 3 fight winning streak away from making the same money now that he would have/should have been making right before the Affliction deal. Somewhere around $50k/$50k. So he basically stole that money from Affliction with no consequences.

    Had he stayed in UFC he would have got beat up by Brock, and at least one of Carwin, JDS and Velasquez. Best case scenario for him he’d beat Kongo or someone like that or do a rematch with Mir or Randy and get a win somewhere and end up with maybe 5 fights out of the deal, going 1-4. He’d be lucky to take home $500k in that entire scenario.

    The bad move was ending up on the wrong side of Ray Mercer’s only highlight in the past 8 years.

    Hopefully Monte, the State of California and the IRS left something of that $800k for big Timmy.

    • Mark says:

      Sylvia’s pay was officially $120,000 if he won, so that makes it 7 fights he’d have to win to equal Affliction’s per fight win or lose deal.

      I say Sylvia gets destroyed by every one of their current top Heavyweights. Mir is in his head for breaking his arm and is a better fighter now than he was then, Lesnar is a better wrestler than he is and Sylvia has nothing on the ground, and the JDS/Carwin/Velasquez trio would all drop him in one round. I do think he’ll be back there, though. They need fresh(er) meat to toss to JDS/Carwin/Velasquez, or Lesnar would need an easy win that is a name to get a rematch if he loses to Carwin, so Sylvia would provide that. And I feel so nauseous defending this man so much. Ugh.

      And I don’t even think he was dumb for taking the Mercer fight. As an MMA fight he had the huge advantage of doing it for nearly 10 years while Mercer was training for 2 years with 1 fight, and even in the boxing match he had a massive reach advantage. So if he didn’t screw up he could have kept Mercer at bay with jabs all night. Instead he came in incredibly out of shape and got pwnd by a 40 year old.

      • Oh Yeah says:

        Randy, Fedor, and Ray all managed to penetrate his height/reach advantage within seconds.

        Pretty sad stuff.

      • sergey says:

        I am actually not sure that Cain or Dos Santos would destroy Silvia. Sylvia is being underestimated. he is a good fighter and when trains properly he is still the top 10 fighter. He is just too arrogant.


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