Photo courtesy of FedorMMA.com.
In a heavyweight showdown years in the making, former PRIDE heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko will officially take on former UFC heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia in the main event of an Affliction Clothing-promoted show at the American Airlines Arena in Dallas on July 19th.
Emelianenko confirmed the bout through a message on his official website, in which he also revealed that he intends to compete at separate events in October and December, the latter likely being with a Japanese organization on New Year’s Eve according to MMA Weekly.
Emelianenko was recently granted his official release from his contractual obligations to M-1 Global, of which he signed a letter of intent to compete inside the confines of the promotion late last year.
The native Russian’s decision to work with Affliction officials now likely means that the potential of him signing with the Ultimate Fighting Championship or Elite Xtreme Combat will be put on hold, at least for the near future. MMA fans will delight in the fact that Sylvia will be Fedor’s first highly-ranked opponent in close to three years.
Sylvia recently left his long-time home of the UFC in favor of inking a multi-fight deal with manager Monte Cox’s recently created Adrenaline MMA organization. The contract is non-exclusive and will permit Sylvia to fight in other organizations.
The Miletich Fighting Systems product’s parting ways with the UFC, the organization in which he fought exclusively in since 2002, was mutual on both sides according to Sylvia, who still had one fight remaining on his current contract with the promotion. However Sylvia has maintained that he would like to return to the UFC to finish out his career.
Sylvia is coming off of his second straight loss in yet another bid to regain his heavyweight title. He was submitted by interim champion Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira at UFC 81: Breaking Point in February.