Tim Sylvia Hopes to Parlay a ONE FC: Rise to Power Victory into a UFC Return

MMA Weekly
Tim Sylvia Hopes to Parlay a ONE FC: Rise to Power Victory into a UFC Return
Tim Sylvia Hopes to Parlay a ONE FC: Rise to Power Victory into a UFC Return

Former UFC heavyweight titleholder Tim Sylvia takes on Tony Johnson on May 31 at ONE FC: Rise to Power in Pasay City, Philippines, and hopes to re-energize his career with a win.

Sylvia (31-8-1) has held the UFC heavyweight title.  He’s fought on the biggest stages in mixed martial arts. But at 37 years old he finds himself at a crossroad.  He’s either going to be a nice addition to Johnson’s resume or recapture some of his previous glory.

“Well, he's going to have it, it's just going to be, ‘I was knocked out by Tim Sylvia.'  He can have it all he wants, I just don't know if he wants those words after it, but that's what's going to happen,” Sylvia recently told MMAWeekly.com content partner Knockout Radio.

Sylvia knows the door is closing on his career and would like to make another run in the Ultimate Fighting Championship, where he is tied for the most title defenses in the heavyweight division.

“Well I'm 37, so my ultimate goal was to be done around 40, 41 at the very latest,” said Sylvia.

“No one has beat my record, yet.  Randy (Couture) and I have tied it.  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.

Sylvia departed the UFC in 2008 after requesting to be released following his UFC 81 loss to Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira with one fight remaining on his contract.

“Randy will never be back in the UFC, but there's a chance I probably won't either, so what do you know?  It almost happened, but we'll keep our fingers crossed and hopefully there's still an opportunity for me to go back,” he said.

Sylvia feels he has unfinished business in the UFC, particularly with Frank Mir.

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.”

Sylvia threw out another name, Pat Barry, even though the two are actually friends.

“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.

“I know he brings it and so do I, so something bad is going to happen to one of us,” he added.

Before Sylvia has any hope of returning to the UFC, he has to get past Johnson at ONE FC: Rise to Power on May 31.

Knockout Radio is an official MMAWeekly.com content partner.

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