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Tim Sylvia Picks Fedor Over Andrei Arlovski, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira Over Frank Mir

MMA fans have two big heavyweight fights ahead of them in the next six weeks, with Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira taking on Frank Mir at UFC 92 on December 27 and Fedor Emelianenko taking on Andrei Arlovski at Affliction: Day of Reckoning on January 24.

Tim Sylvia is uniquely qualified to comment on those two fights, because he's fought all four fighters. And Sylvia says he expects Nogueira to beat Mir and Fedor to beat Arlovski.

"Arlovski's looking good," Sylvia said on HDNet's Inside MMA. "He's recovered from the knockout I gave him a few years back, and he's looking better than ever. He's athletic enough, he's got a good shot, especially in this sport, where anything can happen. But I'm definitely picking Fedor in that fight."

As for the UFC 92 battle for the interim heavyweight title, Sylvia said he's taking the favorite in that one, too.

"I'm picking Nogueira," Sylvia said. "I think it's two of the best heavyweight jiu jitsu guys in the world. I just think Nogueira's a step above Mir when it comes to jiu jitsu and his hands are a lot better. You can't do anything to Nogueira. That guy is a cockroach, and I mean that in a good way. He takes a beating, and a beating, and a beating, and he always sticks around and at the end of the fight he pulls out a submission."

But while Sylvia is impressed with Nogueira, he's dismissive of UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar, who will fight the Nogueira-Mir winner.

"If Nogueira wins and he fights that biggest man in the world -- what's his name? Brock Lesnar? -- I'm definitely taking Nogueira in that fight," Sylvia said.

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