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MMA - 7/19/08


In the past few years, the UFC has seen a lot of start up organizations come and go, but no start up mixed martial arts promotion has had the money, resources, or talent to pose a legitimate threat to the UFC, until now.

Affliction, the mega popular clothing line, is putting on their first MMA PPV on Saturday July 19th. The card is chock full of some of the best heavyweight talent in the world today including the Main Event between Fedor Emelianenko and Tim Sylvia. Let's take a look at the matches, including the odds on each fights along with analysis and predictions. Odds for each fight are listed at the bottom of this page.

Here are my predictions and analysis for Affliction: Banned.

Main Bouts
-Fedor Emelianenko vs. Tim Sylvia
-Josh Barnett vs. Pedro Rizzo
-Andre Arlovski vs. Ben Rothwell
-Matt Lindland vs. Fabio Negao
-Renato "Babalu" Sobral vs. Mike Whitehead

Light heavyweights
-Renato "Babalu" Sobral vs. Mike Whitehead

We haven't seen Babalu fight on a big stage since he was released from the UFC, and now he finds himself opposite the red-hot light heavyweight Mike Whitehead. Since losing a unanimous decision to Keith Jardine at UFC 57, Whitehead has been on a tear. He has won his last 12 fights, and has finished a majority of those fights by submission. Babalu has some of the slickest BJJ in the game, though, and the man is a submission machine.  I think that Babalu is going to find a way to get this fight to the ground, enticing Whitehead to play a little jiu-jitsu with him, and eventually secure one of his trademark chokes to end the fight.

Prediction: Renato Sobral Submission: Choke Round 2

-Matt Lindland vs. Fabio Negao

One of the lesser-known names on the card, Fabio Negao has a tough test ahead of him when he opposes one of the best middleweights in the world, Matt Lindland. Lindland has not fought in over a year, so that may be a key factor in dragging this fight into the later rounds. Negao is not going to throw anything at Lindland that he hasn't seen before. I think the two fighters will probably stand and exchange for a bit. Lindland will secure a takedown in the later rounds of the fight and ground and pound Negao into submission or TKO.

Prediction: Matt Lindland TKO/KO Round 3

-Andre Arlovski vs. Ben Rothwell

Another intriguing match up. Once known as one of the most vicious heavyweights in the division, the hype around Andrei Arlovski died down after Tim Sylvia landed a punch to Andre's jaw that put the "Pitbull" in la-la land. He seems to have picked up the pace in his last few fights, but he has a really tough test in front of him. Ben Rothwell is a huge heavyweight that likes to bang, much like Tim Sylvia. He is riding a 13-fight win streak and has 17 KO/TKO's to his credit.

Under normal circumstances I would give this fight to Rothwell, but rumor has it that Andrei has been training with famed boxing coach Freddy Roach, the boxing coach of Oscar De La Hoya.  I am hoping that Roach has reminded Arlovski how to throw his hands as violently and ill intended as he once did.

Prediction: Andrei Arlovski TKO/KO Round 2

-Josh Barnett vs. Pedro Rizzo

This is one of those fights where the rising star gets to avenge a loss from earlier in his career. Pedro Rizzo is a former UFC heavyweight champion and owns a KO victory over Josh Barnett. Rizzo is a shadow of his former self, though. Since that knockout, Barnett has made a legendary name for himself over in Japan. Barnett is one of the better submission wrestlers in the heavyweight division andI doubt he will stand long with Rizzo. The fight should go to the ground, and Barnett should eventually secure a submission.

Prediction: Josh Barnett Submission: Arm Lock Round 1

-Fedor Emelianenko vs. Tim Sylvia
Well, here is the fight we have all been waiting for. The Russian sambo sensation Fedor Emelianenko is finally stepping in the ring with legitimate talent.  Lets face it. Fedor has not fought anyone worth fighting in the last 3 years. The most legitimate name he fought was Matt Lindland, a career middleweight.

Tim Sylvia has been salivating for this fight. I have to believe he is training his ass off. He wants the world to know that he is a legitimate heavyweight, and one of the best mixed martial artists in the world. I think he is going to do everything he can to keep this fight off of the ground. Fedor likes to use that arm bar and we all know what happened to Tim against Frank Mir.

I'm not even a Tim Sylvia fan. I typically find his fights boring, but he is a legitimate threat to anyone he opposes.

I think Tim is going to use his long jab to keep Fedor outside of takedown range.  His cardio is good, so I think he will utilize this strategy to take this fight in the later rounds. I don't think this fight will be terribly exciting; Sylvia will do just enough to squeak a decision past "The Last Emperor", silencing his critics world wide. Certainly worth a shot at +300 odds!

Listed below are the odds for each of the matches on the Affliction Card

Courtesy of

Fedor Emelianenko -450
Tim Sylvia +300

Aleksander Emelianenko -350
Paul Buentello +275

Josh Barnett -450
Pedro Rizzo +300

Matt Lindland -500
Fabio Negao +350

Renato Sobral -240
Mike Whitehead +190

Mike Pyle -325
Brett Cooper +250


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