Tim Sylvia vs. Fedor Emelianenko to fight in July under Affliction banner

Tim Sylvia vs. Fedor Emelianenko Affliction fighting
A fight between former UFC heavyweight champion and current Adrenaline MMA fighter, Tim Sylvia (24-4), and the last man to hold the Pride FC heavyweight strap, Fedor Emelianenko (27-1), is in the works for July 19 at the American Airlines Arena in Dallas, Texas, according to Sherdog.com.

The blockbuster showdown would be promoted by Affliction and air on Mark Cuban's HDNet network.

Here's a snip from the Russian:

"[Sylvia] is a good fighter, a strong fighter, the former UFC heavyweight champion, which is important. I am looking forward to fighting him and training hard for this fight."

Sylvia recently parted ways with the UFC in a split that has been categorized by both parties as amicable. The decision came after a submission loss to Antonio Rodrigo "Minotauro: Nogueria at UFC 81: "Breaking Point" for the interim heavyweight championship in February.

With just one fight remaining on his contract -- and another crack at the belt in the not so near future -- "The Maine-iac" was granted permission to sign on with his long time manager, Monte Cox, who runs the upstart Adrenaline MMA promotion.

Prior to that Cox was the President and CEO of M-1 Global -- a failed partnership between Russian and American backers that never staged a single event. The promotion was centered around Emelianenko; however, the two sides were at reportedly loggerheads when it came to compensation and competition.

Emelianenko became a free agent once he returned a $1.5 million signing bonus. And now he's apparently set to kick-off 2008 with a fight against the 6'8" Miletich-trained product, which would certainly be his biggest test since a fight with Mirko Cro Cop back in 2005.

Indeed, Emelianenko -- once widely regarded as the most formidable pound-for-pound mixed martial artist on the planet -- has taken a beating from critics because of his inability to take on top-level competition in recent years.

Hong Man Choi (freak show), Matt Lindland (a middleweight), and Mark Coleman (past his prime) are three of his last four opponents -- not exactly the worthiest opponents for an individual who has been described as unbeatable in a sport in which anything can and often does happen.

Fedor, however, somehow seems to find ways to overcome those unpredictable odds ... at least up until now.

It's more than likely the case that Emelianenko will look to takedown "Big Tim" early and often to avoid that reach and his big punching power. Not to mention Emelianenko cuts very easily -- it is the reason behind his only career defeat, in fact.

Sylvia has demonstrated decent takedown defense in the past; however, he has been susceptible to submissions throughout his seven-year professional career.

Definitely a very interesting match up if it comes to fruition. Randy Couture -- the man who defeated Sylvia in March but is now embroiled in a bitter legal battle with the UFC because he wanted to fight Emelianenko -- has got to be going nuts with this latest news.

Stay tuned for more updates on this developing story.

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