by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com
A match-up between former Pride heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko and former UFC heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia is currently in the works for July. Current UFC heavyweight champion, Randy “The Natural” Couture, recently spoke to MMAWeekly Radio about his thoughts on the fight, if it does happen.
Couture defeated Sylvia in March 2007 to regain the heavyweight championship and for the last few months has been campaigning for a bout with Emelianenko, once Couture’s current deal with the UFC expires.
“I think Tim poses some interesting problems for anybody who wants to fight him,” said the embattled champion. “At six-foot-eight and 280 pounds, he’s a seasoned veteran now; he’s got some very good striking skills. I think he poses interesting problems for anybody.”
One of the obvious glaring problems for Fedor going into a fight with Sylvia is the size difference between the two fighters, and Couture understands that could create problems for the Russian.
“Fedor’s a lot more akin to my size, around 230 pounds, and I think he may even be a little shorter than I am. I’m six-foot-one, he may be six-foot or even five-foot-eleven,” he commented. “It’s interesting how Fedor just fought Hong Man Choi over New Year’s and that’s a seven-foot tall guy, who’s a lot heavier than Tim even, but probably not nearly as seasoned as Tim is, but still similar problems in the height and dealing with the range.”
Fedor was able to defeat Hong Man Choi on the ground, submitting the much bigger fighter by armbar in the first round of their match-up last New Year’s Eve.
The proposed fight would also give Couture a chance to size up Emelianenko with a similar opponent that he’s already faced.
“It would be an interesting match-up and I think it gives me a pretty good indication where I stand in watching on how Emelianenko kind of solves the problems that Tim poses and what happens in that fight,” he said.
Of course one major question looming overhead is would Couture still pursue a fight with Fedor if he loses to Tim Sylvia?
“I’m not sure if all the interest in that fight goes away if he should lose to Sylvia, (me) having just beat Sylvia back in March,” Couture said. “The whole thing for me at 44-years-old at this stage in my career is to fight the best fighter in the world, and be considered the best fighter in the world.
“I don’t have a lot of fights left in me to be honest, and so that fight makes sense to me. Now if he loses to Tim, then obviously the question probably gets answered because he lost to Tim, and then they’ve got to decide and rank who’s the No. 1 fighter in the heavyweight division after that.”
As of now, the bout between Emelianenko and Sylvia is still in the works, although it has reportedly been verbally agreed to by both fighters, and Couture will wait for his chance to step in the ring with the Russian fighter.