After his constant pleas to get back into the heavyweight mix of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) fell on deaf ears, Tim Sylvia signed with Asia's premiere mixed martial arts organization, ONE Fighting Championship (ONE FC).
Currently riding a three-fight win streak, "The Maine-iac" will take on Andrei Arlovski for the fourth time at ONE FC 5 on Aug. 31, 2012, in Manila, Philippines. No strangers to one another, Sylvia currently leads the series 2-1 with their last battle coming six years ago at UFC 61.
Sylvia had been rumored to have signed with Strikeforce to take on Daniel Cormier in what would have served as the former Olympian's final fight under the San Jose-based promotion before he made the switch over to the UFC. However, Zuffa matchmakers thought a clash with Frank Mir would be more appealing to the masses than one with Sylvia and quickly booked Mir to take on Cormier, leaving Sylvia out in the cold.
Sylvia dropped by "The MMA Hour" recently to talk about why he feels the UFC pulled the old "switcharoo" on him and matched up Mir against Cormier instead of him. Of course, he also talked about his upcoming bout with the "Pitbull."
Check it out:
"I don't know. I think the UFC might have got ahead of themselves and they really couldn't find anybody to fight Cormier, so, they had asked us and we agreed to it and I think after we agreed to it, they were able to talk Frank into doing it and they probably thought Frank was a better fit for it than myself. I think they'd like to see Daniel win and I think he beats Frank, but he would lose to me. I don't know that he (Frank) is an easier fight than (me) but, he is still in the limelight, he is still in the UFC . Frank is definitely better on the ground than I am, but I think my takedown defense and my striking ability would make a tougher fight for DC definitely. But, he is definitely a rising star right now and he would be difficult for anybody really."
After rebounding from four consecutive losses at the hands of Fedor Emelianenko, Brett Rogers, Antonio Silva and Sergei Kharitonov, Arlovski has apparently turned things around, sporting a two fight win streak with two knockouts to go with them. A win over his bitter rival at ONE FC 5 would be a nice feather in his cap.
Sylvia, however, has plans of his own:
"I think everyone knows that he and I have no love loss for one another. He has said some bad things and I've said some bad things and at the end of the day, I want to go out there and knock his ass out and I think everybody knows that, and they are going to tune in for that reason. I think anytime you have fought anyone three times, we were supposed to fight another time before we even fought the first time. So I have trained to fight this guy four different times, so this will be the fifth time and when you train to fight someone that many times, you build up some sort of animosity for them. I do anyway. I think the way the fights, you know, played out. He caught me right after I got my broken arm, I think I prematurely tapped the first fight and I let everybody know that. I told everyone in the second fight I was going to knock his ass out and I did. The third fight I told everyone I was going to knock his ass out and I did hurt him in the second round and he decided to run in the fight. We've talked trash over the years and we have never really finished our beef so maybe it will finish this time."
Though the two won't likely make it back to the UFC anytime soon, you can bet that Sylvia, for one, will try his hardest to impress the head honchos over at ZUFFA in attempts to get one last shot inside the world's greatest MMA promotion where he reigned supreme in 2003 and briefly in 2006.
For now, Sylvia looks to continue his hot streak and hopefully put an end to his rivalry with Arlovski in Manila while putting on a good enough showing to make a return trip to the Octagon in what will be his first of three fights for ONE FC.
How about it Maniacs, who is your pick to win the fourth and possibly final fight between the two aging heavyweights?