The event will take place at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California on July 19th. The card is packed with heavyweights, one of which is the number 1 ranked heavyweight fighter in the world. Fedor Emelianenko; who is considered an MMA god amongst most longtime fans, will be looking to silence the critics with a win over former UFC champion Tim Sylvia.
Fedor has been taking some heat recently from both MMA fans and journalists regarding his recent competition. However, when you’re at the top, you’re bound to get haters. What’s that saying again? “Whether they love you or hate you – you’re doing something right”. If Fedor is able to knock off Sylvia, and do so in convincing fashion, it should further justify is top ranking as Sylvia is currently the 5th ranked fighter in the heavyweight division.
However, as his 24-4 record indicates, knocking off Sylvia is no easy task for most fighters. His size, strength, and reach advantage is tough to neutralize. Not to mention his raw toughness. This is a guy that would let his forearm snap in half before “tapping out”. Sylvia is the real deal. There’s no doubt about that.
Do his attributes pose a UNIQUE threat to Fedor? I honestly don’t think so. Fedor, being fairly light for a heavyweight, is frequently matched up with much larger opponents. His last fight was against a 7’2, 352lb giant in Hong Man Choi. Choi is by no means as skilled or experienced as Sylvia is but he is not a “can” as people so often put it. Semmy Schilt; a 6 foot 11 inch K1 level striker with plenty of in-ring experience couldn’t get the job done against Fedor either.
How it plays out
Fedor always comes in with good game plans so I don’t see him standing there trying to strike with Sylvia. Sylvia; being as powerful as he is, could knock Fedor out with a clean connection. Fedor also cuts easily so I can almost guarentee he won’t risk losing due to a doctor stoppage (cut).
Sylvia has a good sprawl and likes to keep things on the feet but Fedor has a Judo/Sambo background and uses upper body takedowns. Fedor will likely charge in with that looping left hook that he always seems to land, clinch up and look to throw. If Fedor ends up on top, then its some ground and pound followed by a kimura, or another submission along those lines. If Sylvia ends up on top, Fedor will likely look to use those lightweight-like hips of his to shift himself around and secure an armbar.
Fedor takes this fight 70-90% of the time. Sylvia will NOT submit Fedor. A Sylvia victory will likely be due to a cut-stoppage, or a major KO shot. Sylvia could also jab his way to a decision victory.
Most Likely Event
Fedor victorious over Sylvia via armbar.