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 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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I accept January 17th #boston https://t.co/2hXqJrO3RS— Anthony Pettis (@Showtimepettis) September 10, 2015
My home overlooks the Golf course. My sword overlooks the players. https://t.co/EzFm9nOfW2 pic.twitter.com/TbxRoGExpl— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) September 10, 2015
less then a month away from #UFC192 !!!! Who is coming?! @san_nutrition @monsterenergy https://t.co/HPSoGXVceK pic.twitter.com/uaOUvstDwx— Johny Hendricks (@JohnyHendricks) September 10, 2015
Then Re read it! And read my previous tweet where I said he talks about me in shape year round, easy weight cuts https://t.co/SKx6OIUvGT— Daniel Cormier (@dc_mma) September 10, 2015
vs #illbeatyouatyourowngame #dontbeilevethehype #IllEatHerSoul #UFCFightNight81 #ufc https://t.co/maMFJXgwkr— 'Rowdy' Bec Rawlings (@RowdyBec) September 10, 2015
Let me get this straight so Bec is too injured to fight me but she is not that injured to call out Paige?? I'm lost— Randa Markos (@randamma) September 11, 2015
Get well soon.
Titanium is becoming part of me. About to have a titanium plate put in my left hand just like my right. #Wolverine pic.twitter.com/G5y19eBTqt— Saad Awad (@SAADMMA) September 10, 2015
Stem cell for my shoulder today !!!! excited to see how thing works and hopefully I can fight a lot sooner asap— Ian McCall (@Unclecreepymma) September 9, 2015
Just left dentist. Teeth are fine, just the plaster holding them in place broke. Hope to be back in @ufc cage come December w @FrankieEdgar— Corey Anderson UFC (@CoreyA_MMA) September 10, 2015
Everyone loves GSP.
I really wasn't expecting that. Royer, you guys really got me! https://t.co/Z9OxCfHPWF— Georges St-Pierre (@GeorgesStPierre) September 10, 2015
PRIDE never die.
Excited to welcome the most unmistakable voice in MMA to #DYNAMITE1, @lennehardt LISTEN: http://t.co/CTzHzsnShT pic.twitter.com/JRFigwgTXg— Scott Coker (@ScottCoker) September 10, 2015
Here comes baby number 3. We still don't know if it's a boy or a girl!! pic.twitter.com/hh0dQSGKvZ— Chris Weidman (@ChrisWeidmanUFC) September 10, 2015
This Week in Struggle.
Thank you to the A**hole who broke into our jeep. I hope you really enjoy Flavio's phone. But did you... https://t.co/RyqrZvf9fr— Alexis Davis (@AlexisDavisMMA) September 10, 2015
Building steps and landing. Burning both ends of the night. This trying to get shit done and train is a real bitch pic.twitter.com/R3IkGgMwUy— Cowboy Cerrone (@Cowboycerrone) September 10, 2015
98 and raining cats and dogs.— Tito Ortiz (@titoortiz) September 9, 2015
@Ealvarezfight com'on bro! Leave Pettis to me! Lol— Edson Barboza (@EdsonBarbozaJR) September 9, 2015
I get people hating me because I fight. But hating me cause I'm a fireman? That's all sorts of dumb people.— Stipe Miocic (@stipemiocicufc) September 8, 2015
I watched "Funny game" with my GF at the cottage last night...worst idea ever and worst night ever :'(— Olivier Aubin (@MMAOAM) September 9, 2015
Seriously someone tell me how I dropped in the rankings???— Randa Markos (@randamma) September 8, 2015
The @UFC is starving for flyweight contenders right now...welp— Willie Gates (@WhOopassWilliE) September 9, 2015
A man just asked for my window seat because he "wanted it" , I said no and will now tweet about him. That's how manchildren deal with issues— Mitch Clarke (@MitchClarkeMMA) September 10, 2015
stripes in your black belt just tells how old U are, I try to take some out 2 look young others put in go figures https://t.co/YDXVm1A6k2— Renzo_Gracie_BJJ (@RenzoGracieBJJ) September 7, 2015
Announced yesterday (Sept. 10 2015)
Bobby Lashley vs. James Thompson at Bellator 145
Michael Chiesa vs. Jim Miller at UFC Fight Night 80
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