Sylvia Itching to Return to Big Shows

By John Chandler May 19, 2010
Photo Courtesy: Przemek Garzarczyk

Former two-time UFC heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia will attempt to continue a career resurrection when he faces Polish Strongman veteran Mariusz Pudzianowski in the feature attraction of Moosin MMA “Sylvia vs. Pudzianowski” this Friday from Worcester, Mass.

Pudzianowski will be the second MMA newcomer that Sylvia has fought in less than a year. Prior to his first-round TKO win over Jason Riley this past September, Sylvia suffered an embarrassing nine-second knockout loss to former boxing heavyweight champion Ray Mercer last June. “The Maine-iac” hopes that Pudzianowski’s lack of experience will help propel him to a second straight victory and another step towards returning to the ranks of the UFC or Strikeforce by next year.

“I’m probably two or three fights away from that,” Sylvia said of returning to a larger promotion during Sherdog Radio Network’s “Beatdown” show on Wednesday. “I’m going to get this win in and then fight again as soon I can and put a couple more wins together after this one. It looks as though I may have something for August. The plan for 2010 is just to rack up some wins and in 2011, hopefully be back in the big shows.”

Sylvia has stayed plenty busy during his recent eight-month hiatus from fighting. In addition to becoming a part-time police officer last month, Sylvia has had time to try his hand at acting. He even filmed a 15-episode hunting series that will premiere this fall. Training abroad has also become a frequent choice for the 34-year-old as well.

“I actually went to Indiana with Team Wolfpack (headed by Midwestern MMA pioneer Gary Myers) for this camp,” Sylvia said. “It was a great training camp. There’s a lot of tough guys out there. When I haven’t been training with Pat (Miletich), I’ve been with Mark Dellagrotte and Bas Rutten. I’ve also been working a lot with Pedro Silveira, who recently gave me my blue belt. Pat has a lot of things going on in his life, so he hasn’t been around to work with me as much, but he’s back now.”

If a winning streak is to come to fruition, Sylvia wouldn’t mind another shot at perennial heavyweight king Fedor Emelianenko, who dispatched of Sylvia in just 36 seconds nearly two years ago. The loss has been haunting Sylvia ever since.

“Would I do it all over again? Yeah, absolutely,” Sylvia said of the Emelianenko fight. “I knew there was no way that I would get a chance to fight Fedor unless I left the UFC. I had the opportunity to do it and I took it. It was a great payday. What if I won that fight? It would have been the smartest thing that Tim Sylvia and Monte Cox (Sylvia’s manager) have ever done. We lost, and instead everyone is calling us stupid.

“It kills me. I think I threw one punch. I just didn’t perform. He got off quicker than I did and I’m disgusted with my performance. I had a bad night but I know that I can still beat him.”
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