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Trask: UFC edges Affliction in Saturday night duel

Silva Dominates

UFC fight night at the Palms went down with Anderson Silva beating James Irvin with a knockout in the first round.

Editor's note: The Sun's Mike Trask watched the productions from UFC and Affliction on television Saturday night to see which had the upper hand. Here's his scorecard.

Main Event: Both headliners fought as advertised on Saturday night.

It took Russian Fedor Emelianenko all of 36 second to knock out Tim Sylvia on the Affliction card. Fedor -- in only his second fight in the U.S. -- destroyed the former UFC champion, flooring Sylvia with a series of punches before securing a reverse naked choke for the win.

On the UFC card, Anderson Silva took one minute to knock out James Irvin. The Brazilian Silva had gained 20 pounds to move up to light heavyweight for the fight.

Silva and Emelianenko are obviously two of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world.

But, the Affliction Main Event narrowly gets the edge on this card. Emelianenko was facing one of the top heavyweights in the world. Silva was facing an overmatched Irvin.

Score: Affliction, 10-9

Undercard quality: Affliction rolled out a laundry list of former UFC heavyweights, including Andrei Arlovski, Josh Barnett and Pedro Rizzo, to fill its impressive card.

UFC had a lot of unknowns, not surprising since it put together the show in about a month. But it did feature a grudge match between a pair of guys, C.B. Dalloway and Jesse Taylor, the company made famous on its reality television show.

The Arlovski vs. Ben Rothwell fight was easily the best of the evening on the Affliction undercard. Arlovski won with a knockout in the third round after nearly finishing his opponent in the second.

Barnett had a highlight reel knockout of Rizzo.

The UFC didn’t get much help from its undercard.

Dalloway had an impressive Peruvian Necktie submission of Taylor. A Welterweight fight between Anthony Johnson and Kevin Burns was shaping up nicely before a controversial ending in which Johnson was poked in the eye. It could have easily been a disqualification. Instead, the fight was ruled a technical knockout for Burns.

However, there were really no memorable moments besides the Silva knockout.

It’s an easy call.

Score: Affliction, 10-9

Announcers: UFC used its usual team of Mike Goldberg and Joe Rogan. The Goldberg-Rogan combo has become the Madden-Summerall of MMA. You might hate them or you might love them, but when they are cageside, they provide the feel of a big fight.

They also bring an extensive knowledge of the UFC and all aspects of mixed martial arts. Rogan stated at the beginning of the first round of the main event that Silva typically takes about a minute to feel out his opponent before striking. That’s exactly what happened. The duo also did a great job explaining the Burns win.

Affliction countered with longtime sportscaster Jay Glazer, fighter Frank Trigg and former MMA referee "Big" John McCarthy.

At the beginning of the night Glazer called Trigg "one of the most recognizable fighters in the world." That’s a stretch, at best.

Glazer, who works for Fox Sports Net, always seems like a guy who should be on one of those late-night football picks shows. McCarthy and Trigg, however, added some good insights from their time in the ring. McCarthy gave great takes on fighters' mentality, including Barnett’s aggressiveness.

However, Trigg openly cheered for his Xtreme Couture teammates, which detracted from the professionalism of the show. After Fedor’s win, Glazer exclaimed "That is the Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods and Rocky Marciano of our sport."

It came across as unbelievably cheesy.

Score: UFC, 10-9

Production: The Affliction broadcast looked a little dark, as if the area was not very well lit. It wasn’t as slick as the UFC.

The UFC telecast was, as always, top notch.

Affliction using a ring was a terrible idea. Several times throughout the night fighters fell through the ropes, forcing a stoppage, including three times in Babalu Sorbal’s win.

The Affliction fighter introductions were well done, quick and to the point. The company did a great job pointing out storylines, such as Matt Lindland's ongoing run for an Oregon state legislature seat.

But it was painfully obvious that Affliction owned zero footage of previous fights. The video of Emelianenko appeared to be of the fighter working out in his backyard. All other preview footage took place in gyms.

Also, Megadeth played live three times during the Affliction pay-per-view. That would have been awesome if this were 1985.

Score: UFC 10-9

Value: Affliction cost $39.99 on pay-per-view. However, it was a four-hour telecast. The company showed seven fights, plus two more in a free hour on Fox Sports Net. But quantity isn’t always a good thing. The Affliction card seemed to drag, in total running nearly five hours. A lot of the fat -- especially they lame heavy metal performances -- could have been cut.

The UFC was free, always the right price. The company managed to jam seven fights into three hours, including commercial time. And it provided a look at one of the world’s best in Anderson Silva. It was spectacular counter programming move by Dana White’s company.

Score: 10-9 UFC

Winner: UFC, 48-47

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