by Ken Pishna – MMAWeekly.com
Following his disappointing loss to Randy Couture at UFC 68, Tim Sylvia, having just lost his heavyweight belt, mentioned in his post-fight comments with Joe Rogan that he had suffered through injuries in training. Of course, many fans latched onto that right away as Sylvia making an excuse for the loss.
Sylvia’s manager Monte Cox, speaking with Damon Martin & Jeff Cain on MMAWeekly Radio, took time to address Sylvia’s injury and his post-fight comments. “He had trouble with his back. It was something that we dealt with [using] chiropractic help to make it so he could compete hard, and I think he did,” commented Cox. “I’m not one to say that has any kind of effect. I wish he hadn’t said it. It happens before a lot of fights, it’s just one of those things.”
Injuries going into a fight, especially a fight with as much meaning as a title fight, are quite common among professional fighters. In fact, it’s a common saying amongst fighters that “if you’re not injured at all going into a fight, you’re not training hard enough.”
That said, Cox doesn’t believe that Sylvia was using his injury as an excuse following the loss. “I think if Tim had to go back, he probably wouldn’t [have said] it, either. I think that’s the problem you run into when you interview a guy right after a big loss and he’s depressed and he’s disappointed and he didn’t have any answers… and that’s one of those things that goes through his mind ‘How did this happen?’ Leading up to the fight, the trouble with his back made it hard for him to train, but that withstanding I’m sure he would say all the credit to Randy and it didn’t affect him in the fight. If he had it to do all over again, I don’t think he’d really talk about it.”
Sylvia’s love of not only being a professional fighter, but of being a champion is no secret. It’s understandable that he would be taking this loss rather hard, but Cox says that Sylvia won’t be taking any inordinate amount of time off before returning to the Octagon. “A loss is a loss, a win is a win. He’ll take two or three months off like normal and fight again,” said Cox. “I mean, he’s a professional fighter. That’s what you do. For Tim, it’s tough. Nobody likes being the champion more than Tim and we all know that, but it gives him something to strive for. Randy definitely exposed some holes in Tim’s game, and he’s definitely got some things to work on.”
Obviously, it was a tough defeat for Sylvia, but it sounds as though his injuries aren’t anything that will keep him out of the game and we can expect to see the Maine-iac back in the Octagon sooner, rather than later.