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Post-UFC 87 Thoughts And Commentary

UFC 87: Georges St-Pierre vs. Jon FitchWhile things did not play out exactly as I imagined on Saturday night (see Brock Lesnar), I must admit that for the first time in a good while, I feel like I really got my moneys worth out of a UFC pay-per-view. Even my older brother, who doesn’t know jack about squat when it comes to MMA, blurted out at one point “Man, this sh*t is pretty exciting, E.” Let’s break it down, shall we.

Demian Maia def. Jason MacDonald via submission

I probably couldn’t have been more wrong about this one. I seriously under-estimated Demian Maia so if he is reading this, my apologies buddy. But I honestly thought that if pushed, Maia would gas out and be unable to work his jiujitsu magic. Though Jason MacDonald didn’t exactly execute what one would call a winning game plan, as he proceeded to get himself into trouble so quickly I almost applauded when he managed to get out of the first round without tapping faster than Gregory Hines. Suffice to say I think Demian Maia is ready for some of the better competition at 185lbs, so let’s make it happen Dana, or should I say Joe Silva.

Kenny Florian def. Roger Huerta via unanimous decision

First of all what was with the order of this bout? I’m sitting on my chaise last night and suddenly Roger Huerta and Kenny Florian grace my screen for their highly anticipated lightweight meeting. Given, I was happy enough to see the bout earlier than I thought, but tell me that this lesser-billing didn’t have something to do with Huerta’s recent not-so-nice words regarding UFC brass. Yea, I thought so.

As for the fight, well I suppose I can gloat a little bit since I was almost dead on about how this one would play out. I am however disappointed that the pacing as a tad bit slower than I imagined, but it was a good three rounds nonetheless. At first I was admittedly aggravated that Huerta didn’t deliver the brand of fireworks I’d come to expect, but I speculate he was heavily coached to remain calm and not attack as wildly as he had in the past.

Either way, KenFlo had his number and until Huerta is evolved enough to develop a gameplan suitable for someone on Florian’s level, he doesn’t have any business calling out Dana White and Co. Tito Ortiz style and asking for outrageous pay days. Roger Huerta could indeed remain a strong draw for the UFC, but he is going to have to play nice in terms of office politics if he plans to make another go of things in the UFC’s lightweight division.

Rob Emerson def. Manny Gamburyan via KO

Boy did I underestimate Rob Emerson, and probably overestimate Manny Gamburyan a little as well. Not only did I pick Manny to destroy him, but I really thought that Rob Emerson was, for lack of a better word, unworthy. I never saw anything terribly convincing from him in any of his fights or from his time on TUF, but the man proved that he can, if nothing else, throw a solid counter shot. Emerson was also aggressive enough to land the big left from his knees before Manny had a chance to recover. Very smart thinking. I think Manny Gamburyan could still have a big future in MMA, but he might be better suited for the WEC’s 145-pound class by the looks of him.

Cheick Kongo def. Dan Evensen via TKO

I had no idea who Dan Evensen was prior to UFC 87, but he certainly didn’t look very impressive against Cheick Kongo who seemed to have a field day with this soft looking Norweigan. During the pre-fight intro they mentioned that Evensen was a champion kickboxer in Norway…really? Maybe its just that Kongo’s stand up is that good. Regardless, Kongo is a heavyweight who is also ready for a bigger challenge, and it might even be Brock Lesnar from the tone of the latest rumor mill. Whether or not Kongo vs. Lesnar is a logical match up remains a matter for a later article.

Brock Lesnar def. Heath Herring via unanimous decision

Like many others in the MMA blogosphere I must now eat my words with a big slice of humble pie, and painfully state that Brock Lesnar proved me very, very wrong. I honestly felt that Brock was nothing more than a one trick pony who could never get by on size and strength alone, but Lesnar was simply dominant over a very experienced, focused, and game Heath Herring. Brock floored Herring with a massive right hand early on, and simply brutalized him for 15 minutes until there wasn’t very much left. I thought that Herring would work off his back and submit Lesnar once Lesnar jumped on top of him, but it just wasn’t so.

Now that I’ve thoroughly praised Lensar’s performance, I must proceed to nitpick his faults. First off, any MMA grappler worth their salt would have submitted Herring about a dozen times during that fight. I can’t even explain how many times I yelled at the television, asking it to just put the damn hooks in and sink the choke already. But as we all know, that never happened. Given, Lesnar is a giant dude and it probably isn’t the easiest thing for him to hit an armbar like some of the more nimble heavyweights, but the man could have at least attempted a choke, or god forbid maintained back control instead of giving it up for ground and pound time after time.

Additionally, Lesnar came off as a bit of a jackass both during and following his victory, imitating a lassoing cowboy roping in his opponent, as well as a bull rider atop Heath Herring, if you will. His post fight comments weren’t of the most humble and modest nature either, but what can you expect from a guy whose biggest previous accomplishment was hitting a moonsault on Rob Van Dam at SummerSlam. Some might say Brock’s heel-ish attitude could be a good thing for the UFC, who are always on the lookout for marketable stars, be they jerks or saviors. But something about Lesnar’s persona just seems a bit premature given oh I don’t know, the fact that he’s only 2-1 in his MMA career. I say give Brock a couple more quality opponents and if he rips through them, he will have at least earned the right to gloat a bit.

Georges St-Pierre def. Jon Fitch via unanimous decision

First and foremost, the hats must go off to Jon Fitch. Though Fitch was thoroughly dominated, he truly brought out the best in George St. Pierre, pushing the champion to his very limit for 25 straight minutes. I think it’s safe to say that Jon Fitch is without contest the number two welterweight in the world, which is saying a lot when the number one is someone as talented and unstoppable as GSP. While I indeed picked Jon Fitch to lose on Saturday night, he still surprised me by landing a few nice shots on “Rush”, and surviving through every moment on the ground where it seemed a TKO was merely imminent. As for who’s next for one George St. Pierre, well…

BJ Penn entered the octagon after GSP finished bloodying up Jon Fitch’s face, and aggressively asked the crowd (again) if they would like to see him and St. Pierre do battle once more. Personally, I don’t know that I want such a rematch to happen just yet, as I’d prefer to see Penn clean out the 155lb class. On the other hand, there really isn’t anyone on the planet, let alone the UFC, who can hold a candle to George St. Pierre- the man who displayed an almost scary competence in every facet of the MMA game just the other night. Many folks speculate that a rematch between the two UFC champions would take place at a blowout pay-per-view event in December, which would be fine by me. But does anyone else feel like both St. Pierre and Penn should defend their respective titles at least one more time before this “mega re-match” happens? I imagine I might be alone on this one, but I just thought I’d ask.

-And lastly, I have a side note to mention regarding “Seek And Destroy.” This time it’s about the post-fight chats with Joe Rogan. I don’t know whose decision it is/was, but why did Rogan have to cut GSP off during his post fight interview? If it was a broadcasting issue regarding the pay-per-view I can sort of understand, but they certainly let BJ Penn crash the party for a good while, yet couldn’t devote enough microphone time to St. Pierre, our undisputed champion who never really says that much anyway. Yea, that seemed fair.

Once again I cannot stand that Rogan does not speak with some of the losers in the post fight. As lovely as it was hearing Brock Lesnar speak his mind about being seen, it would have been just a little nice to hear from Heath Herring, or even Jon Fitch or Roger Huerta. You know, since those folks fought as well and just might have something interesting to add to the conversation.

See you next time.

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