Dana White is holding a grudge, according to former two-time Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) heavyweight titleholder Tim Sylvia.
The UFC president is a colorful personality, capable of Twitter tirades and fighting members of his own roster. Throughout his decade-plus reign as head honcho, White has seen good relationships with fighters seemingly fall by the wayside, while also cutting ties with several big names.
One of them being Sylvia.
"The Maine-iac" was holding a 6-2 UFC record when a clash of heads with White saw the former bolt for much greener pastures and a coveted fight against heavyweight legend Fedor Emelianenko in the short-lived mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion Affliction MMA.
His side of the story from Chael Sonnen's "You're Welcome" podcast (via MMA Fighting.com):
"I was making $100,000 [to show] and $100,000 [to win] in the UFC. 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."
Needless to say, the then 33-year-old bruiser was in a fit of emotion and was even more throttled by UFC's compensatory package of a Kongo tussle in Europe. Later on, Sylvia was dwarfed by "The Last Emperor" in just 36 seconds via rear-naked choke.
He did, however, earn a cool $800,000 for his shortcomings.
Sylvia went on to put together a respectable 7-5-(1) record over the next four years, while fighting in a laundry list of smaller promotions. Throughout his post-ZUFFA run, he argued that he could defeat over 80 percent of the UFC heavyweight roster and also felt the support of his rabid fan base.
Despite Sylvia's repeated calls for re-admittance -- pre-retirement -- uncle Dana wouldn't budge.
"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."
Speaking of Arlovski, who Sylvia fought to the tune of a 2-1-(1) record, the 36-year-old striker is still going strong and is now the winner of six overall (four in UFC). "Pit Bull" earned his most recent victory by decisioning Frank Mir (lowlights here) at the UFC 191 pay-per-view (PPV) in Las Vegas.
"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," Sylvia said.
Well, it's good to know he's still got the confidence.