Heavyweight Champion of the UFC: Tim “Maine-iac” Sylvia
I had the chance to talk with Tim at the KOTC in Vegas and I was surprised at some of the things he had to sayâ€¦ like at the end of this interview. Lets just say he calls out someone that has been a bit irritating to him of late. Tim has an incredible 14 and 0 record and really is there anyone that can stand with this 6’8″ 260 Lbs striker from Bettendorf Iowa? Pat Miletich has got his hands full with this guy and Tim is always ready for anything. I wrote about Tim a while back at the Gladiators Challenge 3: Showdown at Soboba where he fought Gabe Beauperthy. This was his second Pro fight and Gabe was winning until literally the last seconds of the fight when Tim got a reversal and started to pound until Gabe turned his back, he took it and choked him out with a sweet rear naked choke, Tim made an incredible comeback and now that he has faced monsters like the “Cabbage” and of late defeating Ricco Rodriguez and taking the UFC Heavyweight Championship Title he is only moving up and on as you will read in this interview. Oh and wait till you read what he says about his own teammate Matt Hughes! Tim has a way of making you feel like you’re his best friend even if he just met you. So next time you see him say Hi!
SP: Lets talk about your training and what did you do to prepare for Ricco?
TS: AHHH, the training was just grueling, the boy, Pat, Matt and Jeremy were just really busting my ass. I trained 6 hours a day. I trained, what was it Tuesday, no, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday I did, well we lifted weights Monday through Saturday and then we go downstairs and do anything from mitts to grappling to sparring to endurance work outs. Then on Monday and Wednesday’s I would go on my own and do plyos, I had a plyos coach and she would put me through a plyos work out for 45 minutes to an hour. Then I come back in and do the scheduled workouts at from either sparring to advanced takedowns to advanced Jiu Jitsu and advanced Thai Pads. Than on Tuesdays and Thursdays I go over to Illinois an wrestle with the college wrestling team Augustana, that’s a two hour class and if I’m not too beat up from that then I go and do the classes that night and on Saturday I lifted and rolled for about an hour or an hour and a half.
SP: You took this fight very seriously and a lot of people have said that Ricco took it to lightly and he took you to lightly. Do you think that was his mistake in this fight?
TS: I know that was Ricco’s mistake! I knew right away that I was a better striker than Ricco and the main game plan was to keep this fight standing up. So everyday we would work on me throwing my punches and sprawling and made sure I would get the under hooks when we wrestled and towards the end of the twelve weeks that I was training there wasn’t too many people that could take me down. So we felt real confidant me fighting Ricco. It was a chance you know, it happened sooner than we wanted it to but we figured we had the shot we are going to capitalize on it and come out on top with a win and we did and we plan on keeping it for a long time!
SP: That was my next question. Who’s next?
TS: Well it was Gan McGee but things have changed from what I understand now. I don’t know all I know is that I am fighting August third in this arena. (The Orleans Casino Arena.)
SP: I remember a while back that you fought in Gladiators Challenge andâ€¦
TS: OOOOHHHH Yeah. That was my second pro fight!
SP: Yeah you came back and..
TS: In 14 minutes and 39 seconds!
SP: I’m telling you man that was insane! That was where I called you the comeback kid man that was incredible!
TS: Weren’t you the editor for Submission Fighter/
SP: Not then I was there covering it for the magazine though.
TS: I still have that magazine. The best come back ever or something like that. Gabe is a great wrestler and he kept jamming my punches and luckily Pat showed me some things to survive and he didn’t hurt me at all on my back and I actually laid into him pretty good. I am actually a pretty good striker from my back. Since it was all on my back! I was all “I’ am going to loose this fight, because he wasn’t hurting me but he is controlling me all three rounds. I’m getting out man I’m getting out!” I just waited and I waited for an opening and I jumped up and I was going to try to knock him out but when I suplexed him I was like ohhh man I wanted to get in the mount and just knock the piss out of him but I was likeâ€¦ and then he turned over and I was like I gotta choke him. I was literally thinking man the bells going to ring any second. I got very fortunate because there was only like 15 or 20 seconds left so I had to finish it!
SP: Yeah that was incredible. 15 seconds left and you come from the bottom to win!
TS: Yeah and after that I said I have got to be ready for anything! I was very big and heavy for that fight and the Miletich team started to whoop me into shape and here I am now.
SP: You said that was your second Pro fight so what was your first?
TS: Randy Durant in the IFC, Atlantic City at the Tropicana.
SP: How many fights then and what is your record?
TS: Well I’m 17 and 0. I racked up a lot of them in the Extreme Challenge and Super Brawl Tournaments. I fought Mike Whitehead and Jason Lambert in the semi finals and that was four fights in two days before that there was three fights for the qualifiers so that right there is seven wins. That just pumped me right up so! I was like 14 and 0 and I was like yeah right on. People were saying it was a fake record but you fight 4 times in two days and you get up there pretty quick.
SP: So now you have the UFC belt what’s next for you?
TS: Well you know there are three or four heavy guys out there that are tugging on my short and want a shot. I want to fight anyone the UFC can throw at me just so I can prove that I’m not just a fluke. Everyone says oh he got a lucky punch on Ricco, and the Cabbage sucked and that’s why he beat Cabbage, so I would like to show everyone that I’m not just another limelight and that I’m here to stay and who ever they put in front of me I’m going to knock them out, I’m going to take them out!
SP: Sounds like a plan! Not one that I would want to be involved in but hey! Has Monte Cox always been your monager/traininer?
TS: No, actually he hasn’t. When I first started out I was part of Team Kerr. They got me that first fight and that second fight there in Gladiators Challenge and they just couldn’t seem to get me anything after that. Monty got me three or four fights while I was out there and he was like you want to fight in my show and I was all for it. I called Sean and I told him Monty got me a fight and he was Ok take it take it! Then I was like Monty got me another fight and after a while I was talking with Monty and he was all “I like you but I wasn’t going to represent you but what is going on with your manager?” I was like I don’t know I have got to talk to them or something and he said well tell them to send me a letter cause I don’t want to step on any toes and if they are ok with it then I will do it. So I called Sean and they were real helpful and they were like no problem, we haven’t been doing what we said we would do and we will let Monty take over and hopefully he will lead you in the right direction. I think he has! He took care of me and I just thank him. I made all my money in his shows he’s gotten me in and when you fight for Monty you don’t have to pay a percentage when its his show and luckily he teamed up with Super Brawl so I don’t have to pay him for those either! (Laughing) I was making all kinds of money but I am paying him back now! I’m paying him well too! He will be able to put a pool in next month just cause of Matt and I!
SP: Oh yeah how is Matt doing after that fight with Sean?
TS: He is doing well! I’m so jealous. I’m jealous that he is such a stud and awesome athlete! You know that kid trained forâ€¦ I bet he trained for a solid twelve to fifteen days of training for Sean Sherk and that’s it!
SP: You have got to be kidding!
TS: There weren’t anymore than five days in a row. I mean he was back to Hillsborough and he was suppose to be back, we went to Hillsborough for two days and he was suppose to be there Monday and dint show up until Wednesday and he was like oh I hurt my back, I fell off my tractor and I hurt my back. So he couldn’t train for a week and he trained hurt! This was all two weeks before he was supposed to fight Sherk! We were all sweating bullets and we were all you know Sherk here Sherk aint no joke man! You know he didn’t train for Carlos Newton the second time. He got in shape but that’s it and that was in London! That’s where he got in shape for it.
SP: Holyâ€¦ Man must be nice to be like that!
TS: He is just an amazing athlete! What’s next or who’s next?
SP: Who is next do you know?
TS: talks are of Hallman next.
SP: Third times a charm huh?
TS: Well there is that old sayingâ€¦ You can beat a great team maybe twice but never three times in a row. I witnessed that in my semi pro football career we were studs we killed this team every time we played them and then came the championship game and we were like way overconfident we were like oh we are going to kill these guys we already beat them twice and they kicked our asses! Matt won’t loose to Hallman again. There is no way it wont happen again! He has gotten better in the last two years with everybody being there and we have just got a lot of good guys. With me winning the belt Matt has the belt, we have lot of guys that are awesome it is also bringing more guys to us. We have a couple good heavyweights that I am working with right now Mark Anthony, a kid named Justin Eilers who is a middle line backer for Iowa State. He led the tackle for two years in a row. He is living with me right now, and another kid Sam Hogar who is a Jiu Jitsu stud for 230 pounds he rolls like a 170. These guys are real helpful to me they give me a good work out.
SP: Speaking of Jiu Jitsu are you going to do any submission tournaments or anything like that?
TS: Actually I did a tournament up in Oregon. I went to train with Randy and they talked me into it. I submitted my first three guys and Randy and I met in the finals and I lost to him by one point cause he took me down twice. We met in the finals where he took me down twice and I reversed him for one point and I had two submission catches on him and that gave me two more points so I lost to him 4 to 3. Loosing to randy Coture I know it doesn’t look bad, you kow he could take me down casue he is such a good wrestler!
SP: Yeah loosing to Randy Coture is never a bad thing. The guy is phenomenal! TS: Yeah Randy is a great guy and a good friend and I wish him all the luck he’s got a very tough fight ahead of him and I’m good friends with Chuck. I have been hanging with Chuck all weekend and so I think I am just going to close my eyes and when it’s all over I’m going to congratulate the best man. I don’t want to pick a winner and I don’tâ€¦It’s just a tough fight for me too. The sad part is someone is going to get hurt! Randy’s ground and pound is so deadly and Chuck stand up is devastating.
SP: That is going to be a great match! Well I appreciate you sitting with me do you have anything you want to say to anyone that may read this? (If only I knew what that question was going to get as a response!)
TS: Yeah! Wes Simms is a little BITCH! I,m tired of him running his mouth and if he is lucky enough to get past Frank Mir, which I don’t see that happening, I am hoping to meet him in the Octagon cause he has already ducked me twice and hopefully if he gets a title shot he wont duck me!
SP: Where is this stemming from?
TS: We were suppose to fight in Extreme Challenge and Jamie Levine’s show and both times the fights were lined up he pulled out at the last second and I have heard he was scared and stuff and I’m not a shit talker but it really pisses me off when I see someone trying to get into the UFC and they go on the internet and talk shit about me posting on the internet to Dana White about Tim may be big but he aint good looking and he doesn’t have the spot that I’ve got and this and that! He was just rippin on me just to get into the UFC. So he got his chance, he is in the UFC and he is fighting a really good Jiu Jitsu guy in Frank Mir and he will probably get submitted!
SP: Thanks for sitting with me I appreciate it a lot.
TS: Thanks a lot.