UFC 87: Seek and Destroy recap

UFC 87 from the Target Center in Minneapolis turned out to be a great event that lived up to its hype for the quality of card that was put together. And the big winner of the night was Georges St.-Pierre who dominated a very tough and game Jon Fitch on his way to a 50-43 and 50-44 (2x) unanimous 5-round decision.

Although there weren’t too many finishes (of the televised portion), each fight that went the distance was very entertaining, especially the main event. Also entertaining was the lightweight #1 contender match between Kenny Florian and Roger Huerta, a fight that was being billed by many as a potential fight of the year candidate.

It didn’t quite live up to that lofty billing but it was a very exciting fight, one of the better ones of the night and in the end Florian showed just how ready he is to challenge for the title.

In the other huge fight of the night, Brock Lesnar utterly dominated Heath Herring from the moment he landed a huge right hand to Herring’s jaw that dropped him like a sack of bricks. What impressed me once again in watching Lesnar was his tremendous speed/size combination. The guy is massive and somehow manages to be as quick as a jack-rabbit. The way he charged after Herring and football tackled him after landing the right-hand was incredible. What didn’t impress me about Brock is despite his obvious ability to control another fighter on the ground (he’s gonna be able to do that with most everyone) he seemed completely unwilling to go for any submissions. Now, I personally thought he was almost too big to get the hooks in and RNC Herring those times when he had his back but perhaps he could have choked him out with a triangle or gotten an arm-bar? I’m sure that confidence will come with more time in the gym as he continues to work on his BJJ.

Chieck Kongo got a win over Dan Evenson and looked rather impressive while doing so. He’s another guy whose size is just too over-powering for his opponent. I liked the leg kicks from Kongo and of course his right hand looked awesome in dropping Evenson and pounding him out.

Submission of the night: Damien Maia and Jason MacDonald put on an impressive ground fighting display in the first two rounds of their fight. MacDonald was very impressive in countering a two-time BJJ World Champion. Maia, though, was eventually able to put away the tough MacDonald and he looks like a serious contender at 185 in the very near future.

Knockout of the night: Rob Emerson cracked Manny Gamburyan rather nicely a couple of times to end their fight in 12 seconds and I really enjoyed that. Both fighters need to remain on the dark end of the PPV cards. On this night, I would’ve much rather seen Jon Jones make his UFC debut.

Takeaways:

  • GSP vs. Penn will happen in November or December for the Welterweight title and will be an incredible fight. Whether Penn deserves the shot right away rather than, say, fighting a couple contenders first to me doesn’t matter, he’s a great fighter and by his talent alone has shown that he deserves to get the title shot. Plus, as a fan it’s more exciting for me to get to see the best fights rather than one guy dominate his division against guys that don’t necessarily deserve to be in the octagon with said dominant fighter.
  • Lesnar looks really good with just 3 fights under his belt!! I can’t believe how good this guy can be and make no mistake, he can be the best HW in the World in time. For now, I think a matchup with Kongo next would be awesome.
  • Huerta showed some progress as a fighter in his first UFC loss but with one fight remaining on his contract, hopefully he’ll come to terms with the UFC on an extension rather quickly and fight someone like Sam Stout or Frank Edgar soon.
  • Kenny Florian will most likely be content to wait out the GSP/Penn fight for his shot at the Lightweight belt against B.J. Penn
  • The UFC has some great fights coming up and continues to lead the way in MMA and its only getting better!!
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