Affliction: Banned — The Battle of the Giants?

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Updated: July 2, 2008
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affliction banned

Who is Tim Sylvia trying to kid? Seriously. Does he really think that he will be able to 1) not only keep up with Fedor, but 2) actually beat him?

Yes, Sylvia was the UFC heavyweight champ on more than one occasion. But every single person that he beat to both get there and then to keep it (at least until he lost the belt and left the UFC) was nowhere near the caliber of fighter that Fedor is. At 6’8”, 260lbs, Sylvia simply uses his massive size to try to push his opponent around. He did it twice to Arlovski and even with Monson. Two of those three fights went to decision. Even prior to these wins, he lost to both Arlovski and Mir via two brutal submissions (by two men considerably smaller than he is, and one broke his arm). And I think it is very telling that in his last fight in the UFC against Nogueira, not only did he get submitted, but he tapped so fast that if you blinked you missed it. That tells you something about Sylvia’s skill level. But Big Nog wasn’t even the first truly skilled fighter that he was tested against. When Sylvia was finally pitted against someone who would test him, he crumbled. Big deal that he made it all five rounds with Couture. That fight made him look like the blubbering (literally, with all that flab) fool that he is. He couldn’t push Couture around like his previous opponents. He had no stand up. He had no ground game. I don’t care how big Sylvia is — Couture got him on the ground and dominated him. Couture managed to expose every single one of Sylvia’s weaknesses. And all at 27 years his senior. Couture is arguably the same caliber of fighter as Fedor. Couture was a great indicator for how Sylvia will measure up against Fedor. Clearly, submissions are not Sylvia’s strong point, as this accounts for 3 of his 4 losses. Sylvia will not fare well against a submission expert.

So the question remains. Can Sylvia beat Fedor? Simple answer; not likely. Though it’s arguable that those who have lost to Fedor were not exactly up to his level either, there were many who were dubbed better or at least capable of beating him. Cro Cop, Nogueira, even Coleman. No one thought Fedor would be able to win over the “giant”, Hong Man Choi, and he towers above even Sylvia. And yet he took them all out while hardly breaking a sweat. Size is clearly not a factor when Fedor fights. He’s got the stand up, he’s got the ground game, and he’s a Sambo champion (as well as several other titles in various organizations). You’d be hard pressed to find any fighter with as many submission wins as Fedor, which is where Fedor will stand out over Sylvia. He’s 27-1 for a reason (his sole loss was due to a cut; he later had a rematch and won. Shocker). He is without a doubt, a complete package.

But, is Fedor the MMA god that most people think he is? Probably not. He has to have a flaw somewhere. But is Tim Sylvia the one who will find it? I wouldn’t bet my money on it.

Am I going to get a lot of flack for this? Maybe. But from this angle, the facts and stats don’t lie.

32 Comments

  1. roy

    July 2, 2008 at 4:42 am

    fedor is the best h.w. with out a dout in my mind, can he loseto tim, of course he could tim could knock out anyone if he lands right, hell fedor could lose to worse fighters than tim its mma anything can happen.but outside some crazy upset the fighter i think that has the best chance of beating him is barnett.

  2. steve

    July 2, 2008 at 4:45 am

    nice report but all you did was say what everyone was thinking. And of couse tim thinks he can win or else he wouldnt have took the fight. Too bad he will have to get his arm broke to find out he cant win.

  3. steve

    July 2, 2008 at 4:48 am

    Dont think barnett could handle him but I wouldnt mind seeing it.

  4. roy

    July 2, 2008 at 4:50 am

    i not sure if he would win either, i just think he has the best chance out of the h.w.'s out there. i think it would be a war though barnett probally won't get caught in a submission so they would have to pound it out.

  5. tom

    July 2, 2008 at 5:25 am

    who ever wrote this is talking mad shit… i think Tim is going to rise to the chalnge and do very well idk if he will win but i do see Tim putting up a good fight but i do see fador winnning by Vai Arm bar

  6. tom

    July 2, 2008 at 5:43 am

    fador is 27-1 damn thats good and he has beaten some good ppl so my bad for talking so much shit but still i dont like him

  7. Jordan Katz

    July 2, 2008 at 5:43 am

    Choi Hong-Man was not expected to beat Fedor emelianenko by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, Fedor was more than a three to one favorite. Besides his first fight against Antonio Nogueira, where Nog was favored because he was the reining champ, I dont know if Fedor has ever been the underdog.

    And I don't think Randy Couture is a good indicator on whether or not Tim Sylvia will beat Fedor. Couture has a far different style than Fedor. He used a lot of dirty boxing against Sylvia, used the greco-roman clinch, and mixed things up. Fedor is a lot more explosive and wild. I don't your comparison is a fair assessment of Sylvia's chances.

    Furthermore, you completely underestimate Sylvia as a fighter and athlete. As he displayed against Jeff Monson, Brandon Vera, and even to a degree Nog, it can be very difficult to take him down. When he is disciplined, he also needs to stay at a distance by using his long jab. While I certainly think Fedor is the favorite and will most likely end up the victor, I believe Sylvia has a much greater chance than you have given him.

  8. roy

    July 2, 2008 at 5:47 am

    i thought sylvia's fight with nog said alot about him, in a good way and the guy did beat aa 2 out of three and in the 2nd fight when he got dropped hard and got up and won showed alot of heart.

  9. Miko

    July 2, 2008 at 5:52 am

    No flak from me. I think you've got it 100% on the button.

  10. Warrock

    July 2, 2008 at 6:07 am

    Don't count out tim hes one of the most agile, dominating fighter to ever were the HW belt. Silva takes this one, sending Fedor back to play sambo in russia, or back to japan with all the others who cant hang(cro cop).

  11. Rayburn

    July 2, 2008 at 6:10 am

    true, Fedor will probably win, he's just better at all the things BiG Tim is good at. I don't have it so lopsided as you, Silva will hang with Fedor

  12. steve

    July 2, 2008 at 6:26 am

    His name is sylvia not silva. fuck. You guys dont even know who ur talking about lol. Tim is not agile. Agile is having agility and Tim is a goofy fuck. He tries to work on footwork but even he says he needs to keep working on it. Fedor is way more agile then him. Almost any top HW is more agile then him. The only thing tim has on people is size. Also Jordan using Monson,and Vera and Big Nog doesnt give Tim a better shot at beating Fedor. None of those gys can beat Fedor. The only person that should even ever be n the same ring with him is Nog. The only thing the Nog fight did was giv Fedor another way to beat him. I think this fight will be dominated by Fedor and I think that tim has about as much of a chance of beating fedor as Serra has of beating GSP again.NOT going to happen. But I still want to see it lol.

  13. naco21

    July 2, 2008 at 7:06 am

    HAHAHA…Tim agile? Now that is funny! Orlovski is an agile Heavy Weight. Tim looks like his legs are tied together at the knees.

  14. whodini

    July 2, 2008 at 7:21 am

    AGILE LIKE A BULL IN CHINA SHOP

  15. roy

    July 2, 2008 at 7:25 am

    maybe he meant fr-agile

  16. naco21

    July 2, 2008 at 7:29 am

    Yeah that was probably it. He meant fragile for sure.

  17. PooPooPlatter

    July 2, 2008 at 11:55 am

    I think this article is right on!

    While Sylvia is a good fighter, he is no match up for Fedor. Good just isn't enough when you are fighting the best.

    Fedor by armbar round 1.

  18. kom34

    July 2, 2008 at 1:02 pm

    i don't think sylvia has the hands. he has a good head kick but fedor is too good to get tagged clean by one. on the ground i think even if tim tries to lay on fedor or press him against the fence. fedor is smaller but he is so strong. yeah, i think i'm going to deposit into my bodog account for this one.

  19. PooPooPlatter

    July 2, 2008 at 9:17 pm

    kom34 – "press him against the fence"

    That's one more thing to consider, I understand this is in a ring. An advantage for Fedor!

  20. Nichole Lesniak

    July 2, 2008 at 9:54 pm

    Jordan – You make some good points, but I think you missed some of my poitns.

    Also, I never said that Fedor was EXPECTED to lose to anyone. BUT there were several fights where people said he COULD lose. There is a difference.

    And I think Randy was a great indicator of Sylvia's ability – Randy is in his 40's and had a 15-8 record at the time. And yet, Randy dominated him. That says a lot. My comparison wasn't of Randy and Fedor. It was a comparison of how Sylvia handles REAL competition.

    As far as underestimating Sylvia, if Sylvia is the dominating fighter you paint him to be, why would the UFC let him go? Yes, he was decent against Monson and Vera – but are they TOP competition? HARDLY.

  21. Jordan Katz

    July 2, 2008 at 11:10 pm

    First, at no point did I use the word Tim Sylvia and dominant in the same sentence. Although, using that word would not be a stretch based on the fact that he has an impressive resume and considered by almost every legitimate media outlet as a top 5 heavyweight.

    He DOMINATED two mediocre opponents in Monson and Vera, proving he is on another level than mid-tier fighters. If you are going to compare how Sylvia handles REAL competition, than looking at ONLY the Randy Couture fight is not doing enough research (and by the way you describe Randy, "is in his 40's and has a 15-8 record," you make it sound as if he is not one of the best fighters of all-time). How about when Sylvia fought Ricco Rodriguez in his prime, or how he beat Andrei Arlovski twice, put down big Ben Rothwell, and was DOMINATING Nog for 2 1/2 rounds. All of those opponents are top competition and he has proved he can perform well against them.

    As far as mixed martial arts analysts go, nobody thought Choi-Hong Man COULD beat Fedor. You said, "nobody thought Fedor would be able to beat the giant." That statement couldn't be further from the true. He was expected to lose, it was considered a mis-match, and it played out exactly how it was most predicted it.

    Fedor is incredibly smooth on the ground, explosive on his feet, and should be able to beat Sylvia wherever the fight goes (especially if it is taken to the ground). But, it seems that you have sorely miscalculated the level of competition Sylvia has faced and his abilities as a fighter.

    Lastly, I cannot pretend to know the exact reasons why the UFC allowed Sylvia to leave. I can however, surmize that it was based on his lack of drawing power, rather than his skills. We must remember, that the UFC is a business and could have felt that it wasn't worth paying Sylvia (although he is talented) 100G's a fight if he couldn't bring in ratings.

  22. Jordan Katz

    July 2, 2008 at 11:22 pm

    One more thing about the Randy/Sylvia fight. While I don't like to buy too much into excuses, Sylvia did have a major back problem during the fight w/ Couture. I'm not quite sure, but I believe he had a herniated disc or something of the sort, and required surgery shortly after the bout. Couture gave him a thorough beating that night and I believe would do so again, but, if the injury was legit, which it sounds like it was, than we must take that into consideration to a degree.

  23. steve

    July 2, 2008 at 11:29 pm

    Kom I, like how you said Sylvia doesnt have the hands. I personally feel the same way. He has the reach yes but Fedor is SO much faster then Sylvia and also I feel that he is so much better in every aspect of the stand up. Fedor has power and incredible accuracy with his strkes. Yeah Tim kicks and Fedor reallly dont but Fedor has a highlight reel of not knockouts but knckdowns. And also he has pieced up about every fighter he has faced and one thing is for sure RANDY could never outstike or takedown and lay on FEDOR for 25 minutes straight.

  24. roy

    July 3, 2008 at 1:43 am

    good stuff jordan, i agree with you on tim being let go do to other reasons outside of his fighting skills he is a highly ranked fighter.

  25. PooPooPlatter

    July 3, 2008 at 5:10 am

    Nichole –

    I reread your post and it is obvious that Jordan did paint the picture that Tim was a "top", "dominant" or whatever other word or phrase he'd like to say he didn't use. He got all in a tizzy defending Tim. It's kind of funny.

    Jordan –

    You seem to be grasping for anything available at this point. "herniated disc", "nobody thought Choi-Hong Man COULD beat Fedor". BTW – it's Hong Man Choi, Mr. Know- It-All. And Ricco was NOT in his prime n 2003. Far from it! 3 straight losses that year!

    You state:

    "and by the way you describe Randy, “is in his 40’s and has a 15-8 record,” you make it sound as if he is not one of the best fighters of all-time"

    He is a 15-8 fighter. That is not a good record by any stretch. Wake up man! Randy is extremely likable, has a huge heart and he beat a goof ball Sylvia when he was an underdog-old man in his 40's. It all happened at a time when everyone was tried of seeing Sylvia use his enormous arms to jab his way to victory against mediocre opponents. Vera – blah, Monson – blah! Arlovski hasn't been worth talking about in years!

    I hover on these threads from time to time. I think this site is getting better and better. Is it me or does Jordan disagree with Nichole just to disagree with her? Sure seems that way to me!

  26. Jordan Katz

    July 3, 2008 at 5:31 am

    I'm sorry you feel that way PooPoo. There is no disrespect intended towards Nichole, I have often times agreed with her articles and always enjoy reading them.

    And to be honest, I think it's important to defend fighters like Tim Sylvia. Too often their skills are overlooked, because of their boring styles or abrasive personalities.

    The only point I was attempting to make, was that Sylvia is an elite heavyweight, with a variety of skills that I felt were overlooked in the article. Although not likely, I believe Sylvia has more of a chance to beat Fedor than many people give him credit for.

    Opinions may differ, but if we are all respectful in the manner in which we discuss them, then I encourage negative or positive feedback towards my writing and opinions.

    Lastly PooPoo, Couture's 16-8 record doesn't jump out at people. But as a two division champion, with wins over Tim Sylvia, Gabriel Gonzaga (two heavyweights generally considered in the top 10), Chuck Liddell, Tito Ortiz, Pedro Rizzo, Kevin Randelman, and Vitor Belfort, he truly is one of the best MMA fighters of all-time.

  27. PooPooPlatter

    July 3, 2008 at 5:49 am

    Heavy weight division is weak and has been for a long time. I'd like to go back to the old days when Vovchanchyn, Kerr and Coleman were in their prime. (yeah, yeah I know.. drugs were a big problem back then, but they were real heavy weights). Fedor is the one of them too.

    Hopefully the UFC's bet on Shane Carwin and Cain Velasquez will pay off because the heavy weight division needs it!

    An idea… How about you and Nichole in the cage to duke it out? You can give Nichole a handicap – one arm tied behind the back? Maybe that will settle this once and for all? LOL

  28. roy

    July 3, 2008 at 6:03 am

    yeah jordan thats what where here for to discuss and sometimes disagree,dosn't mean who's wrong or right and i didn'y see any disrespect i enjoy nicholes writing as well.

  29. Deakson

    July 3, 2008 at 6:24 am

    PooPoo and Nicole, I Understand where you are coming from as Fedor is arguably the best fighter on the planet right now but I also agree strongly with Jordan. Tim Sylvia is criticized for having boring fights, that's only because he uses his physical attributes combined with his skill to his advantage, a good fighter must find a way to overcome that advantage and since the majority of his boring fights (record being 24-4) he has won that tells me that many of the top competitors he has faced have not been able to figure out a sure fire way to beat him. With his impressive list of victories over elite fighters that Jordan mentioned earlier I think it is hard to say that Sylvia is not in the top ten HW, I don't believe 24 wins come all by fluke. Furthermore all though I do agree with both of you that Fedor is clearly the favorite and in all likelihood will win, I still find it hard to believe that you blatantly ignore Sylvia's skill with his diverse striking equipped with solid leg kicks and a power jab along with his good take down defense and impressive grappling. Tim Sylvia may not be the best heavyweight out there, but he has certainly proved himself to be a top fighter and serious threat within the division.

  30. Deakson

    July 3, 2008 at 6:26 am

    I think Jordan and I are only trying to have friendly open discussions about MMA, not to disrespect or insult. Everyone has different opinions and views in the sport and what he was saying before was merely pointing out discrepancies in Nicole's article, not bad mouthing her at all.

  31. Ryan S

    July 4, 2008 at 2:08 am

    It's really respectful for all of you to be having this debate in the manner you are. It's not getting out of control and filled with cursing as if Steve was in this debate. I think the reason Sylvia's fights are so boring is because he likes to stand, only, and Like someone else said, he jabs his way to a victory. All the Sylvia fights I have seen have been slow paced and everytime he gets to the ground, he scrambles to get back up and jab away. It seems to me that he has gotten comfortable using his reach advantage and anything else is kind of foreign to him. With Nog, it seemed like he was trying to set up Tim to turn it into a ground fight, and that's why he was being dominated.

    All in all, I like Nichole's articles as well and how hot is it that a woman knows this much about mma and enjoys it?

  32. Nichole Lesniak

    July 4, 2008 at 2:50 am

    Wow…I knew this would create some drama in here :)

    I may have downplayed Sylvia's skill, but that's because it was a comparison piece. Comparing Sylvia to Fedor is like comparing Eli Manning to Peyton. Yeah, the former is good…but not nearly as good as the latter.

    And just an FYI Deakson – there were no discrepancies in my article. I stated a combination of facts and opinions. All my facts were 100% correct.

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