UFC 87 Review
Fighters Take Names In 'Seek & Destroy'!
Georges "Rush" St. Pierre
Minneapolis, Minnesota - The UFC® came and conquered the Target Center Saturday night with yet another stellar night of fights. UFC Welterweight champion Georges "Rush" St. Pierre (17-2 MMA, 11-2 UFC) did not disappoint; he cruised to a unanimous 5 round decision victory over the world's No. 1 contender Jon Fitch (17-3 MMA, 8-1 UFC), and ended his 8 fight win streak.
The French Canadian 'GSP' was able to dominate from the opening bell, as he ducked a stiff punch from Fitch, and brought the challenger to the ground with a double leg takedown. With the chants of "USA" from the rabid crowd, Jon Fitch was able to get back to his feet; only to be floored once again by a punishing straight right from GSP.
The champ wasted no time; he rained down a barrage of punches and elbows from the top position. This looked to be the beginning of the end for Jon Fitch, but he was able to gut it out and survived the onslaught and the first round.
The second round was a stand-up battle; both fighters decided to keep it on the feet. Fitch was able to shake the cobwebs from the first round and mixed it up with GSP. Fitch utilized some nice combos to the head and body that did some damage on the champ. Although GSP was able to pepper Fitch with some lightning fast jabs that made their marks on Fitch's face. GSP was able to land the more effective strikes to win the second round as well.
The third round mirrored much of the first as St. Pierre was able to counter a Fitch left hook, and crippled him with a right hook of his own.
GSP was able to get control of Fitch's back and looked to finish with a guillotine choke, but Fitch miraculously escaped and gained top position, an unfamiliar position for St. Pierre. He has only spent a total of 5 minutes on his back in his career, he quickly swept and regained control. GSP landed some strong leg kicks and a few teeth popping knees to the face of Fitch. GSP ended the round with a huge slam.
Jon Fitch was able to prove to everyone that he truly has a heart of a warrior. He landed a nice right punch that cut open the champ. Any other fighter would have quit by this point, but Fitch was relentless with his attempted takedowns. GSP showed us his world-class takedown defense as he continued to stuff the former Purdue wrestling standout. The Champ was able to out point Fitch once again by utilizing his jab.
Georges St. Pierre continued to provide entertainment as he brought out everything from leg kicks to spinning back fists that all made their mark on Jon Fitch.
With chants of "GSP" from the crowd, St. Pierre continued the onslaught with a terrorizing takedown that lead to some more ground and pound. Fitch showed even more heart as he escaped the punishment only to be taken down again by St. Pierre. The unanimous decision was 50-43, 50-44 and 50-44 for St. Pierre.
Jon Fitch was just out classed by the superior athlete, and GSP proved to the world that he must be considered a top-5 fighter pound for pound!
"I'm ready to fight everybody, everybody who deserves a shot," said GSP during the post fight interview. "I know BJ Penn wants it, and I'm ready to do it. Whoever they give me, I'll do it. He deserves it."
Enter BJ Penn, "You know I want to put the fight together. Let's do it. Let's do it, Georges. You want to do it?"
"Of course I want to," St. Pierre replied.
An epic rematch of these two great fighters for the Welterweight title will be a MMA fan's dream. Rumor has it, it'll take place at the year end show most likely in Vegas, see ya there!
The hometown hero Lesnar, who wrestled for The Golden Gophers of Minnesota, was able to out wrestle the more experienced Herring and punished him for 15 minutes for an impressive unanimous decision victory, his first within the UFC.
Lesnar (2-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC) came out with a huge flying knee that barely missed its target. He followed it up with a fake takedown attempt that lead to a vicious right hand that rolled Herring (28-14 MMA, 2-3 UFC) to his back. The colossal Lesnar, smelled blood and pounced on his prey as if he was a lion, and shredded the helpless Herring with some hammer fists and a plethora of rib breaking knees.
The second and third rounds were no different as Herring seemed to be trapped underneath a huge vending machine. He tried to scrape, squirm and claw his way from underneath this behemoth man, but Lesnar continued to bring the pain with more punishment from the top. Lesnar even showed glimpses of his ever improving BJJ game with an attempted guillotine choke. The fight ended with Brock riding Heath like a bull and also by him laughing and pointing at the beaten down Herring.
Herring was able to prove that he is a gutsy fighter with a never-die attitude, and he's also tougher than a $2 steak, but all three judges scored the fight 30-26 for Brock Lesnar.
Brock had a lot to prove going into this fight after the disappointing loss to Frank Mir. "I fell off the horse against Frank Mir and tonight I got on that stallion and rode out of town," said Lesnar. His back was against the wall and he proved the doubters wrong. "I've just been trying to work on everything, every single day to get better, to be a well-rounded heavyweight fighter and a contender in the UFC."
Brock Lesnar was "The Next Big Thing" when he debuted in the WWE years ago. He is "The Real Thing" in the UFC, he is no doubt a top-5 Heavyweight within the UFC and has a bright future ahead of him!
Not only does he bring world class MMA skills, but he has tons of charisma and entertainment value that will bring in the fans. Whether you love him or hate him, he's a great fighter and will be around here for a while!
His next fight will most likely be against Cheick Kongo who was also victorious Saturday. It should be a great match up for Lesnar.
Huerta (20-2-1 MMA, 6-1 UFC), from Minnesota, was riding a 6-fight winning streak within the UFC and looked to be well on his way to superstardom and a lightweight title shot. Somebody forgot to tell Kenny Florian (10-3 MMA, 8-2 UFC) as the TUF season 1 runner-up spoiled the hometown reunion for Huerta.
Florian was able to use his brain over the brawn of Huerta and fought a technical fight that earned him the 30-27 decision victory. "I didn't want to get into a brawl with him," Florian said. "I tried to use techniques to counter his brawling ... I've got to give him credit. I thought I'd finish him. He's tough as nails."
Florian patient waited for the wild strikes from Huerta and used the openings for takedowns. The 30-year-old Florian was able to use his BJJ skills to attempt some submissions, but Huerta used his superior strength to escape.
Florian used some nice Muay Thai clinches that set up a barrage of knees that found their mark on Huerta as well as the judges score cards. Florian also utilized the much unappreciated art of the front kick that landed flush on Huerta's face to begin the final round.
It looks like Florian might have to fight another fight before he is granted another shot at the lightweight title. He was asked after the fight about that possible match up with BJ Penn and he said, "We'll see what happens, It's up to the UFC."
In a battle of "The Ultimate Fighter 5" cast members Rob Emerson made short work of Manny Gamburyan. Emerson (8-6 MMA, 2-0 UFC) caught the runner-up from that season, Gamburyan (9-3 MMA, 2-2 UFC), as he did just that, ran up and got caught.
Emerson landed a brutalizing right hand that stopped Manny in his tracks and followed it up with a left hook that laid him out for the count. "I just knew I needed to keep it on our feet and off the cage," Emerson said. "He said he was going to come out strong, and I said, "Be ready for it." Enough Said! He also walked with a cool 60 G's for "Knock out of the night."
World BJJ Champion Demian Maia (8-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC) walked into the Target Center undefeated in his mixed martial arts career and left the building the same.
In a back and forth battle with Jason MacDonald (20-10 MMA, 4-3 UFC) that started the pay-per-view off, Maia was able to slip in a rear-naked choke midway through the third round. Early in the first round it looked to be over for MacDonald, but he was able to escape a triangle choke and nearly sinked in a rear-naked choke of his own on the BJJ specialist, Maia.
MacDonald was unable to use his reach advantage and paid for it dearly as Maia simply outclassed the Canadian and earned "Submission of the Night" with the rear-naked choke.
Maia will be a threat for Anderson Silva as his BJJ is out of this world and his improving stand-up will only get better, so look out!
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