ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The first sanctioned world title fight in mixed martial arts history became official Friday afternoon when Fedor Emelianenko and Tim Sylvia made weight at the Honda Center.
Emelianenko (27-1, 1 NC), the Pride Fighting Championships' heavyweight titleholder from 2003 until the company folded last year, stepped on the scale at 230 pounds, some 33 pounds less than the 6-foot-8 Sylvia (26-5), a two-time UFC champion.
Promoted by Affliction Entertainment in conjunction with M-1, the Emelianenko-Sylvia winner will take home the inaugural World Alliance of Mixed Martial Arts belt, which is meant to signify divisional champions regardless of promoter affiliation.
Emelianenko's brother Aleksander was forced off the card after failing to meet California State Athletic Commission licensing requirements. Representatives for the commission and promoter declined to provide additional details.
Affliction vice president Tom Atencio, who learned of Emelianenko's dismissal 45 minutes before weigh-ins commenced, confirmed veteran heavyweight Gary Goodridge has stepped in to fight Emelianenko's original opponent, Paul Buentello. Both men will weigh-in Saturday morning.
Following the loss of Buentello-Emelianenko, which was scheduled to headline "Affliction Live," a telecast on Fox Sports Net one hour prior to the start of the "Affliction: Banned" pay-per-view at 9 p.m. ET, middleweights Vitor Belfort and Terry Martin have been moved into the main slot. A featherweight contest between Mark Hominick and Savant Young will also be shown on FSN, Atencio confirmed. Time permitting, Buentello-Goodridge could also air.
Fedor Emelianenko (230) vs. Tim Sylvia (263)
Andrei Arlovski (241) vs. Ben Rothwell (264)
Josh Barnett (256) vs. Pedro Rizzo (242)
Renato Sobral (201) vs. Mike Whitehead (206)
Matt Lindland (185) vs. Fabio Negao (185)
Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (205) vs. Edwin Dewees (205)
Mike Pyle (171) vs. JJ Ambrose (171)
Justin Levens (189) vs. Ray Lazama (186)
Vitor Belfort (185) vs. Terry Martin (185.5)
Mark Hominick (144) vs. Savant Young (145)
Gary Goodridge vs. Paul Buentello