Affliction Banned “Fedor vs. Sylvia” Preview and Predictions


affliction preview and predictions

MMA fans could hit the trifecta on July 19, with two of Mixed Martial Art’s best pound-for-pound fighters taking part in meaningful bouts, a who’s who of elite heavyweights doing battle, and the debut of the upstart promotion “Affliction”.
Affliction’s first event could mean another real contributor to the sport’s success – – depending on the performances. But the potential for a defining night for the sport sure is there – – with intriguing bouts and countless dollars spent on advertising and promoting the event.

Having only been on the national radar for several years, MMA is still in its early childhood, but growing fast. The question is: will Affliction become a serious competitor to Ultimate Fighting Championship, which has been synonymous with MMA since orchestrating the sport’s breakthrough into the mainstream? July 19 will show us a lot.
Popular clothing company, Affliction, has teamed up with business mogul and astute marketer, Donald Trump, to assemble one of the better fight cards in MMA history. The backdrop to the event is that Affliction has poured a vast amount of money into stockpiling some of the sports best talent and biggest names, in hopes of eventually challenging the UFC for MMA supremacy. To do that, Saturday’s pay-per-view needs to be a success.

Fedor Emelianenko versus Tim Sylvia

 Affliction has invested a lot of money into Emelianenko. The company’s near-term success ultimately may hinge upon the performance of this former Pride heavyweight champion. Although being one of the biggest names in all of MMA, Emelianenko has not been able to translate his recognition into commercial rating success in the U.S.

His fight against Matt Lindland on PPV did a paltry 14,000 buys, an alarmingly low number. It will be essential for “The Last Emperor” to wow U.S. fans and live up to the hype by performing admirably against Tim Sylvia, in order for Affliction to develop a following.
The match itself is intriguing, because Emelianenko has been chastised for facing lesser opposition the past three years. By facing a top five heavyweight in Sylvia – – though he is somewhat limited in terms of style, Emelianenko will have the opportunity to validate his standing as one of the best fighters of all time and current number one heavyweight.
Sylvia’s strategy has never been a mystery and remains essentially the same for every fight. He will attempt to leverage his size by using a straight jab to set up his overhand right. Since Emelianenko is far smaller in stature, Sylvia may attempt to smother his opponent with his sheer size and overwhelm Emelianenko with his strength. As he did in his previous fight against Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Sylvia will avoid being taken to the ground at all costs. Clearly, Sylvia is uncomfortable on the ground and has a tendency to get submitted when put there.

The Last Emperor is a gifted mixed martial artist and almost unanimously considered one of the best, if not, the best, pound for pound fighters of all time. Emelianenko is an explosive striker with deceptive speed and excellent footwork. His ground game is slick and he can flawlessly transition into submission attempts. He has a stout chin, incredible recovery ability, and a composure that has never unraveled. Needless to say, Emelianenko is the total package.

Emelianenko is like The Terminator in the first movie. Everyone kept looking for a weakness or a chink in his armor, believing there had to be a way to defeat him. Ultimately, there really wasn’t any possible way to win unless you sacrificed yourself first. Even then, victory wasn’t guaranteed.
Most analysts believe this fight will be thoroughly dominated by Emelianenko. If the fight goes to the ground, there is no doubt, Sylvia will be submitted with ease.

But, Sylvia should not be ruled out all together. He has heavy hands and by constantly circling Emelianenko, while throwing that jab, he should have a chance. Emelianenko has been known to bleed profusely from time to time. Syvlia’s best chance will be to try and bust Emelianenko open and keep the pressure on once he has. By turning the fight into a boxing match, Sylvia will have his best opportunity to prove the critics wrong.

Still, Emelianenko has too much heart, too much skill, and too much riding on this fight to lose. On possibly the biggest stage of his career, Emelianenko needs to demonstrate his dominance in the sport. And he should be able to do so against Sylvia.
Prediction: Fedor Emelianenko via submission, Round two.

Andrei Arlovsky versus Ben Rothwell

The fight between Andrei Arlovski and Ben Rothwell could have major implications in shaping the landscape of the heavyweight division. Assuming Fedor Emelianenko wins his bout against Tim Sylvia, Affliction could promote the winner of this fight as being his next challenge.
Do you remember Dewayne Robertson? He was a defensive tackle who played for Kentucky in college and was then drafted number fourth overall in the draft by the New York Jets. Entering the NFL, there was an immense amount of hype surrounding Robertson. Scouts thought he was the second coming of Warren Sapp and would prove to be a spectacular pro. It’s been several years and he has done decently thus far, performing commendably, but, not spectacularly. His career has been solid, yet ultimately, he has failed to achieve the greatness predicted of him.

Andrei Arlovski has followed a similar path. Although still considered one of the best heavyweight fighters out there and rightfully so, he has yet to ascent to that next level of stardom. A gifted fighter and arguably the most athletic heavyweight fighter in the world, Arlovski was hailed as a world-beater at one point. He was supposed to usher in a new breed of athletic, swift and powerful mixed martial artists and take the division by a storm.

Instead, while Arlovksi has remained at or near the top of the division, he has yet to emerge as the dominant force so many predicted. Arlovski’s legacy will be determined in his next several fights. The question will be whether or not he can cross the boundary from being a very good fighter to emerge as a great one?
His fight against Ben Rothwell will help to determine just what his career course will be. This fight is going to take place standing up, as long as Arlovkski wants it that way. Rothwell has put together an impressive winning streak of late, not losing since 2005. He is a big, big boy, who loves to throw leather. Still, his conditioning is likely to be challenged since he clearly is not in optimal shape. But, the guy is a man-bear, an aggressive, powerful, dangerous beast of an individual who can end a fight in the spur of a moment. 

Arlovski needs to look impressive in this fight. His last two bouts, although victories, failed to inspire much awe. Frankly, Arlovski was losing most of the fight to Jake O’Brien because he couldn’t prevent getting taken down. And against Fabricio Werdum, he was tentative. Arlovski will need to use his quickness and athleticism to tire Rothwell. If he can put together solid combinations with a mix of leg kicks, he should be able to end the fight by TKO or KO.

Nonetheless, Arlovski must be weary of Rothwell’s power. As we’ve seen when Arlovksi faced Pedro Rizzo and to a lesser degree, Tim Sylvia and Ricco Rodriguez, Arlovski’s chin is more like wood than steel, it can be broken if hit in the right spot.

With such a great stable of heavyweights, it will be interesting to see if Arvloski rises to the occasion and separates himself from the rest of the pack.
Prediction: Andrei Arlovski via TKO, round two.

Josh Barnett versus Pedro Rizzo

It’s unfortunate this fight didn’t take place several years earlier, when Rizzo was still in his prime and the match would have been more meaningful. Since beating Arlovski, Rizzo posted a pedestrian record of four and four in his next eight bouts. The heavy handed Rizzos’ best days are behind him. Yet, perhaps surprisingly, this rematch could still end up stealing the show for several reasons.

First, Barnett would clearly enjoy avenging the brutal knockout he suffered to Rizzo in 2001. Second, both of these fighters have the ability to stand and trade punches, plus Rizzo is always entertaining. And lastly, the stakes are high – – Rizzo will help measure whether Barnett is still deserving of his top five heavyweight ranking.
It’s difficult to see Pedro Rizzo winning this fight. Barnett simply has too many tools. Barnett is a very respectable submission artist. His wrestling is solid, he is experienced in the clinch, has good body control and is a quality striker. If he decides to take a fighter down, he has an effective shoot, proper trips and is a very well versed mixed martial artist. Unless he gets over anxious and caught by a massive Rizzo haymaker, Barnett has the skills to win this fight decisively.

With an abundance of different skills, a gregarious personality that includes hilarious past entrances and comical in-ring antics, Barnett is a likeable character. An impressive win could finally earn him a shot at the one fighter he has previously called out, but never had the opportunity to face, Fedor Emelianenko.
Prediction: Josh Barnett via submission, round two

Fedor, Barnett and Arlovski, are three incredible heavyweights that have the opportunity to put Affliction on their shoulders and fight its way to success. Affliction’s upcoming event combines some of the greatest heavyweights ever assembled in one event. That in itself is special for MMA. With the additions of Matt Lindland and Renato Sobral rounding out the main card, the event could be the event of the year. Both of those fighters should be able to secure a victory, especially Lindland and although Sobral should win, Mike Whitehead is never an easy out. Regardless of the outcomes, Affliction will help clean up the muddle waters of the heavyweight division, provide The Last Emperor a chance to regain some of his mystique, and could end up being remembered as the first event of the promotion that became the yin to the UFC’s yang.


  1. roy

    July 18, 2008 at 2:11 am

    just about how i see it jordon

  2. Deakson

    July 18, 2008 at 4:35 am

    I agree with the predictions, but I cant honestly say that Fedor at the current moment is the best pound for pound fighter of all time. I believe he still needs to prove his has the mystique u talked about in the article and beat Sylvia (and future opponents) decisively. Also I thought it was interesting that Arlovski has teamed up with famed boxing coach Freddie Roach (traind Del a hoya for his last fight against mayweather). I think that should help his quick combinations that you stated were critical for an Arlovski win. Obviously there is a huge difference in boxing and MMA striking but this training can only quicken his hands, make his punches more accurate, and other positives that will surely lend a hand in this fight. Im astonished at the heavyweight talent that is on this card, never before in either boxing or MMA has such a collection of athletes in this weight class been assembled…should be a great night of fights.

    P.S. Love the terminator reference, creative and completely true!!!!

  3. Jordan Katz

    July 18, 2008 at 5:11 am

    In order to solidify his place as the number one mixed martial artist of all-time, you are right Deakson, Fedor still needs to do more. But, currently, there are very few other fighters that make as strong a case for that recognition as Fedor. One needs to look only as far as his resume to understand his dominance. He dominated Nogueira when people thought he was unbeatable. Defeated Cro Cop by out striking the feared stand up fighter. Finished Mark Hunt, Keven Randelman and Mark Coleman. To truly be the best fighter of all-time, Fedor needs to beat several more elite fighters, as you said, but one could make a great case for him right now as well.

  4. Morey

    July 18, 2008 at 2:57 pm

    The HW division is so spreat out right now that even if Fedor is impressive I don't think he will regain the title of best fighter in the world. I agree with all of Jordans preditions too and I don't know the odds but I'm going to drop some money on either Fedor or Arlovski tomorrow.

    I like how you mentioned that Fedor hasn't sold in his US fights. Even the Pride show with Fedor vs. Coleman only sold 40,000 PPV's. You're right, the success of Affliction is riding on Fedor right now.

  5. dave

    July 18, 2008 at 4:25 pm

    I, agree with allmost all above posts… Will the success of Affliction be riding on Fedor? Or will the success of Affliction be….NATURAL???

  6. Steveo

    July 18, 2008 at 10:23 pm

    I with Morey, while Fedor is the best heavy out there, there isnt much to compare him to. Sylvia is just huge not much of a draw anymore(boring). Randy hasnt fought in what like almost year and a half two years. the division is just weak across the board.

  7. Arthur

    July 19, 2008 at 5:08 am

    I've been a big Fedor fan since Pride's early days, but I'm worried about him in this fight. He cuts too easily and I'm afraid that Sylvia might cut him up and keep on going after that spot until someone ends the fight via Doctor Stoppage. If that doesn't happen Sylvia stills presents problems to Fedor with his long arms, long reach, and striking. But in the end I still predict Fedor will win this fight.

  8. Nichole Lesniak

    July 19, 2008 at 2:28 pm

    Jordan – I agree with all that you said…but where's the credit you claimed I needed to give Sylvia when I wrote my opinion piece?? You gave him just as much credit as I did.

    Post fight – still think I should've given Sylvia credit? My piece was dead on.

  9. Eden

    July 19, 2008 at 3:15 pm

    That was one of the most dominating performances i've seen one top fighter have over another in a long time. Fedor was right fully the heavy favorite but woulda thought hed win by busting him up standing?

    Sylvia is a very good fighter, a top fighter in his class. But he got his ass handed to him tonight.

  10. Jordan Katz

    July 20, 2008 at 12:04 am

    Nichole, after re-reading your article, i'm still unsure what the the underlying arguement was. It jumps from point to point, which makes it more difficult to decipher the overall message. Even so, I'm still 100% backing my stance. Through impressive victories over solid opponents, Tim Sylvia has earned the right to be considerd an elite heavyweight. Your comments made it seem as though he was just an average, run of the mill fighter, which he is not.

    I was incredibly disapointed I didnt get to see either fighter test one another. The match ended so fast, in such dramatic and brutal fashion, that Sylvia was made to look childish. To me, it was one of these instances that doesn't even comment on Sylvia's skill. Instead, it just shows how dangerous Fedor is. Keith Jardine, Forrest Griffin, Josh Barnett, etc are all great fighters. But, they have all had moments where they were knocked out in an instant. That was the type of display that was put on at Affliction by Fedor.

    Not many analysts had given Sylvia a chance and rightfully so. I thought he'd be able to levearge his reach but would eventually be overwhelmed. Never did I think Fedor would be such an effective striker but he just proved to be even better than advertised as he thoroughly dispatched of Sylvia leaving no doubt they are on different levels.

  11. Gorp

    July 20, 2008 at 12:42 am

    Katz – wasn't sure what you were talking about in here so I searched back and read the article and arguments.

    Seems to me that you jumped on Nichole for her article/stance. You then changed your tune and took a similar stance in your article above.

    I get it. Flip Flop – Flip Flop!

  12. Jordan Katz

    July 20, 2008 at 6:31 am

    Haha maybe so. I clearly did not express myself in a concise manner. I've never been a huge fan of Tim Sylvia but always respected his ability. It frustrated me that he was constantly disrespected yet he thoroughly beat most of his opponents.

    Either way Fedor blasted through him with ease and made him look like a bum off the street!

  13. PooPooPlatter

    July 20, 2008 at 8:45 am

    Deakson –

    The terminator comparison is old news and Jordan did not come up with it on his own. That comparison was made years ago and is old news.

    Nice to see some of the newbies were finally introduced to a real MMA heavy weight. Fedor won is true Fedor fashion. Dominance!

    Sylvia was finally exposed for the chump he is/was.

  14. Jordan Katz

    July 20, 2008 at 9:13 am

    PooPoo, that's a hilarious link, I hadn't seen it before. Fedor is really like a machine, comparing him to the Terminator would probably be a common one among many Fedor fans.

    Man PooPoo, he sure did punish Sylvia. It was almost a comical fight. That was straight out of a Wanderlei Silva playbook, but so much faster! I couldnt believe his speed. I'll still put money on Sylvia against many good heavyweights, but wow, Fedor sure taught me that Sylvia doesn't belong in the same ring, octagon, planet as him.

  15. PooPooPlatter

    July 20, 2008 at 10:01 am

    Jordan – Very true.. Just google "fedor terminator" and see how many people have made the comparison in the past.

    I always new that Sylvia was nowhere near the caliper of fighter that Fedor is, we all just had to wait until yesterday to have true proof of it.

    Sylvia can go to EliteXC and fight with the Lawlers/Smiths that got beat up in the big leagues.

    Before everyone jumps on me for that last comment, sure Lawler and Smith put on good fights, but we have to remember that they are second rate fighters.

  16. roy

    July 20, 2008 at 11:58 am

    i wouldn't call lawler 2nd rate he was tough in the ufc and lost fights but he was like 22-24 yrs old he has improved since than i am not saying he would be champ(especialy with a.silva being there) but he would be in the top 5 i think

  17. Jordan Katz

    July 20, 2008 at 12:01 pm

    I agree with you Roy. He may not be an elite fighter, but second rate he is not. Finally, he has become more disciplined and less wild it seems. I'd put him in the top 10 middleweight category as well Roy.

  18. Realwun

    July 20, 2008 at 2:29 pm

    Silvia is a top fighter mainly because of his size and secondly because he wants to win more than impress. Just look at his fight with the Snowman, he made it boring becuase he just utilized his size advantage. We all hated it but he went home safely with the belt. I hope they divide the HW weight class because 60 lbs. is too much. Silvia does have talent but mostly he has size, weight, and gameplan.

  19. dane drebin

    July 20, 2008 at 3:32 pm

    was anyone as impressed with vitor belfort as i was lastnight he looked awesome i have always liked him and i think he is gunna be someone to watch at 185

  20. Deakson

    July 20, 2008 at 3:34 pm

    poo poo platter, I don't really understand ur use of this site…it seems to me that all u do is rip on people. Funny coming from a guy who sits at his computer reading through threds but whatever floats ur boat my man. I hadnt seen the terminator reference before so I thought it was very clever, next time I'll check with u before I have an opinion

  21. TKAY

    July 21, 2008 at 4:23 am

    As really good and informative as the whole article is, these comments make for even better reading!

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