UFC 87: Seek & Destroy Review.

In yet another historic moment in the quest to conquer new territory and bring the best of mixed martial arts to fans around the globe, the Ultimate Fighting Championship brings you the first ever UFC event to take place in Minnesota.

dots
UFC 87 Review
dots

dots
UFC Welterweight Champion Georges St. Pierre
Defeats Jon Fitch Via Unanimous Decision

dots

Coming into the fight, GSP was quoted as saying that Fitch was the toughest opponent of his 19 fight career. If by "tough" he was trying to say that Fitch would give him his closest fight, he was wrong.

ufc 87
+ Click To Enlarge.
Georges St. Pierre Vs. Jon Fitch.

But if GSP was forecasting that Fitch would be able to absorb a tremendous amount of punishment for 25 minutes and come back from numerous situations where he looked to be completely finished only to continue putting up a fight, then GSP was dead on the money.

The score sheets accurately tell the story of a dominating performance by GSP in which he won all five rounds and never appeared to be in trouble. He punished Fitch with superior stand up, particularly in the first round when he rocked him on his way to a 10-8 opening stanza. While Jon has a well deserved reputation as a strong wrestler who was successful in stopping the take down 70% of the time in his UFC career, GSP proved once again why he is the best "MMA wrestler" in the game.

ufc 87
+ Click To Enlarge.
Georges St. Pierre Punished Fitch With Superior Stand Up.

He was able to virtually take Jon down at will and rebuffed the Fitch's attempts to take him down. When you're getting beat in the standup and your opponent can take you down at will and you can't take him down, that makes for a long night. However, no one can walk away from this fight without respect for Fitch's toughness, conditioning, heart and ability to absorb punishment.

He simply fought an opponent who is better than him at every aspect of MMA, by a little bit in some areas and by a lot in others. When that opponent is among the top five pound for pound fighters in the world, Jon has nothing to be ashamed of.

ufc 87
+ Click To Enlarge.
Jon Has Nothing To Be Ashamed Of.

And speaking of best pound for pounders, (how's that for a segue?) UFC president, Dana White, has already announced that GSP's next opponent will be current UFC Lightweight World Champion, BJ Penn, who will move up to 170 for a rematch that he has been begging for.

Penn lost the first fight at UFC 58 in a 3-round decision after dominating GSP in the first round and losing the second and third. Both fighters have drastically improved in the 2 ½ years since that meeting, making this a matchup that has every MMA fan salivating! Will GSP and Penn give the fans the "Fight of the Night?" Well, at UFC 87, GSP and Fitch did just that and were each awarded an additional $60,000 bonus.

ufc 87
+ Click To Enlarge.
GSP And Fitch Gave The Fans The "Fight Of The Night."

dots
Brock Lesnar Defeats Heath Herring Via Unanimous Decision
dots

Wow! I can't help it... that's the first thing that comes to my mind after watching Brock Lesnar's complete and utter domination of heavyweight contender, Heath Herring. When you consider that this was only Brock's THIRD MMA fight as compared to Heath's 44th, it is completely reasonable to think that we may be watching the future of the UFC's heavyweight division.

ufc 87
+ Click To Enlarge.
Brock Lesnar's Complete And Utter Domination Of Heavyweight Contender, Heath Herring.

Lesnar came out in round one like a bull, faking a takedown and nailing Herring with an overhand right that floored him and had him somersaulting backwards. Lesnar used his collegiate national championship wrestling skills to completely manhandle Herring for the rest of the round, a theme that continued in rounds two and three.

Brock made a mess of Heath's face and also peppered his midsection with knees when they were standing and gave him a heavy dose of knees to his back and side when he had him on the ground. I suspect that Heath woke up on Sunday morning looking and feeling like he'd been hit by a Mack truck. When it was all said and done, all three judges deservedly gave the fight to Brock, 30-26.

ufc 87
+ Click To Enlarge.
Brock Made A Mess Of Heath's Face.

In this fight, Brock may well have established himself as the one heavyweight that no one will want to fight. While he still has a lot to learn by his own admission, his athleticism, strength, speed and wrestling ability are a frightening combination, particularly when you consider that he has only been training MMA for 2 1/2 years.

If he continues to learn how to stay out of submissions and becomes more effective at dishing out punishment in his ground and pound he has a fantastic chance of becoming a future UFC heavyweight champion.

ufc 87
+ Click To Enlarge.
Brock May Well Have Established Himself As The One
Heavyweight That No One Will Want To Fight.

dots
Kenny Florian Defeats Roger Huerta Via Unanimous Decision
dots

While this matchup of top lightweights did not live up to "Fight of the Night" predictions, it was another very strong showing for Kenny Florian who established himself in the minds of most as the number one contender in the division. Kenny fought a sound technical fight, getting the best of Roger in the standup and employing a strategy of consistently circling, like a boxer, making himself a much more elusive target for the stronger Huerta.

ufc 87
+ Click To Enlarge.
Kenny Fought A Very Sound Technical Fight.

What became evident throughout the fight is that Florian has a much more advanced skill set than Roger. Fights often come down to which fighter has more ways to win and at this point in their development, Florian was that fighter. While Roger had his moments in the fight, there was never a time that Florian appeared to be in any real trouble, leading to all three judges scoring the fight 30-27 in Kenny's favor.

ufc 87
+ Click To Enlarge.
Florian Has A Much More Advanced Skill Set Than Roger.

dots
Rob Emerson Defeats Manny Gamburyan Via TKO (Strikes) Round 1
dots

Gotta admit, I never saw this one coming. I've never been overly impressed with Emerson as his game seems one-dimensional showing strength as a kickboxer, but not much else. That strength was all he needed against a wild Gamburyan, who literally ran across the Octagon throwing wild punches and leaving his head wide open for a beautiful right-hand that put him on the ground.

Rob followed with a left that put Manny out for a few seconds leading to a justified stoppage at only 12 seconds of the first round. Emerson also earned a tight, well deserved $60,000 bonus for Knockdown of the Night.

dots
Demian Maia Defeats Jason Macdonald Via Submission (Rear Naked Choke) Round 3
dots

World Champion BJJ stylist Demian Maia came into this fight undefeated in mixed martial arts and left the same way using his world-class jiu jitsu skills throughout the fight. He had Macdonald in trouble several times over the 3-round chess match and, to Jason's credit, he was able to escape several positions that would have had most other middleweights tapping.

ufc 87
+ Click To Enlarge.
Maia Had Macdonald In Trouble Several Times.

Ultimately, Demian was able to use his speed and superior positioning to secure a rear naked choke and submit Macdonald in the third round. The UFC deemed the submission to be the slickest of the evening, earning him yet another "Submission of the Night," this time adding an additional $60,000 to his bank account.

Maia was cornered by UFC light heavyweight Wanderlei Silva. If he can work on his standup game with his corner man, he could be a scary fighter in the division.

ufc 87
+ Click To Enlarge.
Demian Was Able To Use His Speed And Superior Positioning.

dots
Undercard Action
dots

Cardio Pro MMA Radio:
Pro MMA Radio is a weekly radio show devoted to bringing you the exciting world of mixed martial arts. Guests include top fighters, trainers and others from the UFC, WEC, Elite XC and other top MMA promotions.

[ Click Here To Start Listening! ]

dot
Upcoming Fights
dot

Javascript Required (to take advantage of the Eolas legal workaround).