Friday, August 8, 2008

Countdown to UFC 87 Luke's Picks

Before we get into the analysis of tomorrow's fight I want to mention that while the Huerta/Florian part of the show last night was entertaining, the fact that they spent a scant two minutes on the Lesnar/Herring fight was ridiculous. Lesnar is the highest paid fighter on the card and he is coming off a loss. Like it or not this is a must win for him and for the UFC as well. The UFC invested a lot of dough in a thus far unproven commodity and as all fight fans know, two losses in a row is just one fight away from being banished to minor leagues. I would hold up Cro Cop as an example of how quickly things can turn south even for the most polished, experienced and devastating fighters. This sport is fickle, you either make it or you are washed up. The only fighter who has consistently comeback after devastating losses is Randy Couture and that is because he is the most mentally tough fighter ever. I don't know it seems to me that if a fighter at Lesnar's pay grade is in that desperate of a position you might want to highlight how much he needs to win, but hey that's just my two cents. Here are my picks for tomorrow night...

Main card

Welterweight Championship bout: Georges St. Pierre vs. Jon Fitch

GSP's major issue is mental toughness. There is no doubt that he is probably a stronger, faster and more skilled fighter than Fitch, but if Fitch makes it a war, like he has for most of his eight victories in the Octagon, is GSP going to be able to keep his head in it for 25 minutes? Just looking at the demeanor of the two fighters GSP seems very serious and focused, now that could also mean that he is uptight and nervous, but I don't know him personally. Fitch is acting like he does before all his fights, relaxed and as if he has nothing to lose. If Fitch is able to make it a war and fight a bloody, messy fight, I think he has a great chance to win. However, he said something last night on the Countdown show that worried me and that was that he likes to get himself into the submission holds of opponents to transfer into positions of dominance. That's not going to work with a top notch fighter like GSP or really any champion for that matter. If he goes with that mentality, this fight will be over in round one or two. I am guessing Fitch goes with what he is used to and gets caught in the first or second round.

Lightweight bout: Kenny Florian vs. Roger Huerta

So much has been said about this fight in the media that I am not going to spend that much time talking about it. Ken Flo is the more experienced and dominant fighter, all of his wins come from KOs or Submissions. Huerta has the heart of a lion and he uses his dark childhood to overcome any adversity he faces in the ring. Huerta is an admirable character, but I don't think he has the experience yet to beat Kenny and as a result I have Kenny taking a decision victory.

Heavyweight bout: Brock Lesnar vs. Heath Herring

This is my fight of the night. Both of these fighters have really stepped their games up and are hungry for a victory. Oh did I mention that they are both giants and extremely athletic? Herring's comparison to King Kong versus Godzilla is not far off. I am going with Brock here, because he is desperate, I don't care what he or the UFC say, he must win this fight.

Lightweight bout: Manny Gamburyan vs. Rob Emerson

How does this fight make the main card and not Kongo? Manny wins via submission

Middleweight bout: Jason MacDonald vs. Demian Maia

How does this fight make the main card and not Kongo? MacDonald wins via TKO

Preliminary card
Heavyweight bout: Cheick Kongo vs. Dan Evensen

What they couldn't get a big name to fight Kongo? Evensen last fought in the now defunct Bodog Fight and is 10-2 so he should provide a decent test for Kongo. Kongo takes home the victory.

Welterweight Bout: Chris Wilson vs. Steve Bruno

I'll take Chris Wilson to win

Welterweight Bout: Ben Saunders vs. Ryan Thomas
Ryan Thomas to win

Welterweight Bout: Luke Cummo vs. Tamdan McCrory

Carzy Luke Cummo to win

Light Heavyweight bout: Andre Gusmao vs. Jon Jones

Jon Jones to win, both fighters making UFC debuts should be interesting

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