by Jeff Cain
Jens ‘Little Evil’ Pulver gave his unique insight into the UFC 59: ‘Reality Check’ main event heavyweight title bout between Andrei Arlovski and Tim Sylvia exclusively to MMAWeekly.
Andrei Arlovski, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Heavyweight Champion, has looked unstoppable lately. He is on a six fight win streak and hasn’t lost in more than four years. He made short work of former champ Tim Sylvia in their first meeting, finishing Tim in 47 seconds at UFC 51: ‘Super Saturday.’ What can Tim Sylvia do in the rematch to make the outcome different from the first fight?
Jens Pulver broke down what Sylvia has been working on and what he needs to do to win. He said, “I think the biggest thing is mentally he feels like he can win. He’s not gun shy, so to speak, from the last fight. He is ready to go out there and forget that fight ever happened and try to go after him differently. I know he’s going to use his range. He’s going to throw short punches. He knows that Andrei will try to counter punch him. I know he’s been working on his sprawls. He doesn’t want to go to the ground with this guy. If he can keep it up, that is where he wants to be, so he’s just got to attack differently.”
Sylvia has the size and reach advantage but wasn’t able to utilize them in their first bout. He’ll have to Saturday night. Pulver suggested Tim throw “long punches.” He added, “I think he was kind of shortening up his jab and it allowed Arlovski to come back over the top with that right hand that really stunned him . . . He’s 6’8 man. He’s got a long reach. He’s got to use it. If he shortens it up, he’s allowing a guy who is 6’1, 6′, 6’3, whatever, has a shorter reach, now they’re punching at the same distance. He’s just got to elongate his punches and keep the guy out at the end of them so he can hurt him.”
Discussing other changes in Tim’s game since his loss to Andrei, Jens said, “His cardio, he’s always had good cardio. Obviously he’s a lot more limber now. He’s confident in leg kicking. He enjoys that. That’s something new for him. And he can still hit hard, so the biggest thing is to just use his reach.”
Tim Sylvia’s not the same fighter Andrei Arlovski defeated back at UFC 51, but will the new and improved Tim Sylvia be enough to beat Andrei Arlovski? We’ll find out Saturday night when the two rematch for the UFC heavyweight title.