Tim Sylvia. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
How times have changed…
When Tim Sylvia and UFC President Dana White first commented on Sylvia’s release from the organization back in March, both were relatively cordial towards each other, each leaving open a door if Sylvia did indeed want to return to the promotion he called home for many years in the future.
These days, it seems that isn’t the case. In a surprising move, White has now blasted Sylvia, essentially thanking Fedor Emelianenko for dispatching of Sylvia in less than a minute at Affliction’s debut show last month in California. Despite the win, White’s criticism of Emelianenko and his recent choice of opponents remains, albeit not as harsh as before
From Yahoo! Sports:
“He’s not the best pound-for-pound fighter, not even close, but he’s one of the four or five best heavyweights,” said White, who undoubtedly would be singing Emelianenko’s praises to the heavens the moment he got the stoic Russian’s name on a UFC contract.
“But we all have to thank him for getting rid of Tim Sylvia. He’d been stinking out the joint the last couple of years and Fedor did everyone a favor by beating him so easily and getting rid of him.”
At the post-fight press conference for UFC Fight Night 14, White did Fedor his props for beating Sylvia so easily and actually facing a top heavyweight for the first time in three years. But these comments towards Sylvia are new, almost echoing the sentiments of fans who voiced their displeasure with Sylvia’s lackluster performances against Andrei Arlovski (in their UFC 61 bout) and Jeff Monson among others.
This might not have been one of Dana’s best ideas though. Sylvia is riding a three-fight losing streak these days, but we have to remember that those three defeats all came against the current top trio of ranked heavyweights in the world. It’s really nothing to be ashamed of on his part. We’ve all seen Sylvia bounce back from consecutive losses before and I don’t think it would surprise anybody if he were to string together a few wins that would allow him to get right back into the mix.
White and the UFC may not need Sylvia at the moment, but they definitely shouldn’t be burning bridges for the future, especially when we’re talking about a guy that has been a top 10 heavyweight for over half a decade now.
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