Nick Diaz and Carlos Condit will be fighting for the welterweight interim title. This is a very interesting match up. Condit is well-rounded with great composure in tense fights. Diaz loves to put on pressure and it’s that pressure that breaks down many of his opponents. But in this fight, Diaz will be up against someone who can deal with an onslaught of punishment and dish major punishment of his own. Condit will need to prevent Diaz from getting into a groove such as allowing Diaz to throw hundreds of those slap punches and controlling the pace and the octagon. I see this being a very close fight but with the edge going to Carlos Condit.
Carlos Condit beats Nick Diaz
Roy Nelson beats Fabricio Werdum
Josh Koscheck beats Mike Pierce
Renan Barao beats Scott Jorgensen
Dustin Poirier beats Max Halloway
Ed Herman beats Clifford Starks
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
Serra vs GSP
It has been about a year since George St. Pierre loss his title. A 10 to 1 underdog in their last fight, Serra shocked the MMA community by beating the seemingly invincible GSP. Today GSP will get his redemption and he will have the opportunity to do it in his hometown of Montreal.
Matt Serra is on this roller coaster that is riding high as the Champion of the Welterweight division. But is he a true champ? He did beat GSP in their last outing, but all great fighters get beat sometime in their career. Great fighters are great because they’ve been in epic battles in the cage and hold victory over ranked fighters, or even clearing out a division within their weight class. That’s what makes fighters great. Matt Serra came from the bottom of the division to join and win a TV show contest and for Serra the credibility just isn’t there. The TUF show was called ‘The Comeback’ and there was a reason why he was was on it. He had a chance to fight Matt Hughes, but had to pull out due to an injury. If Serra would have beaten Hughes then he would have definitely been considered a threat in the division.
I believe there is a possiblity that Serra can win this fight again because like with any fight anything can happen. Serra beat GSP last year because he threw a well-placed punch at the right timing and stunned GSP. Serra didn’t control the stand up game or the ground game. It was just a great punch that caught GSP. Besides pulling out another awesome punch I can’t see Serra winning by any other means except for taking GSP’s back and work for a submission which is very unlikely. For GSP I see him standing with Serra and picking him apart then take Serra to the ground and pound him out for a TKO similar to what he did against Hughes and Sherk.
GSP training with Greg Jackson’s camp is probably the best thing he’s done in his career and which is why he’ll be back on top of the Welterweight division.
Franklin vs Lutter
Franklin and Lutter are some of my favorite fighters and when I found out they were fighting I was really excited. I like these fighter because they come into the cage and do exactly what they need to do to win. There’s no ego and no showboating. Lutter is a BJJ wizard and he uses it to his complete advantage. Unlike other fighters who have great BJJ skills they go into the cage and try to knock out their opponents. Franklin likes to work his stand up game. He uses his power and size advantage to beat his opponents. Nothing flashy. Just a straight beat down. I don’t see this fight going the distance. Lutter will either take Franklin down for a submission or Franklin will beat Lutter on his feet. People should pay close attention to this fight. Both of them are coming off losses to Anderson Silva. Franklin got destroyed by Silva twice in similar fashion, but Lutter had a moment in the light where he was able to get a full mount on the champ, but was unable to take advantage of the opportunity. The winner of this fight may get another shot at Silva.
GSP beats Serra
Lutter upsets Franklin
Starnes beats Quarry
Bisping beats McCarthy
Doerksen beats MacDonald
Belcher beats Day
Herman beats Maia
Stout beats Clementi
Velasquez beats Morris
Goulet beats Hironaka