Tim Sylvia is a shadow of his former self, but that doesn't mean that the UFC shouldn't give him a shot. In fact, it would be great publicity if they did.
Even if he failed, the company would benefit from him fighting for them by matching him against any fighter they wish. He could start at the bottom and work his way up. If he failed they could cut him. If he won a bunch of fights in a row, they could claim that he is a success story.
It isn't likely to happen at this point, with Dana White having said no in an article at MMAFighting.com
That is a shame, because for all of the disgraceful losses that Sylvia has had—like the one to heavyweight boxing champion Ray Mercer—he could still draw some interest.
Boxing is filled with stories of redemption, even if most of them are fictionalized on the silver screen. The precious few that do exist in reality become a big deal. Fans love to see a broken man, someone who was once on top, return to his former greatness.
Sylvia has already done his part, winning six of his last seven since being defeated by a boxer in an MMA bout. His only loss was three fights ago.
It is easy for fans and his former boss to dismiss Sylvia's ambitions, but the fact that he is willing to start at the bottom and work his way up shouldn't be ignored. After all, the very basis of combat sports is the fact that no matter how limited a man's education or his ability to articulate, he can become wealthy with his own two hands.
Even felons and former convicts have become millionaires thanks to boxing, and one day the same thing will happen in MMA.
White might be trying to protect the UFC brand from becoming diluted and considered weak, but he is stopping the company from obtaining a great opportunity.
If Sylvia comes back and loses to an unknown fighter, then that fighter's status goes up. If he wins, then he gets a chance to be the comeback kid and create a new chapter for himself.
Sylvia hasn't made a lot of great choices in his career lately. He chose to do some pro wrestling and fought opponents that could be considered sideshows more than they could competitors. That doesn't mean he should be barred from fighting at the top when his record and his terms to do so are reasonable.
Sylvia isn't perfect or that exciting of a fighter, but he deserves a second chance.
That is one of the staples in fighting and it's something that White and the UFC shouldn't forget.
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