Can Tim Sylvia Beat Fedor Emelianenko on Saturday Night?

Given Fedor Emelianenko's stature in the MMA world, he's getting most of the attention during the run-up to Saturday night's Affliction main event against Tim Sylvia. Fedor is such a heavy favorite that it's easy to forget that Sylvia is a pretty accomplished heavyweight in his own right. He's big, experienced and well schooled but will those things be enough for him to pull off the upset?

You could waste a couple of hours discussing Fedor's strengths as a fighter so it's probably easier to try and pinpoint weaknesses that Sylvia can exploit on Saturday. Sam Caplan of Five Ounces of Pain brings up the problems Emelianenko has had defending against takedowns and jabs in the past. Sylvia isn't great at the former but he's a strong jabber who could take advantage of his reach to keep Fedor off his body.

The other thing slanting in Sylvia's favor is the recent experience of both fighters. As great as Emelianenko is, he hasn't fought the same caliber of competition that Sylvia's faced over the past couple of years. Of course Sylvia's lost to a few of those fighters but rust can be a tough thing to overcome. It's also worth noting that one of the guys who beat Sylvia, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, lost to Emelianenko both times they fought to a conclusive finish.

There's a chance for Sylvia to win on Saturday but he'll probably need the fight of his life. That could happen. If it does, it would likely be one of the most memorable fights in MMA history.

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