Minneapolis, MN (August 9, 2008) - Live from the Target Center in the heart of Minnesota, the UFC presents UFC 87 "Seek and Destroy". The Welterweight title will be on the line Saturday night, as Georges "Rush" St. Pierre will look to defend his coveted title against top contender, Jon Fitch.
The North Star State will welcome back one of their own, as Brock Lesnar will look for his first UFC victory against Heath Herring. There will also be two fights within the lightweight division as Roger "El Matador" Huerta will take on Kenny "Ken-Flo" Florian, and Manny "Manvil" Gamburyan versus Rob Emerson. Rounding out the nights main card will feature a middleweight showdown between Jason "The Athlete" MacDonald and Demian Maia.
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Champion Georges "Rush" St. Pierre
16 - 2 - 0 (Win - Loss - Draw)
Height 5'10 (178cm) Weight 169lbs (77kg)
17 - 2 - 0 (Win - Loss - Draw) ( 1 NC )
Height 6'0 (183cm) Weight 170lbs (78kg)
Widely considered the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world, Georges St. Pierre is once again the champion of the welterweight world and is on a mission to stay that way for a long time. If you remember, GSP defeated Matt Hughes at UFC 65 for the WW belt, but was unsuccesful in his first title defense against Matt Serra at UFC 69 where he suffered a TKO loss.
GSP quickly burst onto the UFC scene at UFC 46 with a big victory over Karo Parisyan. He followed up that victory with a win over Jay Hieron and that set up the first of three fights with Matt Hughes. GSP would lose that fight, but rebounded with 5 consecutive wins against the likes of Sean Sherk, Frank Trigg and BJ Penn.
The huge victory over Penn set up a rematch with Matt Hughes, and GSP did not dissapoint. He destroyed Hughes to become the WW champ for the first time. After his loss to Serra at UFC 69, the ever resilient GSP was able to bounce back from that humiliating defeat and rack up wins over Josh Koscheck, Matt Hughes (for the interim belt) and unified the championship with a dominating performance over Matt Serra at UFC 83.
The French Canadian St.Pierre is truly a student of the MMA game. GSP started out training in Kyokushin karate at the tender age of 7 and has implemented boxing, BJJ and wrestling. He also posesses a strong ground-and-pound game he displayed against Matt Serra at UFC 83.
GSP possess some solid striking, whether it be his powerful punches or his Kung Fu like leg kicks, pick your poison. He continues to train with the best in the world. He will travel to Brazil to work on his BJJ, and also trains with the famed Greg Jackson camp with such training partners as Rashad Evans, Nate Marquardt and Keith Jardine. GSP personifies MMA with his ever expanding skill set.
The No. 1 contender for the WW belt is Jon Fitch. To the casual MMA fan, Fitch is a relative unknown, but he has quickly gone undefeated within the UFC with a perfect 8-0 record. He has fought and defeated such top fighters as Josh Burkman, Thiago Alves and Diego Sanchez.
Fitch has a strong wrestling background. He was a standout at Purdue University, and also is a training partner of top-flight wrestler Josh Koscheck. He's not your typical wrestler; he also holds a black belt in BJJ that he earned in only 4 years. Fitch brings a lot to the table and with his ever-improving striking he will no doubt give the champ a run for his money.
Both fighters are well versed in every aspect of the fight game, have a lot of heart and will be in the best condition of their lives. With that being said, the more polished and accomplished fighter is no doubt GSP and that will show during this fight. GSP has fought the biggest of fights under the brightest of lights, I can't say the same for Jon Fitch.
Due to those intangibles, "Rush" will do just that and win this fight in the 2nd round via TKO, ground and pound! This will no doubt be an exciting fight as both fighters will look to finish, and I've never seen a boring GSP fight.
Heath "Texas Crazy Horse" Herring
28 - 13 - 0 (Win - Loss - Draw) ( 1 NC )
Height 6'4 (194cm) Weight 250lbs (114kg)
1 - 1 - 0 (Win - Loss - Draw)
Height 6'2 (188cm) Weight 265lbs (121kg)
Two of the UFC's top heavyweights are set to do battle as "The Texas Crazy Horse" Heath Herring will look to spoil the homecoming of Brock Lesnar. The former WWE champion, Brock Lesnar was the 2000 NCAA heavyweight champion for the Minnesota Golden Gophers.
He comes back to the state where he gained much of his success as an amateur to do the same only as a professional. He was set to fight another Minnesotan in Mark "The Hammer" Coleman, but due to injury, he was replaced by Herring.
Lesnar made his UFC debut against Frank Mir at UFC 81, where the former champion (Mir) was able to capitalize on a rookie mistake and sink in a heel hook on Lesnar, forcing him to tap.
Early in the fight, Lesnar looked impressive. He was able to takedown Mir at will, and punished him with some nasty hammerfists. Lesnar will look to do much of the same during this fight; he will use his outstanding wrestling skills to put Herring on his back.
We all know how strong Lesnar's wrestling background is, but he is also adding BJJ to his game. He enlisted the services of 7-time Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu world champion Rodrigo "Comprido" Medeiros. With this training he will definitely be better on the ground looking for submissions and staying out of danger.
During the Mir fight, Lesnar showed glimpses of greatness with his powerful standup as well. Lesnar is a mountain of a muscle. He walks around at about 300 pounds, the heavyweight limit is 265! Also his hands are so big that the UFC has to special order 4XL gloves just for him.
Standing in his way will be the ever dangerous Heath Herring. Herring is also a huge guy with a huge fighting resume. He fought more than 40 professional fights and has fought the best in the world. He has fought the likes of Fedor Emelianenko, Nogueira (X3) and Cro Cop.
Herring has a nice stand-up game but with sub par takedown defense. He has the ability to submit his opponents; more than half his victories came by submission. His weakness in the past has been against wrestlers; they take him down at will and he would look helpless ... see his UFC debut against Jake O'Brien.
To his credit he has enlisted the help of Randy Couture to aid him with his wrestling. He looked great against Cheick Kongo at UFC 82; Herring outworked Kongo for the decision victory. He credited his conditioning coach and nutrionist after the fight and Herring looked like a rededicated fighter.
So what will prove superior? Lesnar's strengh and athleticism or Herring's experience? As much as I would like to see Heath continue on his winning ways, I would rather see Lesnar dominate and dismantle him. Lesnar needs this win badly; his back is against the wall.
Lesnar is going to be more patient this time around and won't get caught in a submission. He will utilize his superior strength and power for the unanimous decision victory. There will be a lot of fireworks during this bout!
Roger "El Matador" Huerta
20 - 1 - 1 (Win - Loss - Draw) ( 1 NC )
Height 5'9 (176cm) Weight 155lbs (71kg)
Kenny "KenFlo" Florian
9 - 3 - 0 (Win - Loss - Draw)
Height 5'10 (178cm) Weight 155lbs (71kg)
This has "Fight of Night" written all over it! Two of the top lightweights will go toe to toe to see who could be next in line for BJ Penn. The poster boy for the UFC Roger Huerta will put his perfect UFC record on the line against the always entertaining Kenny Florian.
The runner-up from the first season of the Ultimate Fighter, Kenny Florian wants to prove to the world that he is deserving of another lightweight title shot. Florian was known for his outstanding BJJ during the Ultimate Fighter, but over the years has added a nice Muay Thai game thanks to his trainer Mark DellaGrotte.
Florian is currently riding a 4-fight win streak with notable wins over Joe Lauzon and Din Thomas. He hasn't lost a fight since his 5-round war with Sean Sherk that was for the then vacant lightweight title. Florian isn't your typical brawler, he is techincal and methodical within the octagon. He is able to mentally take his opponents off their game and enforce his style of fight.
"El Matador" is the opposite. He is more of a brawler, that at times fights a little sloppy. A 6-0 record in the UFC is great for any fighter, but Roger hasn't fought the level of competition Kenny has. Huerta's last fight against Clay Guida showed his resilience; he was able to catch Guida with a rear-naked choke in the third round.
Guida was a true test for Huerta and Huerta looked average; Guida dominated the whole fight until Huerta submitted. Recently, Huerta has been training with Greg Jackson and training with GSP, which should help a lot for this fight.
I see this being an explosive fight. Both fighters have a lot of fight in them and will look to finish the fight. If Kenny Florian can stick to his game plan and not get caught up in the fighting style of Huerta, he should end Huerta's win streak and earn that title shot he so desperately wants. Three round decision victory for Kenny Florian!
Manvel "Pitbull" Gamburyan
8 - 2 - 0 (Win - Loss - Draw)
Height 5'5 (166cm) Weight 155lbs (71kg)
7 - 6 - 0 (Win - Loss - Draw) ( 1 NC )
Height 5'10 (178cm) Weight 155lbs (71kg)
This fight features two fighters from season 5 of TUF, Team Penn vs. Team Pulver. The runnerup from that season was Manny Gamburyan, he looked to be well on his way to winning the prize but a shoulder injury forced him to tap at the TUF finale to Nate Diaz. That season also introduced us to Rob Emerson. The ultra gutty Emerson earned praise from UFC president Dana White for his outstanding fights with Nate Diaz and Cory Hill.
Gamburyan is a Judo specialist from Armenia; his cousin is UFC welterweight contender Karo Parisyan. Karo gave him the nickname "Pitbull" for his ferocious style of fighting. Manny enters many of his fights as an underdog due to his small stature, but don't let that fool you!
Once he enters the octagon, it's all business. He uses his superior strength and judo throws to put his opponents on their backs. Once on the ground he has a nice ground and pound and also has a great submission game. His last two UFC victories have come by way of submission.
Emerson was in a weird fight against Gray Maynard, where both fighters seemed to be knocked out due to Maynard slamming Emerson to the ground, knocking them both out. Emerson was lucky enough to come out of that fight with a no contest, and earned a split decision victory over Keita Nakamura at UFC 81.
Gamburyan will come out like a pitbull as he always does, and will prove to be too much for Emerson. First round TKO for "Manvil".
Jason "The Athlete" MacDonald
20 - 9 - 0 (Win - Loss - Draw)
Height 6'2 (188cm) Weight 185lbs (84kg)
7 - 0 - 0 (Win - Loss - Draw)
Height 6'0 (183cm) Weight 185lbs (84kg)
The first televised fight of the night will feature a 5-time BJJ champion in Demian Maia against Jason Macdonald. Maia is currently undefeated and is a world class BJJ black belt. He submitted Ryan Jensen and Ed Herman since he's been in the UFC.
MacDonald is a solid all around Mixed Martial Artist with notable wins over Ed Herman, Chris Leben and Rory Singer. He has shown that he is able to take the fight to the ground and punish with punches or elbows, and also has a nice BJJ game. He has also been in there with Rich Franklin and Yushin Okami, he lost to both of them, but the experience might pay off in this fight.
This fight is hard to call, it's not a jiu-jitsu fight; otherwise, hands down I would put my money on Maia. This is the UFC and you need a great all around game to win here, so I am going to have to go with Macdonald via decision. He'll be more active on the feet and can hold his own if the fight goes to the ground.
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