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UFC 87: Seek and Destroy Preview

UFC 87: Seek and Destroy will be coming to us all live from the Target Center in Minnesota?that's right, Minnesota?on August 9th. Needless to say, UFC 87 will be another in a long line of outstanding events that the organization has put on, culminating with a main event bout between Georges "Rush" St. Pierre and Jon Fitch.

But there's this fight between Roger Huerta and Kenny Florian that just could steal the show. With that, let's get it on!

Georges St. Pierre (16-2) vs. Jon Fitch (21-2):
St. Pierre may be the most explosive athlete to ever grace the Octagon. Obviously, that's saying something. However, he's also proven to possess ridiculous takedowns, takedown defense, and ground control skills.

Look no further to the way he took down Josh Koscheck time after time or the way that he shirked Matt Hughes takedowns for reinforcement.

What's worse for his would-be-opponents is that St. Pierre is also an excellent striker, coming from a base in karate. Thus, he possesses excellent kicks, above average hands, and the power to knock you out. In recent fights he has also demonstrated above average submission skills.

In other words, St. Pierre simply has it all in a physical sense. Some have questioned his head; in other words, his mental strength. On the other hand, every time that they've done that?after bouts against Matt Hughes and Matt Serra?he's come through with decisive victories in revenge matches.

Jon Fitch, like St. Pierre, is very big and strong. Further, he's also an excellent athlete that has outstanding takedowns, takedown defense (see his fight against Diego Sanchez), and ground control skills. What's more, Fitch has the stand up and submission skills to make this fight interesting.

In other words, he's big, strong, and extremely well- rounded.

Prediction: This should be a very good fight. In a technical sense these two warriors seem pretty close coming in. Further, to ignore Jon Fitch's size and athleticism would be a mistake.

But Georges St. Pierre is frighteningly athletic. Figure that his athletic advantages will be what put him over the top in this bout.

Georges St. Pierre wins in a close decision.

Brock Lesnar (1-1) vs. Heath Herring (28-13):
Brock Lesnar is a huge and powerful man with awesome wrestling skills. Check out how easily he took former UFC Heavyweight Champion Frank Mir down in their last encounter for reinforcement.

Did we say he's huge and powerful too?

The bottom line is that right now we know only three things about Lesnar?he's huge and ridiculously powerful, he has awesome wrestling skills, and he's been working very hard at improving in MMA.

Heath Herring is a very well- rounded and tough fighter that has been in there with the best. Thus, he has a decided experience advantage over Lesnar. Furthering the aforementioned comments, he hits hard, has pretty good submission skills from dominant positions, and comes to fight every time he steps into a ring/ cage.

Prediction: This is an interesting fight. Heck, anytime that Brock Lesnar walks into an Octagon it's interesting. The fight should end up going where Lesnar wants it as he will have a decided wrestling advantage in this one. Could Herring catch him with a big punch? Sure. But Herring is not known as one of the most technical strikers in the game, which may lend to him having difficulty hitting home with a big shot before Lesnar's superior wrestling takes over.

Thus, expect Lesnar to be on top raining down scary punches on Herring early on. Though Herring could catch his opponent in a submission from that position, it's far less likely that will occur than with someone like Frank Mir. So the real question would seem to be, can Lesnar stop Herring or keep up a strong ground and pound pace for three full rounds?

Have you seen this guy workout? Guess is that he can keep the pace if needed. Then again, he may not need to for three full rounds if those elbows catch.

Brock Lesnar wins via TKO in round two.

Roger Huerta (20-1-1) vs. Kenny Florian (9-3):
Roger Huerta has the heart of a champion. To question that means that you didn't see his last fight against Clay Guida, perhaps one of the best MMA fights ever. On top of that heart and his ridiculous cardio, are some very well- rounded skills.

Namely, Huerta possesses above average technical stand up and power and submissions/ submission defense.

The only perceived weakness may be that he was controlled rather handily by Clay Guida in their last encounter until he defeated him. So a high quality wrestler might be able to ground and pound their way to victory.

Kenny Florian combines solid wrestling with upper echelon jiu jitsu skills. He's also improved on his feet to the point that he could be classified as a very diverse and strong Muay Thai fighter. Then there's the obvious toughness and strong cardio he displays in each and every match he partakes in.

In the past, like Roger Huerta, Florian was dominated by a superior wrestler (Sean Sherk). That said, he's improved his strength to the point that it would be a much taller order for someone to control him like that now.

Prediction: Both guys are tough. Both guys have strong stand up. Both guys are strong on the ground.

In other words, this is a tough call and could end up being a Fight of the Year candidate.

In the end, however, Kenny Florian may have a more diverse stand up skill set, giving him an ever so slight stand up edge. Florian also seems to have better submission skills. Though Huerta's wrestling may be better, El Matador may find it difficult controlling Florian in a ground and pound capacity.

This one could go either way, though. Still, give it to the former TUF runner up.

Kenny Florian wins via unanimous decision.

THE REST

Manny Gamburyan (8-2) vs. Rob Emerson (7-6):
Emerson is tough and is a good striker. That said, Gamburyan should be able to put him on his back and work his magic.

Manny Gamburyan wins via submission in round one.

Jason MacDonald (20-9) vs. Demian Maia (7-0):
Talk about a tough call! Maia is better on the ground; MacDonald is better on his feet. But MacDonald's game has always been about submissions. Thus, he may have some difficulty changing things up.

Demian Maia wins via submission in round three.

Luke Cummo (6-5) vs. Tamden McCrory (8-1):
Cummo has never been stopped in a fight. McCrory is a strong up and comer. Still, he may make a mistake on his feet against a guy that needs a win big time.

Luke Cummo wins via TKO in round two.

Cheick Kongo (11-4-1) vs. Dan Evensen (10-2):
Both guys like to hit, but Kongo has much more experience against upper level competition.

Cheick Kongo wins via TKO in round three.

Andre Gusmao (5-0) vs. Jon Jones (5-0):
Gusmao is a very good striker with some excellent power. Jones seems to be a fighter of the same ilk.

Andre Gusmao wins via TKO in round one.

Chris Wilson (13-4) vs. Steve Bruno (11-3):
Wilson is a well- rounded and experienced Team Quest fighter. Bruno is also well- rounded. But this is his first UFC fight, which always leaves room for jitters.

Chris Wilson wins via unanimous decision.

Ben Saunders (5-0-2) vs. Ryan Thomas (9-1):
Thomas wants to get this one to the ground. Figure that Saunders won't let him.

Ben Saunders wins via TKO in round two.