UFC 87 has delivered one of the best MMA cards of the year. We saw a great main event, a Jiu Jitsu clinic, the future of the Heavyweight division and much more. Read the fight by fight breakdown below. The night opened with a anticipated bout in the Middleweight, or Anderson Silva, division.
Demian Maia Vs. Jason McDonald
Maia comes to the ring with Wanderlai Silva who is adored by the crowd. It's always nice to see the "Axe Murderer."
The fight begins with some leg kicks and a straight right from the "Athlete. After a short exchange, Mai pulls guard and quickly sets McDonald up for a very TIGHT triangle.
As Demian's intensity of trying to finish the fight was obvious, the impressive thing was how McDonald was able to persevere and slip out.
Back in guard the "Athlete" lands some good ground and pound and opens up Maia with a reigning down right.
McDonald gets Maia in a DEEP guillotine. I thought the fight had turned and Jason was going to be able to stun the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu machine with a first round submission.
Demian is able to pop out, as blood flows from his brow, and transition into side control.
Amazing part number two!
Now Maia is able to get McDonald's back and sink in a rear naked choke. I said to the crew watching, "this has to be it." I was wrong.
McDonald is able to tough it out AGAIN and defend the wrist enough to force out of a potential finish for the second time!
The round comes to an end as the crowd roars at the appreciation for this Jiu Jitsu chess match.
Maia catches McDonald with a left as the two clinch into the cage. An attempted single leg followed by knees from both fighters ends with a sweep take-down from Demian.
Now in McDonald's guard, Maia passes quickly to side control then transitions to full mount and starts some ground and pound.
The "Athlete" suffers a small cut during the exchange and both fighters now have "Bluuuuhhhhhd!"
Check out the you tube clip with that title, pure comedy!
Maia tries to slip in an Anaconda choke from the side but goes back to guard for some more attacks. McDonald is trying to hip escape but Maia's Jits is so good that they basically are dragging each other, or walking, across the Octagon on the ground. It was interesting to see. I thought the end was near for McDonald.
Jason's gameplan I'm sure was to NOT fight Maia's game, but that was exactly what was happening.
Maia goes for an arm-bar but McDonald slides out into his guard. This ends round two.
The cornermen are screaming at McDonald, "don't take him to the f'n ground, knock him out!"
Maia immediately takes McDonald down with a single leg. After some work, both fighters attempt guillotines to neither one's success. Mai is able to pull off a beautiful sweep that transitions him into a full mount.
Demian continues with some ground and pound and McDonald gives up his back to the Jiu Jitsu phenom after eating some left hooks.
Maia has the hooks in and goes for a rear naked choke. He secures it and FINALLY McDonald taps 2:46 into the final round.
Maia remains undefeated as the "Athlete" drops a hard fought contest.
This was a great first fight. The Minnesota crowd appreciated the heart of McDonald and the grappling/ Jiu Jitsu clinic displayed by the two fighters.
For those who love ground fights, this is one you don't want to miss!
Winner: Demian Maia (9-0) by Submission (rear naked choke) 3rd round 2:46
A UFC poll is displayed for the main event that has GSP a 73% chance of retaining his Welterweight strap. I'm surprised so many are doubting Fitch, I sure as hell wasn't one of them as I was petrified of his skill set and heart.
Roger Huerta Vs. Kenny Florian
In what was being billed as a Fight of the Year match up, these two Lightweights didn't really deliver that, not their faults, it just wasn't on that spectacular level.
As expected, the crowd loved Huerta.
Roger begins the fight aggressive with some leg kicks, Kenny answers with a partially blocked high kick. Florian then takes Roger down and quickly mounts. I was worried for Huerta here. Florian seems to have the technical advantage on the ground.
Roger gets flattened out and Kenny is connecting with some side punches. Huerta rolls and they stand backup. Whew, though it might have ended early just because of the positioning but "El Matador" fought through it.
Huerta comes back with a right hand and some knees as the two fighters lock up against the cage. They move the tie up back to the middle where Roger catches Kenny with a couple hooks and Florian lands a few knees to the body.
Round 1 ends, very close one here as the judges could give it to Kenny on the take-down or Roger on the aggression.
I would have scored it 10-9 Florian because the take-down could've spelled the end early for Roger who never had Kenny in real trouble. He just seemed more active.
"Ken Flo" comes out with a straight kick that clips Roger on his chin. The two exchange with Florian landing a nice body shot. Huerta answers with a body kick.
Kenny shoots in for a single leg as Roger attempts a Kimura. On the ground, Florian throws those knife slicing elbows and ground and pound that connects, not flush but grazing.
Roger gets mounted from the back and Kenny hits some big rights. Huerta is able to slip out and get back up.
"Ken Flo" then sweeps Huerta almost Kung Fu video game style and "El Matador" falls quickly only to recover just as fast.
Kenny gets Roger in the clinch and lands a decent elbow while moving forward and adding some small punches along with it.
A solid round for Florian and he takes this one 10-9, no argument here.
Huerta needs a convincing round to squeeze this one out.
Kenny connects another straight kick to the chin, follows it with a take-down, but Roger gets up.
The fight got exciting here as the two exchanged a bit. A knee caught Huerta well and he looked down at the ground, spit and came back at Florian with punches and combos.
Nothing really connected flush for Roger and the two went to the ground again.
Kenny lands a good punch from outside Huerta's guard and back up we go.
The two exchange again as Florian connects with a knee and left hook. Huerta gives him a thumbs up gesture.
Another straight kick clips Roger. Kenny is moving out of range and not trying to get caught with any overly aggressive actions by "El Matador."
Kenny closes out the round with another takedown and a few clean shots. As the final bell rang, Huerta knew he lost as he bowed his head while Florian raised his arms up high.
They were right as the judges ALL scored the fight 30-27 for Florian.
I thought it may have been 29-28 because the first round was so close but the take-down was the difference there.
The fight was decent as Huerta showed more diversity then some past fights, like twenty or thirty Superman punches that we're never really close. He must have loved seeing GSP do that when they were training, ha.
Florian was just more advanced and technical here. Shots were crisper, decisions were smarter and he simply toughed it out. Mister "I finish fights" didn't stop Roger Huerta but he DID defeat him, and surprisingly prove he's too advanced for "El Matador" right now. Let's see if another shot at the Lightweight title is in "Ken Flo's" future.
In the post fight interview, Florian dedicated the victory to Jorge Rivera's daughter who passed away this past week. Classy move from one training partner to another.
Did I mention Mark Dellagrotti is a f'n beast, his gym is NO JOKE. Check it out if you are ever in the Boston area.
Winner: Kenny Florian by Unanimous Decision
The poll has come back and GSP is now favored 67% to 33% over Fitch.
Rob Emerson Vs. Manvel Gamburyan
This was the only main card fight I could care less about. Shockingly, it ended up being a jaw dropper...literally!
Manny comes out aggressive as the two exchange. Emerson ducks his head down as if he's not even looking and lands an overhand right that drops Gamburyan.
They both go down to the ground and as Emerson goes to get up connects with a MEAN left hook that puts Manny to sleep! And he was out in only 12 seconds!
Emerson looked more like the "Devil" than the "Saint" here by pulling off this upset knockout.
I have to apologize to Rob, I bagged on him earlier this week about his spot on the main card. However, he delivered with some fresh tattoos and a big win. Maybe he added some skills like he did some tats? Either way, he looked sharp.
This fight is surely to win knockout of the night and some extra cash for Emerson.
Doesn't look like Manny will get that rematch with Nate Diaz now, unless Diaz loses to Josh Neer. I wonder?
Winner: Rob Emerson by KO, Rd 1 0:12
Cheick Kongo vs. Dan Everson
First off, Kongo is a scary dude. This man is a monster with agility and kickboxing skills. After his loss to Heath Herring, Kongo was desperate for a big win here.
Everson or the "Viking" came out to start the fight and ate some leg kicks. Kongo follows with a jab and some more leg work.
The two tie up and go against the cage. Kongo picks up Everson and drops him like a hot plate as he thunders to the ground from a double leg slam.
Kongo pulls the ankle of the "Viking" as if he broke the television and his father wanted to have a "chat" with him about it. He follows that with some crisp kicks to the legs as Everson is thinking, "Dad it wasn't me!"
Lavigne stands them back up and they tie up again. Everson tries to put Kongo in a standing guillotine but that didn't work. Kongo takes him down and repeats the same process before with some leg kicks. Here Evenson seems to have figured out that Kongo is a bad dude he shouldn't be in there with.
The second stand up comes only to see the huge French Kick-boxer connect with a left and right kick to the body followed by a flush right hand that DROPS Everson.
Kongo pounces and unleashes ground and pound shots and some hammer-fists until Lavigne jumps in and stops it with 5 seconds left in the round.
After the fight Kongo kept saying, "give me the tiitttlle." He didn't seem impressed with Everson or for fighting him at all. He believes he's one of the best in the world and he wants to show it. Too bad during the interview the "Viking" was still on the mat in pain.
Winner: Cheick Kongo by TKO (Ownage), Rd 1 4:55
Brock Lesnar VS. Heath Herring
Herring comes out in great shape like in his fight with Kongo. Lesnar is the hometown favorite so he gets the cheers.
Lesnar said he was going to be more calm in this fight, unlike his first one in the UFC.
The fight starts as Brock tries a flying knee. Interesting. A quick feel out and Lesnar throws a MONSTROUS right hand that DROPS Herring and makes him somersault backwards. Crazy!
Brock runs at Herring head first like Rhino about to give a gore through a table. He pounces on him and punishes him some more. They're back up and Brock has a sloppy guillotine, more of a hold, on Herring against the cage.
Heath's eye is bleeding and looks like raw meat. Eww, that's nassstttyyy!
Lesnar does what he does best and takes Herring down with ease. It's scary how strong, quick, and athletic this guy is.
Brock holds the position and punishes Heath slowly from spot to spot. He's not trying to do too much but doing enough. Some knees to the body, punches, and resting his 285lb frame on Heath which is exhausting the "Texas Crazy Horse."
The crowd is chanting for Lesnar as he has Herring controlled from his back side. Brock shakes his head as if to say, "you f'n know it!"
The round ends and Lesnar shoves a frustrated and hurt Herring as he walks back to his corner cursing at himself. WWE marketing 101 at it's finest here. The crowd loves it, so did I.
Herring's eye is a mess and I really felt it would end here.
This round was called the "turtle" round. Heath was taken down and put in the same exact position as the first round, with the same punishment following. He curled up like a turtle for most of it, trying to deal with Lesnar's ferocious attack.
Brock got a full mount half way through but rolled back to his comfort position. They get back up and the Minnesota National Champion hits Heath with some knees to the body that I'm sure made him want to quit after each one. You could see it in the poor guy's demeanor. I felt bad for him here, he was getting owned.
Surprisingly, Herring survived to force a 3rd and final round.
Lesnar comes out smiling with not one mark on him. Herring has no right eye and is starting to resemble Mike Tyson after he lost to James "Buster" Douglas back in the day.
Heath starts with a nice kick and presses Brock to the cage. Lesnar is too strong and takes Herring down again to continue his demise.
Knees to the body are very effective against Herring, similar to GSP/ Serra 2 without a stoppage.
They stand back up and Heath swings chaotically one final time before getting taken back to the mat. Lesnar smothers Herring for the rest of the fight.
Before the final bell, Lesnar tries to ride Heath's back and mimic a cowboy riding a bull. It was messed up, but entertaining. As the fight concluded Brock laughed in Herring's face and officially became one of UFC's top heels.
I think people will still like him because he'll be exciting to watch but a lot of folks may just hate him and look at these antics as a lack of respect for an established warrior fighter. Herring has fought the "who's who" of Heavyweights.
Lesnar grabbed the mic from Joe Rogan in mid sentence during the post fight interview and yelled out, "Can you see me now?"
One thing's for sure, Brock Lesnar is here to stay and he's going to be the next BIG problem for all Heavyweights.
Respect to Heath Herring as he didn't quit and showed his heart.
Mark Coleman may be in the ICU if he took this fight. The Coleman family should send Herring a "Get Well Soon" and "Thank You" cards. On the inside it can read, "thank God it wasn't me, much appreciated."
Winner: Brock Lesnar (2-1) by Unanimous Decision (30-26)
The final poll for who will win the Main Event is in and GSP is now favored 62% to 38%. The talks are over and now it's time for the GSP/ Fitch! Right now, I was incredibly nervous and excited.
Welterweight Championship: Jon Fitch VS. Georges St. Pierre
Fitch comes out and looks ready and hungry to dethrone GSP.
We start of with an immediate takedown by GSP. He's not working in Fitch's guard as easily as we've seen him in the past. He lands a good elbow and Fitch is able to get back up.
Georges throws a left hand and shoots for a single leg and down goes Fitch again. Not long before they are back standing.
Fitch throws a leg kick that GSP kind of catches and lands a HUGE straight right that DROPS Fitch, similar to Silva/ Irvin. Jon is cut near his right eye and bleeding!
The crowd erupts as GSP attacks with punches and elbows to try and finish it here. I was shocked, I though it was going to be over. Fitch is eating punches but stands back up. This guy is tough.
GSP throws a combo and takes him right back down, Fitch is eating some huge elbows. In his MMA career, Jon has never had his guard passed. Not anymore. St. Pierre is in side control, then full mount, back to side control as Fitch survives the round. WOW!
Great action and destruction in round 1, a 10-8 scoring round for GSP.
They come out exchanging in round 2. GSP lands a jab, followed by a Superman and leg kick. That combo is so quick! Fitch catches him with a few nice body shots but GSP's jab is killing Jon.
Jon catches GSP with a punch that opens a small cut near his hairline. Nothing bad at all. GSP throws his famous spinning heel kick and it lands. Fitch starts landing some combos of lefts and rights.
Although nothing is too solid, he's scoring and having a much better round then the first. GSP is using his jab and leg kicks to keep Fitch at bay. St. Pierre is stuffed on a take-down attempt. We don't see that often or not never!
GSP hits a couple shots before the round ends. A much better round for Fitch who looked to be getting back into the fight even though his face didn't. A 10-9 round for GSP. His jab was on point.
GSP comes out and lands a MONSTROUS Right hand that DROPS Fitch early!
You see what looks like his mouthpiece or Vaseline go flying into the air, AWESOME! So here we go again, it's got to be over this time. Warning rubber legs! GSP gets his back and goes for the rear naked choke but Fitch, who has the heart and will of a Lion, squirms out into the champions guard.
This seemed scary as we don't see GSP on his back much. However, the Canadian superstar was able to literally sweep and slide under Fitch's legs and reverse the position to land some guard strikes before the two were back on their feet.
This guy's athleticism is scary!
GSP kept on with his accurate strikes and Fitch kept taking them. Jon was a wobbly mess as GSP went in for the kill! He connected with a leg kick, right hand, and a high kick that looked Anderson Silva esq and buckled the challenger down. GSP is killing with combos as Fitch is hanging on.
The round ends and GSP has earned another 10-8 round. You can't say enough about Fitch who is taking a beating and still coming. We're going to a 4th round!
It's the championship rounds now. GSP said before that this would be his toughest fight yet, he was right because we've never seen the champ go to a fourth round.
Fitch drew blood from over St-Pierre’s left eye early in the round, but GSP was undaunted as he continued pecking away at Fitch and denying a take-down attempt. "Rush" then buckled Fitch with a leg kick.
Jon had a nice single leg, one where I thought GSP was going down. However, he bounced on one leg, B.J. Penn style, and got free. It was insane!
Fitch did land some punches of his own in retaliation. But GSP put Fitch on his back to end the round.
10-9 GSP again. The only way he's going to lose this fight is by some crazy mistake. On to the final round and now Fitch has Herring syndrome with a shut eye.
The two embrace as you can see the amount of respect there is between the two.
Fitch opened the fifth and final round with a couple of solid shots as he looked to rescue the fight for himself, but St-Pierre answered with a nice spinning back fist and a take-down.
GSP wasn't going to play it safe and sit on the lead. He was killing with his jab all night and at this point was able to take Fitch down at will.
The pace had obviously slowed down considering the circumstances but the packed house still showed their appreciation for the champion and his courageous challenger.
GSP ends the fight with a takedown as he's on top of Fitch as the bell sounds.
The two go to the center of the ring, kneel down, Samurai style, and say some words to each other. A nice picture here.
And no one in the crowd of 15,082 cheered louder for St-Pierre than UFC lightweight champion BJ Penn, who is now looking to move back up to 170 pounds for a shot at redemption against the man who won a decision from him in March of 2006. He was in the Octagon across from GSP!
“Let’s put the fight together, let’s do it,” said Penn.
“I’m a proud champion and I’m ready to fight everybody who deserves a shot,” said St-Pierre. “I know BJ Penn wants a shot, and I’m ready for him. “
Scores were 50-43, and 50-44 twice for St-Pierre, whose first reign as champion ended at the hands of Matt Serra in April of 2007. St-Pierre went on to regain the belt at UFC 83 in April of this year.
With the win, St-Pierre improves to 17-2; Fitch falls to 21-3 with 1 no contest.
Winner: And STILL Welterweight Champion, Georges St. Pierre by Unanimous Decision
I was ecstatic that GSP dominated here. The guy is insane and although I hate the idea of him fighting Penn right now, I understand the money it's going to make.
You never want to see your two favorites after each other. Especially when both of them should concentrate on the two or three tough challenges they have in their own divisions. Defend the belt a few times guys.
This is more the doing of B.J., Dana, and Silva than anything else.
It's a business so I get it, I just don't like it.
Shout out to Jon Fitch who is truly a warrior and will be a champion one day, he just ran into the guy who had an attribute listed during his entrance saying "the complete fighter."
That's exactly what GSP is and he proved it tonight...once again.
After B.J. he should be able to catch the streak Fitch had ended and Royce Gracie held of eight victories in a row. We are going on number 5 and counting!
This was a good card and the fights delivered. I would've liked to see a Lesnar K.O. and after what GSP did, a finish from him. The Florian/ Huerta fight was decent, nothing I will remember a few months from now but overall a good card top to bottom.
There were those who were seeking for titles, recognition, respect, and victory.
Unfortunately for some, there were those who got destroyed!
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