Tag:Tim Sylvia
Posted on: June 2, 2009 8:48 pm
Edited on: June 2, 2009 8:58 pm

After Barnett fight, will Fedor jump to UFC?

Last week, Affliction and M-1 Global issued a string of press releases alerting the media to a pair of press conferences -- one to be held Wednesday in New York, and another on Thursday in Los Angeles -- "to announce 'Trilogy,' Fedor Emelianenko vs. Josh Barnett , on August 1 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, CA; Live on Pay-Per-View."

That quote is taken directly from one of the press releases, which begs the question: What's left to announce?

Beans-spilling press releases aside, the story here is that Emelianenko vs. Barnett is finally going to happen, not that Affliction is flying people all over the country to reveal that which has already been revealed.

Fedor Emelianenko Barnett (24-5-0) has been the second-best heavyweight on the Affliction roster since virtually day one. But due to a number of circumstances -- Tim Sylvia being available to fight Fedor last summer, Andrei Arlovski getting the honors for Affliction 2 -- he has never fought "The Last Emperor." Not even in Pride, where both men enjoyed lots of career success. At last, Barnett will get his shot at the man widely considered the best heavyweight MMA fighter on this planet.

For Fedor Emelianenko (30-1-0, 1 NC), Barnett not only represents the stiffest challenge possible among guys he hasn't fought yet, but he also may be his final worthwhile opponent outside of the UFC roster. Simply put: If Emelianenko beats Barnett on Aug. 1, there will be no more credible opponents for him in any promotion other than the UFC. And that's where things get truly interesting. Consider the following:

1) After Affliction's second PPV in January, speculation swirled that the company would only promote one more show -- tentatively scheduled for the summer, as "Affliction: Trilogy" is -- before bowing out of the MMA promotion business for good. But in a recent interview with MMA FanHouse's Ariel Helwani, Affliction COO Michael Cohen not only insisted that Affliction: Trilogy would not be the last event, but he promised a fourth, fifth and sixth show.

The trouble is, Emelianenko vs. Barnett is believed to be the last remaining fight on Emelianenko's Affliction contract. If that's the case, and if Emelianenko ends up running the table on Affliction's main event-worthy heavyweights, would it be financially viable for Affliction to re-up Emelianenko if the quality of his PPV opponents will go south? Spending big for a superstar fighter is only worthwhile if the profit outweighs the expenditure, and all indications are that Affliction hasn't yet figured out how to come out of its investments with a profit.

2) If Affliction does try to re-sign Emelianenko, there's a good chance it would be for a lot less money. In this economy, the decision may not even be up to Affliction anymore. They could be willing to pay him $1 million per fight -- hypothetically, of course -- but if they can't secure the financing to pull it off, will they be willing to pay Fedor out of pocket? If the UFC can match or beat Affliction's financial offer to Emelianenko, then the only remaining roadblock to him signing with the UFC would be the exclusivity issue. Which remains a potential deal-breaker for sure, but with Emelianenko running out of options and the UFC still wanting to book him, one or both sides could budge on their demands enough to meet somewhere close to the middle. The state of the MMA business and the world economy in general means that an Emelianenko-UFC negotiation might go a little differently today than it did in 2007 or 2008.

3) While it would take several major pieces falling into place for it to happen, an Emelianenko deal with the UFC might not be as far-fetched as some think. In a February interview with DreamFighters.com , Fedor said "Me and my management hope to get a chance to talk to Dana White in person in June to discuss a possible fight between me and Brock [Lesnar] ." Sure enough, on Sunday -- the last day of May -- Dana White was Twittering about having a "HUGE" meeting in Los Angeles the next day. "Insane for UFC fans if we get this done," he tweeted.

Then, in a video blog posted on YouTube on Tuesday, White mentioned the Kimbo Slice participation on The Ultimate Fighter , and followed up with this:

"Lorenzo [Fertitta] and I had a killer, killer meeting in Los Angeles today, and I was hoping I would be able to tell you about it today, but the way deals go, they take time," White said in the video. "So I can't tell you today, but I can tell you it was a great meeting and I'm feeling very confident that we're gonna get this deal done, and it's gonna literally change the UFC forever."

We know Emelianenko is in the U.S. this week. Could it be?

Wait -- let me rephrase that.

Who else could it possibly be?

Posted on: February 2, 2008 11:57 pm
Edited on: February 3, 2008 12:35 am

UFC 81 live results: Sylvia vs. Nogueira

The main event is here, as Tim Sylvia and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira fight for the interim UFC heavyweight title.

Round 1: The stand and trade with nobody landing much. Sylvia finally drops Nog to the mat with a punch and rushes in to ground and pound. Nog looks and acts badly hurt but he's still with it, and controlling Sylvia in the guard. Sylvia gets out of the guard and makes Nog stand back up, wisely. Nog looks wobbly. Sylvia staggers him with another punch and Nog sinks to the mat. They're standing again and Nog is slowly looking more coherent. This man is notorious for recovering from big shots. Nog is cut from all the punches. Nog finishes the round by taking Tim Sylvia down. Sylvia 10-9, but Nog showed at the end that he's not finished yet.

Round 2: Sylvia stuffs a takedown attempt. They're trading and Sylvia's landing more, but no big shots yet. That reach advantage is a killer. Nog with another takedown attempt, not even close to succeeding. Nog grabs a single leg and fights hard for the takedown, but gets stuffed again. Sylvia with a nice right uppercut. Nog lands a left hook. Mike Goldberg reminds viewers that neither man has ever been knocked out. The round ends and I have it 10-9 Sylvia again, but a lot less action in this round. Still, Nog couldn't take Sylvia down and Sylvia has a slight edge in striking.

Round 3: Nog with an inside leg kick and Sylvia counters with a punch. Nog pulls guard on Sylvia. Nog sweeps Sylvia and takes side control. Nog with a guillotine choke and Sylvia taps out. New UFC interim champion, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. PRIDE fans everywhere shed a tear of joy.

Winner: Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira defeats Tim Sylvia via submission to a guillotine choke at 1:28 of Round 3.
Posted on: February 1, 2008 7:57 pm

UFC 81 weigh-in results & notes

Every fighter on the card for Saturday's UFC 81 made weight on Friday.

Also, a reminder that we'll be live blogging the UFC 81 PPV tomorrow night. Check back around 9:45 p.m. ET for the updates to begin.

The weigh-in results:

Main card:

Tim Sylvia -- 261
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira -- 237


Sylvia actually got cheered by the crowd, and seemed genuinely happy about it when Joe Rogan mentioned it. "I couldn't believe it," he said. "What's going on?"

Rogan created an awkward moment when he started to ask Sylvia about the chance to become the first three-time heavyweight champion in UFC history. Sylvia grinned and shook his head "no." Rogan then looked around confused. "Randy is?"

Frank Mir -- 255
Brock Lesnar -- 265

Mir looked very subdued on his way to the scale. Lesnar and Mir didn't butt heads, but they didn't shake hands either.

Jeremy Horn -- 185
Nate Marquardt -- 185

Ricardo Almeida -- 185
Rob Yundt -- 185

Gleison Tibau -- 156
Tyson Griffin -- 155


Chris Lytle -- 170
Kyle Bradley -- 170

David Heath -- 205
Tim Boetsch -- 205

Marvin Eastman -- 185
Terry Martin -- 186

Eastman butted heads lightly with Martin, who returned the pleasantries with a shove.

Keita Nakamura -- 155
Rob Emerson -- 155
Posted on: January 15, 2008 6:00 pm
Edited on: March 11, 2008 12:31 pm

UFC files suit against Randy Couture

The Las Vegas Review Journal broke the news that the UFC filed a lawsuit against Randy Couture on Monday, charging breach of contract and dealing "injurious falsehood and trade disparagement" to the company, leading to financial loss.

The story reported that the UFC is suing Couture for a figure north of $10,000. Doesn't sound like a lot, but hey -- it's "not about the money," right?

Everyone with connected brain cells saw this lawsuit coming, although the timing was a bit of a surprise, as was the apparent final straw. Reportedly, the addition of Team Xtreme Couture to the IFL this season sparked the breach of contract claim, since Couture is contractually prohibited from competing with the UFC directly or indirectly.

Keep in mind there are vast differences in interpretation between the UFC and Couture regarding his contract terms, and that's where the UFC and Couture both stand to lose the most in this divorce -- particularly, the two fights remaining on Couture's contract and just how obligated Couture is to fulfill those. Couture thinks he'll be free from the shackles if he just sits out until the term expires. The UFC thinks he owes them the two fights, term or no term, or else he must retire forever.

In comparison to that, the IFL issue seems rather trivial -- more like the excuse the UFC was waiting for to sic the lawyers on Couture, rather than a significant breach of exclusivity.

I'm not a legal expert, but when you consider things like lost revenue from PPV and DVD sales (not so much ticket sales, because the UFC is capable of filling an arena without Couture), the UFC would certainly be able to prove more damages if they waited a while for Couture's deal to run out. By choosing to sue Couture right now for a meager $10,000+, the point of the lawsuit seems less about damage recovery and more like Zuffa firing a warning shot.

In other words, before they reach the point of suing Couture for the big stuff -- if it gets that far -- they might want to give him a taste of how serious they are about holding him to his deal, on the chance that it will make Couture think twice about going the distance with them on the issues that matter most: Where he fights next, when, and for whom.

The most interesting part of this lawsuit is the conspiracy angle, and Zuffa's pledge that they will name Couture's partners in (alleged) misdeed during the trial. One can only assume Couture's representation will be fingered in the allegations. One might also speculate that M-1 or the IFL could be dragged into this, especially if the UFC alleges that Couture -- due to his still-valid UFC contract -- did not have the legal right to even field an offer from the IFL, much less accept it, even if his IFL involvement is in name and team ownership only.

Until more information comes out regarding the specific (alleged) conspirators, the exact wording of the contract terms at issue, and the nature of UFC's cool $10,000+ in losses, it's all speculation.

In the meantime, we get Tim Sylvia vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira for a UFC heavyweight title that the UFC won't admit is vacant while Couture's contract is still unfulfilled. If this lawsuit succeeds in giving Couture cold feet about the bigger issues with his contract, he might come back. It's more likely, though, that this is the tip of the iceberg.
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