Fedor Vs Tim
This fight didn't go exactly as I predicted it would except in the broadest sense. I always thought Fedor had Tim's number. And I never thought the fight would last terribly long. But I didn't expect the rear naked choke. Nope. Soccer kick? Sure. Knees? Absolutely.
What hurt Tim Sylvia? What hurts many UFC fighters especially in top tiers? Let me tell you what I think it is. It is the UFC and Dana White's leadership. There is no such thing as the journeyman fighter in the UFC and that is inflating the image of most of its stars. Not all of them, but many. The journeyman is a time honoured concept in boxing. It is a quality fighter but one that will not likely hold a championship, or if they do it will not be for very long. What they do is provide a test, or gateway into the greats. You beat the journeyman, you probably have a shot at sports immortality. Such a fighter always gives great and challenging fights, and gives a competitve match that gauges up and coming talent.
This class of fighter does not exist in the UFC because if you don't win all the time you are out of there. Sooo fighters tend to fight more conservatively, especially in the upper tiers. That is the UFC.
Pride, contrary to the opinions of the over-rated Dana White, was a better organization for developing talent. Losing didn't, and doesn't mean much to Japanese crowds so long as you give an exciting and compelling fight. So even guys who lost consistently fought alot because they came out and threw from the fences, were good fighters overall, and entertained the crowds. Fedor was formed in that vastly more competitive mix. So it begins with a difference in mentality. Fedor gets off first because he just isn't worried about how he just lost a pay-per-view contract. Tim, like many UFC fighters,by and large are vastly more conservative unless they know they have the upper hand in every arena. So mentally I don't think Sylvia was ready.
Secondly he is a pretty one dimensional fighter. His strongest attribute is his right hand (even though I have to admit he looked much better against Nog than I think he ever has) he doesn't have much in the way of movement, he isn't very fast and has a weaker ground game than most UFC heavy weights. Against really skilled ground fighters Sylvia tends to lose. Think Couture, think Mir, Think Nog, and to a lesser extent think Arlovski, and now think Fedor. This was always Fedor's fight. So I wonder if Dana White will amend his comments about the guy who positively handled his former champ?