I’m here in Las Vegas. I just saw the weigh ins and was at the autograph session. Wanderlei, Kenflo, and Thiago Alves were there signing. I took some pictures with my cell phone. I sent them over to my buddy over at MMA-Extreme hopefully he’ll post them up soon.
This is an amazing event with an awesome fight card.I can go on for days on each match up, but I’ll just focus on the GSP vs. BJ Penn fight. This fight is one of the most anticipated fight in a while. BJ Penn is re-focused on his MMA legacy and wants to win this fight badly. Penn’s talent is ranked right up there among the best in the world. But GSP is very well-rounded and Penn’s raw skills are not enough to defeat GSP. Penn will need to come with the right fight plan to take on the Welterweight King. Penn will need to utilize his stand up skills and set it up for the takedown. Penn will have to use this BJJ to control GSP on the ground. This will help him control the pace and reserve his energy. If history is any indication BJ Penn hasn’t shown any decent stamina in his fights. If BJJ is able to bring GSP down he can win via submission or by decision. The Candadian has the edge in this fight because he holds the win in their last meeting. GSP will need to bring a fast and furious pace and stay away from any takedowns, and he will need to utilize his kicks and jabs to setup takedowns of his own. The Champ will need to wear Penn down with some ground and pound. He probably won’t submit Penn and will have to take the fight to the later rounds and force a stoppage by the ref. In the end, it comes down to who has the better takedowns in this fight will likely win.
George St. Pierre beats BJ Penn
Thiago Silva beats Lyoto Machida
Jon Jones beats Stephan Bonnar
Don Hyun Kim beats Karo Parisyan
Clay Guida beats Nate Diaz
Jon Fitch beats Akihiro Gono
Thiago Tavares beats Manny Gamburyan
Chris Wilson beats John Howard
Christian Wellisch beats Jake O’ Brien
Matt Arroyo beats Dan Cramer
We’re a few hours away from my boy, George St. Pierre, defending his title from the always-tough Jon Fitch. UFC 87’s main card is quite exciting. GPS vs Fitch, Huerta vs Florian, and Lesnar vs Herring is worth the $50 on the PPV by itself. Many of you may know I’m a huge GSP fan and this is a fight I’m super stoked to see. Jon Fitch fights out of AKA in San Jose, a top knotch gym I’ve had the privilege to train a couple of years back which is another reason to watch. It can’t get anymore exciting when your top favorite fighters are pitted against each other. Why else am I stoked about this fight? Besides the fact that GSP is fighting, Jon Fitch is the biggest threat to anyone who holds the Welterweight title. GSP is favorite to win, but Fitch has the tools to take the belt. It just comes down to who will bring the most effective game plan. Lets get to the point here. GSP is going to win. Why? Because he’s more well-rounded and has better killer-instinct to finish off his opponents. Many critics of GSP uses his recent loss to Serra as a sign of his mental stability in the fight game. They also point out that he dominates all his opponents and has never been tested. That is surely not true. Lets not forget that epic war with BJ Penn and the grueling battle with Karo Parysian. GSP has been through adversity and has overcome it to win. So let’s hope Fitch doesn’t just try grind out his opponent for the win because if Fitch wants to get his hand raised in the end he has to go out there and stop GSP. Sure Fitch has a great wrestling background but GSP’s style neutralizes it. So how can Fitch win? Fitch will need to press the fight and push the pace early on in the fight. GSP tends to feel out his opponent the first minute of the fight. Fitch will need to utilize the cage and take GSP and hold him there and pound him out which is easier said than done. If Fitch doesn’t have an effective fight game he will find himself being taken down and getting beat on, GSP-style.
Huerta vs Florian can be the fight of the night if both come out guns blazing. Huerta is the underdog and he is right fully so. With the exception of Clay Guida, Huerta has been fighting mediocore opponents. Florian has been on a tear beating and stopping every opponent he’s fought recently. His striking has improved leaps and bounds and his ground game is even more solid compared to his TUF days. Skillset-wise Florian has the edge on all aspect of the fight game than Huerta. But there’s one thing that should not be overlooked of Huerta, and that’s his resilence in the cage. His fight with Guida showed that Huerta can be dangerous even up to the last minute of the fight. Florian is a very technical fighter, and very technical fighters tend to be very predictable. In contast, Huerta is a scrappy fighter and its hard to prepare for a style like that. I’m going to go against the grain and pick Huerta to pull an upset. I see Florian coming out strong with Huerta weathering the storm, but Huerta’s tenacity to keep coming forward will take it’s toll on Florian.
Heath Herring’s kryptonite is wrestling. He can’t defend a takedown if his life depended on it. Lesnar is the baddest in heavyweight in the division with collegiate credentials to back it up. Even with a debut loss in the UFC Lesnar showed that he has incredible speed and strength that can translate very well in MMA. Unfortunately he lacked the experience. Herring has only won once in his last three fights. And that victory came against Cheick Kongo. Kongo is known for his kickboxing and his lack of ground game giving his athletic physique and MMA potential. Kongo was able to take Herring down at will. Luckily for Herring Kongo forgot to look up the definition of “ground and pound” and he was able to pull the split decision. Lesnar without a doubt is the kryptonite that will stop Herring tonight.
Ben Saunders beats Ryan Thomas
Chris Wilson beats Steve Bruno
Andre Gusmao beats Jon Jones
Cheick Kongo beats Dan Evensen
Luke Cummo beats Tamdan McCory
Jason McDonald beats Demian Maia (Upset)
Manny Gamburyan beats Rob Emerson
Roger Huerta beats Kenny Florian (Upset)
Brock Lesnar beats Heath Herring
George St. Pierre beats Jon Fitch