Sports

Former UFC Champion Signs With Strikeforce

Former UFC champion Tim Sylvia has been on a crusade to return to the UFC. Sylvia is one step closer, but will have to make a pit stop in Strikeforce first. Unfortunately the former champ has a heck of a road block lying ahead on September 29.

MMAJunkie.com is reporting that the former heavyweight champion will fight recent Strikeforce heavyweight Grand-Prix tournament winner Daniel Cormier in a fight tentatively scheduled for September 29.

This is where Dana White is probably his worst enemy when it comes to promoting. When White holds a grudge he will take any chance he has at mocking a fighter. White has had a lot of fun taking shots at Sylvia since he left the UFC in 2008. Even just recently, White took an opportunity to poke fun at his former (and now returning) employee.

I don’t even know what Tim Sylvia’s done. The last Tim Sylvia fight I saw, he got knocked out by a boxer. What has he done since then?

This is one of the biggest problem critics have with White. White is honest to a fault. He pulled the same antics a few years back with Tito Ortiz when Ortiz was nearing the end of a deal. White would continually criticize Ortiz, while trying to promote him in an upcoming fight. I remember interviewing Ortiz around that time who was just stunned that White would be so vocally critical of anyone he was trying to promote. Welcome back Tim Sylvia.

The Tim Sylvia comeback is a fun story. Sylvia left the UFC and hit rock bottom after being KO’d in a video that went viral against boxer Ray Mercer in 9 seconds. Sylvia has since rebounded and has gone 3-0 in his last three fights. Sylvia recently took to Twitter and began campaigning to get back into the UFC. Sylvia even posted training videos online to prove that he was in shape, a criticism that Sylvia has heard (and with good reason) in recent years. While Strikeforce is not the UFC, it is nice to see the guy who was once the heavyweight UFC kingpin get another crack in a major promotion and probably his best pay day in years

Unfortunately that is where the fun ends. If you watched one Tim Sylvia fight you have watched one boring fight too many. Not all of Sylvia’s fights were boring, but quite frankly most were. Sylvia was the kind of a fighter that fans hated, but not in the money-drawing way. Sylvia will need to come out with an aggressive game plan against Cormier to silence the growing number of haters who have zero interest in watching Sylvia back in the UFC.

That said, I am incredibly intrigued by the Cormier vs. Sylvia fight. The fight is Cormier’s last on his Strikeforce contract before it is expected that he will move to the UFC. There is already talk of Cormier challenging either the UFC heavyweight or light heavyweight champion with his first fight. That is a ton of pressure for Cormier. Although as a highly decorated amateur wrestler, Cormier is used to high-pressure competition.

It is expected that Sylvia would rejoin the UFC if he defeats Cormier. There has been a ton of talk over the last week about Strikeforce fighters not being allowed to come to the UFC. So whether Sylvia would have to take a few more fights first or not is unknown. One way or another I would suspect that Sylvia winds up back in the UFC if he either wins or has at least an aggressive, impressive showing.

All are easier said than done against Cormier.

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Eric G.

Eric is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric's work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia. Eric has an MBA from Temple University's Fox School of Business.

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