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Tonight I am proud to say that there is a new player in the world of Mixed Martial Arts. For years now UFC has been the leading pioneer in the MMA world. Tonight, Affliction Clothing has put on a stellar debut PPV event with Affliction: Banned and stepped up the competiton putting together an organization that truly rivals what UFC has built. Granted there were a few minor production issues but for a debut card, Affliction has assembled an event that is as top notch as it gets for any MMA PPV. Matt Linland, Andrei Arlovski, Renato ‘Babalu’ Sobral, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, Vitor Belfort, Aleksander Emelianenko, Fedor Emelianenko and Tim Sylvia to name a few with legendary thrash metal band Megadeth providing a backdrop to round out the entertainment. Announcing the fights were UFC/Pride veteran Frank Trigg, UFC referee Big John McCarthy and Jay Glazer with the legendary Herb Dean in the ring as referee.
When I heard about the matchup between Fedor and Sylvia I immediately knew that Sylvia would get rocked and although I have all the respect in the world for Fedor’s ferocity and tact I did not imagine that the fight would last only 36 seconds. Sylvia is a good fighter but I knew he was going to be no match for Tim ‘Maine-Iac’ Sylvia. Fedor who admittedly aims to end a fight as quickly as possible came out swinging fast and hard. It doesn’t seem to matter where Fedor lands a punch. Wherever he hits, it is obvious that it stings to the bone. Immediately Sylvia was simply overwhelmed by the power that was being unleashed on him and he simply could not defend himself. In seconds Sylvia was down and in less time than that Fedor had Sylvia in a rear naked choke that ended the match with a tap out. I am usually not a fan of short matches and hoped Fedor would have given Sylcia a real chance but have nothing but respect for the talent that Fedor possesses.
As I watched the post fight interview between Big John McCarthy and Fedor, I was asking myself the same question on everyone else’s minds. What MMA fighter in the history of Mixed Martial Arts could contend with the skill, smarts and determination that Fedor Emelianenko has? The only person I could think of is Randy ‘The Natural’ Couture. So When Big John asked that question the entire arena was on their feet. Fedor spoke his native language of mother russia but the translator did not have to answer that Fedor respectfully challenged Randy. Within moments Randy Couture stepped into the ring and greeted Fedor and accepted, saying there were a few things that he would need to work out with the UFC (like leaving them!) but hopefully we would see this match in 2008!
As I said, I have all the respect in the world for Fedor Emelianenko and am seriously worried that the great Randy Couture might end his legacy with a devastating loss, that would still leave him the most respected MMA figure of all time but I always root for the underdog. I think Randy can beat Fedor. I said it. If anyone can beat Fedor it is Randy Cotoure. If he can’t then I don’t think there is a fighter out there that could.
With that said, Affliction Clothing is backed by some major players including Donald Trump. What does this say for UFC? In my opinion I think UFC is a great organization and will always have a massive audience. Time will tell but it is good to see another league that can put together legendary matches as good as any UFC event in recent history.
Did anyone else see the event tonight? What are your thoughts?
This video may not last too long so watch it while you can. Regardless, you should order it on PPV or buy it when it comes out on DVD to support Affliction.
Filed under: Uncategorized, Aleksander Emelianenko, Andrei Arlovski, Fedor Emelianenko, Mixed Martial Arts, Tim Sylvia, UFC