Fedor Emelianenko’s 36-second submission victory over former two-time UFC heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia silenced many critics last night. However, by beating Sylvia in such dominant fashion, he even gave his most vocal critic reason to give him some credit.
When it comes to negative rhetoric towards Fedor, no one has been more critical of the former PRIDE heavyweight champion than UFC President Dana White. But when informed about Fedor’s quick victory over Sylvia during last night’s post-fight press conference for UFC Fight Night 14, White felt compelled to give credit where it was due.
“It does (change my opinion),” White is quoted as saying in an article by Yahoo! when asked if Fedor’s performance changed his view of the Russian Sambo expert. “Tim Sylvia was a real opponent.”
Naturally, White was also asked whether he’s changed his mind to the point that he considers Fedor the top pound-for-pound fighter in the world instead of UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva.
“Not at all,” White is quoted in his response. “Do you even need to ask me after that?”
It’s hard to fault White for his beliefs considering that Silva needed only 61 seconds to take out James “Sandman” Irvin in his debut at light heavyweight during the main event of UFN 14.