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The Cold War might be over, but old rivalries die hard. On July 19th at Honda Center in Anaheim, California, two of the world’s greatest MMA super powers will collide when Russia’s Fedor Emelianenko faces off with America’s Tim Sylvia for the WAMMA heavyweight championship.
These two formidable heavyweight champions finally make it into the ring together, in an event as impressive as the two athletes heading the bill — “Affliction Banned.” These two heavy hitters are so accomplished it’s a challenge for them to find competitive opponents. The two are almost perfectly matched in number of professional bouts they’ve fought in, with Sylvia compiling 24 wins and only 4 losses, and Fedor recording 28 wins and 1 loss. It’s hard to imagine what it will be like in the ring with these two monsters of MMA go head-to-head.
Fedor is a powerful, intelligent fighter and technician who doesn’t outwardly show much emotion, but fights (and trains) with a lot of heart. This astounding fighter never retreats, has great takedown and ground control skills, and is the most devastating fighter that MMA has ever seen when he’s on the inside. And Fedor hits very hard, with amazing knockout power in both hands. Unlike most fighters, Fedor is also a master game planner who follows through on the plan, and simply doesn't wilt under pressure, no matter what the circumstances. Fedor’s record is impeccable, losing only once when a referee decided to end a fight early when he sustained a bad cut from an elbow. All in all, Fedor seems virtually unbeatable.
Although Fedor is the top-ranking heavyweight in the world, there’s no doubt that Tim Sylvia is a force to be reckoned with. With a full 8 inches and 30 pounds over Fedor, Sylvia is a monster with an impressive record, surprisingly quick hands and a long reach that many opponents find hard to escape. His size and striking power, coupled with a rock-em sock-em attitude and stamina are a dangerous combination every time he steps in front of an opponent. Trying to regain the championship title in a fight in 2004, Sylvia wouldn’t tap out when Frank Mir locked him in an armbar, even after his arm was snapped. The ref had to put an end the fight, because Sylvia, broken arm and all wouldn’t give up.
Fedor, who has already proved himself in the ring, is looking to earn a different kind of reputation with the American people. “As far as American fans, I'd like them to get to know me personally…not just as a fighter — as a human being as well." And Sylvia, who has suffered from some criticism and controversy, has a personal, as well as professional, agenda as well — he’s just looking for a little respect. A win against the current world heavyweight champion just might quiet the chatter and earn him the respect he yearns for. In Sylvia’s own words, “It’s time to see if Fedor still has what it takes to be #1.”
On the evening of July 19th at Honda Center in Anaheim, the MMA mega-event of all times —“Affliction Banned”— promises to bear this out.
“Affliction Banned” is stacked with so much world-class talent that it had to be separated into two live shows produced for broadcast. The night’s activities will kick off with “Affliction Live,” a one-hour, free live telecast on FSN (Fox Sports Net) starting at 5 PM Pacific (8 PM/ET) and setting the stage for “Affliction Banned” – five super fights on pay-per-view starting at 6 PM/PT (9 PM/ET) via iN DEMAND, TVN, Shaw Communications, Viewers Choice Canada, DirecTV, DISH Network, Bell ExpressVue and Star Choice in the United States and Canada for a suggested retail price of $39.95.
The heavy metal band Megadeth, led by frontman, guitarist, and songwriter Dave Mustaine, will be performing live at the event.
Tickets for “Affliction Banned” range between $50.00 and $1,000.00, and are on sale at Honda Center’s Box Office and also online at Ticketmaster.