by Ken Pishna and Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com
A proposed fight between Fedor Emelianenko and Tim Sylvia has been agreed to… at least in theory. Emelianenko confirmed the July 19 fight to Sherdog.com on Tuesday, saying that he was looking forward to fighting Sylvia.
Sources close to Sylvia’s camp said that the bout has yet to be signed, but indicated that the former UFC champion is committed to making the fight happen and has verbally agreed it.
Sylvia was not immediately available for comment.
His manager, Monte Cox, would neither confirm nor deny that the bout had been agreed to, but said that his client has not signed to fight Emelianenko. He did add, however, “As Tim’s manager, I would certainly entertain the opportunity for him to fight Fedor.”
Emelianenko’s manager, Vadim Finkelstein, commented on the possibility of the fight on the MFC M-1 Mixfight Championship website, saying, “At the moment we can’t certainly say the bout will take place come July because the contract is not signed. However, both parties are involved in the negotiation process and we are about to break the finishing tape, although we haven’t come to an agreement concerning every detail as of yet.”
If the bout makes it all the way to the dotted line, it is expected to take place at the American Airlines Arena in Dallas, the home of HDNet Fights. Independent sources confirmed to MMAWeekly that the bout would be promoted by an as yet unannounced organization associated with the Affliction clothing brand. The Sherdog report indicated the same, but also noted that the fight would be broadcast on Mark Cuban’s HDNet.
The news comes just days after the announced separation of Emelianenko and M-1 Global, a new promotion run by Cox. M-1 Global has since disintegrated and been re-branded as Adrenaline.
Upon his release from the Ultimate Fighting Championship, Sylvia immediately signed a non-exclusive contract with Adrenaline, immediately bolstering its roster.
In comments to MMAWeekly Radio following the signing, Sylvia said, “I’ve come to a crossroads in my career where I’ve fought all the best guys in the UFC. There’s a handful of guys outside the UFC that I really want to fight and I don’t think the UFC’s going to get some of them. Some of them are a little too high priced for the UFC to get. So I just think this is the best avenue for me right now.”
The immediate speculation was a fight with Emelianenko, as a proposed bout between the Russian fighter and UFC heavyweight champion Randy Couture is currently on hold due to Couture being tied up with the UFC in a contract dispute.
In regards to a fight with Emelianenko, Sylvia said upon his signing with Adrenaline, “I have the utmost respect for that guy. He’s ranked No. 1 in the world. I want to challenge myself, and I want to fight him. No doubt in my mind. It’s the best fight out there for the both of us right now. You know he hasn’t fought any No. 1 contenders in a while and I think he needs to be tested and I want to be tested. I think it’s a great fight for me, it’s a great fight for him, and I think we need to make that fight happen.”