Former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski became a free agent following Saturday night’s second round TKO over Jake O’Brien at UFC 82 and another former UFC heavyweight champion is also one match away from attaining free agency.
Following his loss to Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira at UFC 81 in February, two-time champion Tim Sylvia revealed during the event’s post-fight press conference that he had one fight remaining on his current contract with the promotion and was looking for an extension that included a raise. Sylvia reiterated those comments several days later on his website, Tim-Sylvia.com.
“I have one fight left on my contract,” wrote Sylvia. “I want to stay with the UFC, but I am going to go were the money is. Right now Brock is making more money than me. That has to change. I have a better name than him, and I am a better fighter than him… In case you didn’t know, my manager runs (M-1 Global), so I have a pretty good in, so we will see what happens in the next few months.”
After the comments, many speculated that Sylvia was on his way out of the UFC. However, he would later write a second post in attempt to soften the tone expressed in the first and maintained his priority was re-signing with the UFC. It’s a stance that Sylvia’s manager, M-1 Global CEO Monte Cox, fully supports.
“My situation with Tim is (that) we’re looking to re-sign with the UFC,” Cox stated during exclusive comments to FiveOuncesOfPain.com (www.FiveOuncesOfPain.com). “We think he performed well against Nogueira. He got caught but he certainly showed he’s top five in the world right now.”
Sylvia has been a mainstay in the organization, as with the exception of two fights, he’s fought exclusively for the UFC since 2002. In addition to being a two-time former heavyweight champion for the promotion, he also boasts a 9-4 career record in the UFC with victories over Arlovski (two), Ricco Rodriguez, Jeff Monson, and Brandon Vera.
But while Cox indicated their preferred option is to re-sign with the UFC, he still acknowledged that it isn’t their only option.
“We’d like to re-sign with the UFC,” reiterated Cox. “(But) if that’s not possible there are lots of options now.”