MMA: Five Things I Learned From UFC 87

Ryan WalesSenior Analyst IAugust 10, 2008

This edition of Five things I learned is going to be a little different because I was lucky enough to see the show at the Target Center. I have yet to go through and watch the whole PPV so I will have missed some of Goldie's wisdoms or technical mishaps. But I was paying enough attention to grab five points that I think are relevant.

1. Damian Maia is the real deal

The match up between Maia and Macdonald was one of my favorite bouts of the evening. It was the cliche' technical chess match but it was a ton of fun to watch.

I thought it was all over when Maia locked up the triangle in the first. Macdonald deserves a lot of credit, he gave Maia a good match, but in the end Maia's Jits was just too good.

Maia's striking will always be suspect since he has spent so much time honing his ground skills.

It won't be long until we see Maia stepping up against top competition and if he rolls to another couple of impressive victories we may see him get a shot at the strap. Even if he doesn't get a title shot Maia will prove to be good match up against the top 185ers.

2. UFC 87 may go down as one of the most brutal I've seen

Heath Herring is lucky his head is still attached to his shoulders. Most people would have been utterly destroyed by the right hand that Lesnar threw. As Lesnar was charging at Herring I told the person standing next to me that if they hit the cage they may tear the whole thing down.

Herring took one hell of a beating and is a stud in my book. Most other fighters would have given up long before Herring did.

Fitch also took an enormous amount of damage and never gave up. He should have been knocked out at least twice and he kept swinging. Jon Fitch has absolutely nothing to be ashamed of.

3. Huerta vs Florian shows how shallow the 155ers really are

It was supposed to be a #1 contenders match until recently when Dana White said that the winner was no longer guaranteed a shot at Penn. Now it doesn't look like a bad decision as Florian certainly didn't look dominate and GSP looked unstoppable, setting up a huge fight with Penn.

I don't think anyone is excited to see Florian get demolished by Penn, not right now at least.

While there is talent in the division, it is going to be awhile until someone is ready to step up and give Penn a real challenge.

Tyson Griffin will be facing Sean Sherk at UFC 90 and if he gets past Sherk he should be consider for a #1 contender match.

Gray Maynard is another guy that has potential but needs a couple of wins before his name should get mentioned for a title shot.

I think the UFC missed a great chance to add talent to the division when they didn't sign IFL star Chris Horodecki.

The Japanese promotion Dream has the deepest LW division in the world right now and unless the UFC does something about it, the division will stay stagnant.

4. Brock Lesnar is the new Tito Ortiz

Brock Lesnar is exactly what the UFC Heavyweights need, he's marketable, talented and has a built-in fan base. Lesnar not only looked good against Heath Herring, he looked like a monster.

Love him or hate him it's certainly fun to watch him fight and as the UFC marketing machine gets into full swing Brock Lesnar will be the new face of the heavies.

He doesn't have to be a champion or even a contender as long as people want to see him fight, and the masses will.

He's the classic monster much like Tito was in his prime. No one could handle Ortiz's wrestling and aggressiveness, sound like anybody else you know? He's cocky, flamboyant and isn't afraid of being the bad guy.

After watching the Lesnar fight I came to the realization I don't have to like the fighter as a person to enjoy watching them fight.

5. I want to see Penn vs. GSP

After GSP destroyed and dominated a game Jon Fitch there is only one fight I want to see next from GSP. I understand the arguments of fighters staying in their weight classes and taking care of their own divisions.

But I'm a fan and I want to see the best fighters in the world fight each other if they want to. Penn and GSP want to tangle again and I want to see it.

The 155ers are weak right now so Penn is free and Thiago Alves has a big fight coming up leaving no one ready to step in against GSP.

Lets see what happens when two guys who are top five p4p go at it.

If this fight happens and I'm pretty sure it will, I have one request. Please make it a five round fight, If it's not going to be for a title make an exemption and make it a five rounder.


UFC 87 was one of the best cards I've seen and I'm glad I had the opportunity to see it live. I strongly recommend if you're a fan of this sport to do whatever you have to do to get a chance to see a live show.



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