Seven days ago, Tim Sylvia told his friend and longtime training partner Sherman Pendergarst that he was coming back to the big show after four years away from it.
The next day, Pendergarst succumbed to cancer after a long fight, and Sylvia received another punch to the stomach when he heard he wasn't signed. But he held out hope that it was part of a PR plan.
When Sylvia (30-7) learned it wasn't, and later found out that Frank Mir would be fighting Daniel Cormier in Strikeforce instead of him, he was "shocked." But as he today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com), he plans to fight on.
"I love to fight," Sylvia said. "I still want to do it. I still can do it, and I think I'm still one of the top 20 in the world."
Sylvia still isn't sure what happened between this week and last. As far as he knew, he was a lock to fight Cormier in the Strikeforce cage. His manager, Monte Cox, had struck a deal to do a six-week training camp with American Top Team in Coconut Creek, Fla., as part of his preparation.
"I knew that we were in contract negotiations," Sylvia said of a previously reported deal to fight Strikeforce heavyweight grand prix champ at an event planned for Sept. 29 at Power Balance Pavilion in Sacramento, Calif. "They asked if I would fight Daniel Cormier. Monte asked if I wanted that fight, and I said absolutely. He says, 'I'm going to try and work a deal to where you fight him and then after the fight, win, lose or draw, you get to fight in the UFC.' I said, 'That's great. That's what we wanted.'"LINK