UFC 87 Recap and final thoughts


After all was said and done, UFC 87 'Seek and Destroy' from the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, delivered with almost every bout - though not necessarily in the way some predicted.

Fans (and haters) of my predictions column will be happy to hear I'm changing my name to 'Nostradumbass' after a couple of backwards picks.

The Florian victory I should have been able to predict. But Rob Emerson? I can say with a bit of confidence that I wasn't the only viewer who didn't see that one coming.

I wasn't surprised that Manny Gamburyan was sleeping on the job courtesy of an Emerson right. What did surprise me is that he would initiate such an aggressive attack while keeping his head completely upright like he was peeking out of a manhole.

Both fighters will continue to get airtime, though I'm sure this KO loss for Gamburyan, like the one cousin Karo suffered at Fight Night 13, will be a major setback for his title aspirations.

In other lightweight action, Kenny Florian proved that he's not just a skilled fighter, but also an intelligent one. He avoided the kind of reckless brawling that has allowed Roger Huerta to excel so many times in the past.

I'm not sure it lived up to its billing as fight of the year, but it was definitely entertaining. In the end, it was the technique of Kenny Florian that garnered him the win while highlighting just how much he's matured as a fighter.

One person who hasn't matured that much is Brock Lesnar, or so it would seem from his post-fight antics. Defenders will give him a free pass because the heat of the moment can make you do crazy things, but it was the duration - not the content of his tomfoolery that had me irked.

Still, it's hard to deny how scary he can become if he continues to improve. He moves at a blistering pace and has the strength of a Bondo ape. I don't want to go too crazy over tonight's performance because I think the first punch really broke Heath Herring right out of the gate, effectively turning him into a punching bag for rounds two and three.

And is anyone else perturbed at Dan Miragliotta for not allowing Herring up to five minutes to recover from the "accidental" eye poke? The same eye that ended up swelling shut? You can take the man out of the conspiracy, but you can't take the conspiracy out of the man.

You can't take the heart out of a man either. Jon Fitch made it clear tonight that he belonged in that fight with Georges St. Pierre. He may have been threshed for 25 minutes, but his ability to survive and continue fighting reinforces what most fans already knew.

Fitch wasn't fighting for the title because there was no one else for Joe Silva to choose, he was fighting for the title because he deserved to be.

Just like Georges St. Pierre deserves all the accolades that come his was in the months to follow. His ability to neutralize even the best wrestlers coupled with his deadly striking makes me wonder if BJ is going to regret his two-and-a-half year quest to rematch the Canadian Cattle-prod.

Speaking of things that are electric, Demian Maia will be a handful for any fighter at 185lbs. Okay, I will confess to being impressed with Jason MacDonald's performance in their middleweight bout.

I didn't think he had the chops to hang with Maia and while he eventually succumbed to the submission, J-Mac was holding his own for much longer than I expected.

Overall, I was pleased with the quality of the pay-per-view. UFC 87 had just about everything: Upsets, knockouts, submissions and storylines that will have an impact in the very near future.

In the meantime, I have some unanswered questions from tonight's event.

-If the UFC wants to cash in on Penn vs. St. Pierre 2, what happens to Kenny Florian in the lightweight division? He's already faced Sean Sherk and I'm sure they don't want to squash their build of Nate Diaz. Calling Tyson Griffin...come in Mr. Griffin...

-Is Mark Coleman in the sauna trying to make 205 after watching tonight's pay-per-view? And what happens with his return at this point anyway? Shogun in December?

-Why does every new heavyweight that wins in dominating fashion have to be paired with Fedor Emelianenko? Didn't we just go through this with Cain Velasquez back in July? I had the pleasure of deleting a comment that read: LESNAR vs FEDOR! WHO TAKES IT?

-Are we witnessing the next generation of UFC Hall of Famers? Elder folks wax nostalgic about living through the era of great athletes. Will we be telling our kids about the days when we as fans got to watch BJ Penn, Georges St. Pierre and Anderson Silva?

What say you?

For complete blow-by-blow coverage of UFC 87 click here.

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