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Dana White Slams Door on Tim Sylvia’s UFC Comeback Hopes

Zuffa LLC via Getty Images
Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Former UFC heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia has spent much of the last few weeks publicly pleading for one more run in the UFC. Earlier this week, he appeared on The MMA Hour and even said he'd be willing to fight for free in order to prove himself again.

It appears his campaigning has failed to sway the UFC's decision makers, however.

On Tuesday, MMA Fighting began to ask company president Dana White if he was reconsidering his decision to shut the door on a Sylvia return, but he didn't even need to wait for the question to be finished before giving an emphatic response.

"Hell no," he said. "Hell no."

No further elaboration was offered or necessary.

The 36-year-old Sylvia (30-7) had two title reigns during his octagon days, first capturing the belt in February 2003 by knocking out Ricco Rodriguez. After a positive steroids test derailed that first run at the top, he recaptured the top spot in April 2006 with a KO of Andrei Arlovski.

He eventually dropped the championship in one of the UFC's all-time classic moments, when 43-year-old Randy Couture returned from retirement to romp his way to the belt in a unanimous decision victory.

Sylvia left the promotion two fights later, and after making a hefty payday at Affliction: Banned during a loss to Fedor Emelianenko, he's been an MMA nomad. He reached his career low point in a knockout loss to boxer Ray Mercer in an MMA rules bout, but since then he's won six of seven.

Judging from White's response, Sylvia could win 10 more in a row and he still won't be welcomed back to the UFC.

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