by Jeff Cain – MMAWeekly.com
Tim Sylvia has responded to the statement released earlier this week by Dan Christison’s manager, Henry Evans. Christison defeated Ben Rothwell, a teammate of Matt Hughes and Tim Sylvia, a few months prior to the taping of last season’s ‘The Ultimate Fighter,’ and Evans felt Dan wasn’t treated fairly by Hughes and Sylvia due to the win over Rothwell.
“I just wanted to kind of clear things up. I don’t know Dan Christison’s friggen manager, but he sounds like a jackass to me. I mean I don’t think any of this stuff come from Dan.” Tim Sylvia told MMAWeekly Radio.
Sylvia had nothing but respectful comments about Christison. He said, “I worked out with Matt’s guys more than I did with Rich’s [Franklin] guys because Matt and I are teammates and stuff, and we were very happy that Matt got Dan Christison as a guy on the team. In reality, we wanted Dan and Mike [Whitehead] to make it to the finals, and those two fight each other. Dan’s an awesome guy. He and I became really good friends from being on the show together, working out together. He’s a good workout partner. I don’t know if Matt worked him too hard or not.”
Tim continued, “Matt worked his guys really hard, and a lot of those guys aren’t at the level Matt and I are at, so they’re not used to those kind of workouts. He might have worked him too hard, but it’s not something that he did on purpose. We did not want Dan to lose. I mean why would Matt want Dan to lose to Seth [Petrucelli]? I mean Matt’s a competitor, he wants his guys to win. In reality, Dan could beat Seth 9 times out of 10 if he fought to his potential. He didn’t fight to his potential on the show. People that have seen Dan fight know he can fight better than that. He’s a big dude. I mean Ben Rothwell is probably one of the top 20 in the world right now, and he beat Ben Rothwell. Ben’s a good training partner of mine, a good friend, and he beat Ben fair and square.”
Asked if Matt Hughes, as a trainer, worked his guys too hard, Sylvia replied, “I don’t know. I mean if he did it to me, no, because I’m used to that…I think that’s why the welterweights did so well is because he worked them so hard and stuff because those guys are better athletes than the heavyweights that they had. The big heavyweights, it’s hard to train like the smaller guys because we’re more prone to injury. You know? It’s harder on our bodies, and I think that a lot of the heavyweights that did that really weren’t used to training. Rashad [Evans] did well because he’s a light-heavyweight. He’s been an athlete his whole life. They were hard workouts. They were tough workouts. No doubt about it. Rich was a little more laid back.”
Sylvia further stated, “If anyone really every had a problem, all they had to do was speak up. I really think if they said hey Matt I think I’m over training a little bit, they wouldn’t have had to train. I know some guys said they were sore and banged up. Matt just kind of shook his head and said if you can’t train as hard as I can, that’s your problem, and they didn’t work out that day. Dan’s a grown man. He’s 30 something years old. I know certain days when we worked out and Dan was on the bike because he couldn’t do the stuff that we were doing because his knees were bothering him. His shoulder was bothering him.”
In closing, Sylvia said, “Like I said, I think a lot of this is coming from his manager. He sounds like a jackass to me. If Dan feels that I don’t like him, or Matt doesn’t like him, he’s more than welcome to call me and contact me because I like Dan. He’s a great guy, and I thought he and I made a good friendship on the show.”