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Morning Report: Tim Sylvia talks leaving UFC over Brock Lesnar fight and grudge-holding 'd**k' Dana White

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Don't hold your breath hoping to see former UFC heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia walk to that Octagon again.

Speaking with Chael Sonnen this week on his podcast, Sylvia explains what caused his abrupt UFC departure in 2008.

In a "Fight of the Night" for the interim heavyweight title, Sylvia was submitted by Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira in February 2008 at UFC 81. By July he'd signed on to face Fedor Emelianenko at Affliction: Banned for the promotion's debut event.

Sylvia was submitted with a rear-naked choke just 36 seconds into the first round, but earned $800,000 for his trouble.

"I was making $100,000 [to show] and $100,000 [to win] in the UFC," said Sylvia. "I would have to win four fights in the UFC to make the $800,000 to get what I was paid [at Affliction: Banned]. I had one fight on my contract left and I wanted to fight Brock Lesnar next. They wouldn't let me do it. I wanted to get paid what he was getting paid. He was getting $300,000 and $300,000 plus PPV buys. He was making about three million dollars a fight. I was like, 'I'm the [former] f***ing heavyweight champ and this guy comes in and he's making this kind of money? He's only fought once in his career.'

"I was very bitter, very pissed off. [UFC] said they were going to have me fight Cheick Kongo over in Europe and I said I wasn't interested. I asked them to release me from my contract, they did and the next day I signed with Affliction."

Sylvia achieved a modest 7-6-1 record outside the promotion from 2008-13, but blames UFC president Dana White for never being brought back into the fold.

"You know Dana White," said Sylvia. "He's just a f***ing d**k. He's just holding a grudge. They're pissed off because I went to support Affliction. I was sponsored by them for three years before that fight. Dana's just a d**k. He holds grudges. They blackballed Andrei Arlovski, as well, but he was smart, went to a good camp, started picking and choosing who he fought and put eight or ten wins together. They had no choice but to bring him back to the UFC."

After going 0-4 from 2009-11 against Fedor Emelianenko, Brett Rogers, Antonio Silva and Sergei Kharitonov, Arlovski actually went just 6-1-1 over the next two years before returning to the UFC against Brendan Schaub at UFC 174.

"Look at him," Sylvia said of Arlovski. "He's top 10 again. I truly believe that if I hadn't taken some dumb, stupid fights and stayed in shape I could have been back in the UFC and top 10, as well. Would I have won the title again? I don't know. Probably not, but there's still a lot of good fights for me out there. I could have fought Frank Mir, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Stefan Struve, Matt Mittrione, Brendan Schaub."

Not overly impressed with the UFC's plans for global expansion, Sylvia believes the quality of events and fighters is on the slide.

"There are so many guys in the top 10 who don't even deserve it," said Sylvia. "The UFC is over-saturated now with Ultimate Fighters. Events back to back to back. They're just bringing in scabs. It's not like it used to be when we were fighting back in the day when we had to earn our right to get into the UFC. I think it took me 15[13] fights to get into the UFC and I was undefeated.

"I've slowed down a little bit, but I've still got the punching power. If I was in shape? I'm top 20. No doubt about it."

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FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Announced yesterday (Sept. 10 2015)

Bobby Lashley vs. James Thompson at Bellator 145

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