MMA World Rankings

MMA World Rankings

UFC 87 Preview (August, 2008)

170 lbs. Title – Georges St. Pierre [1] vs. Jon Fitch [2]

Georges St. Pierre (16-2) has too much skill to lose this fight. Jon Fitch (16-2) has a stronger chin and has the edge in mental toughnes but he can’t match tools with St. Pierre.

155 lbs. – Kenny Florian [10] vs. Roger Huerta [14]

Kenny Florian (9-3) is going to have to neutralize Roger Huerta’s (20-1-1) tenacity to win this fight. Huerta is quicker and more powerful than Florian but he’s going to have to avoid Kenny’s notorious elbows and his great submission game for 3 rounds to take home the win.

HVY – Heath Herring [10] vs. Brock Lesnar [43]

Brock Lesnar (1-1) is super powerful and is going to come right after Heath Herring (28-13) with a barrage of strikes and some heavy ground and pound. But Heath is a survivor. He will take a beating and keep on coming no matter how far behind he is. My guess is Lesnar will either gas or Heath will take him apart on the feet with repeated leg kicks.

155 lbs. – Manny Gamburyan [37] vs. Rob Emerson [65]

Manny Gamburyan (8-2) is a bulldog. He’s going to come out and clinch with Rob Emerson (7-6) early. From there, he will throw Emerson to the mat and work his submissions. Emerson must keep the fight standing to win because Manny appears to be virtually impossible to submit.

185 lbs. – Jason MacDonald [30] vs. Demian Maia [31]

Jason MacDonald (20-9) must keep this fight standing. Demian Maia (7-0) is one of the best submission experts in the world and way beyond MacDonald in terms of grappling skill. If Maia can get past an established veteran like MacDonald, he will be one step closer to Anderson Silva.

170 lbs. – Tamden McCrory [44] vs. Luke Cummo [59]

Tamden McCrory (8-1) is too much for Luke Cummo (6-5). Cummo is hanging on by a thread to his UFC contract. If he loses here, I would be very surprised to see him back in the octagon. McCrory is young and talented. This should be a showcase fight for him.

HVY – Cheick Kongo [11] vs. Dan Evensen

Cheick Kongo (11-4-1) is arguably the 2nd best striker in the UFC, behind Anderson Silva. Dan Evensen (10-2) is a veteran kickboxer with good strength and agility. He is an unknown fighter right now so it would be imprudent for me to overlook him in this fight. I will say that a win over Kongo would vault him into the upper echelon of the division.

205 lbs. – Andre Gusmao [38] vs. Jon Jones

Andre Gusmao (5-0) Jon Jones (5-0)

170 lbs. – Chris Wilson [38] vs. Steve Bruno

Chris Wilson (13-4) Steve Bruno (11-3)

170 lbs. – Ben Saunders vs. Ryan Thomas

Ben Saunders (5-0-2) Ryan Thomas (9-1)


August 6, 2008 - Posted by | MMA Analysis | , ,


  1. I’d like the winner of Kongo/Evenson to fight Hardonk to figure out the absolute best HW striker.

    I don’t want to count Steve Bruno out (as he is unknown to me), but I feel pretty confident that Chris Wilson will tear through him. Wilson was a very real threat to #2 Fitch and I think is currently under-ranked, but I understand him needing to earn a higher rank.

    Cummo makes me sad. I was pulling for him during his season of TUF. I was shocked when he managed to survive with Stevenson on the ground after training with Serra. Great KOs and survival. So much potential, I don’t know what happened. I wonder if he could drop to LW.

    Comment by Aas Gutú Adéli | August 7, 2008 | Reply

  2. I think Hardonk has the best kicks but Kongo has better punching.

    I’m curious to see how Wilson progresses. He’s a very good wrestler and has a long reach. I’m pretty sure Bruno fights out of American Top Team so this will be a ATT vs. Team Quest fight.

    Cummo vs. Tamden is going to be a great fight IMO. Both guys have huge hearts and both like to put on a show.

    Other thoughts:

    – Lesnar vs. Herring and Florian vs. Huerta will contend for fight of the night.

    – Gusmao will be a top contender very soon and if Jon Jones can hang with him, then he has a bright future.

    – GSP will destroy Fitch (Though I really hope it’s more competitive than I think)

    – Emerson will give Manny a tougher fight than people expect.

    Comment by Kevin | August 7, 2008 | Reply

  3. -I hope you’re right about Lesnar/Herring, I’m incredibly intrigued by the fight. It is one of the toughest fights for me to call in a long time. Will Lesnar just take Herring down like Kongo did? Like Lesnar did to his two mma opponents so far? Lesnar by standing KO? KO slam? Herring by standing KO? Herring by Sub? Herring by Lesnar gassing? I’m perplexed. Can’t wait.

    -Huerta/Florian is very exciting. I’m a fan of both, but I have to pick Florian. I think it’ll happen in the second.

    -I foresee GSP hitting that spinebuster takedown with ease and rolling over Fitch on the ground. But I hope I’m wrong.

    -I think you’re likely wrong about Emerson/Manny. I think Manny will wade through damage for the takedown and ruin Emerson on the ground. But I’d be fine being wrong about this.

    -Your Hardonk/Kongo assessment is exactly why I want them to fight. I fear Kong will go for a takedown. If Kongo took Herring down, I think he could get Hardonk down. That’d be unfulfilling.

    Comment by Aas Gutú Adéli | August 7, 2008 | Reply

  4. – In the worst of all possible scenarios….Herring by ankle-lock submission in the 1st minute of the fight. (Knock on wood)

    – Florian is one of the smartest fighters in the game and if I were to bet some money, I’d put it on him to find a way to win.

    – I think Fitch is going to be a fish out of water when he gets put on his back. He needs to dirty box with GSP and take this fight into the later rounds.

    Comment by Kevin | August 7, 2008 | Reply

  5. in my opinion,

    -in the worst possible scenario, Lesnar “containment wrestles” Herring for the win by decision, amidst boos.

    -Fitch is a blackbelt in guerrilla jj, if he proves to be a fish out of water on his back, they should consider docking him a belt

    -Florian has surprised me in most of his fights, adding judo takedowns, adding wrestling positional control, adding better and better MT. I wonder what new he might bring to this fight. Capoeira? An Aoki-esque sub?

    Comment by Aas Gutú Adéli | August 8, 2008 | Reply

  6. The Middleweight match-up is a close one, its funny that you have Maia and McDonald one apart, and so do we… but we have Maia (#21) above MacDonald (#22).

    Comment by JCS | August 8, 2008 | Reply

  7. Gutu,

    I saw on the Countdown show that Fitch got his Blackbelt. Very impressive. We are probably going to see him on his back so it will be interesting to compare his jiu-jitsu with that of Matt Serra (Renzo Gracie Black Belt) who got owned. Belt levels in MMA are strange. Matt Hughes destroyed Royce Gracie. GSP destroyed Serra. Kevin Burns subbed Roan Carneiro (Black Belt). If a BJJ blackbelt get owned by someone without a belt (a la Hughes/Gracie), that tells me that belts are becoming artifacts of the past.


    That is wierd. It’s kind of a crossroads fight for me. I think Maia is going to be the guy that eventually beats Anderson Silva. I also think MacDonald had his one and only shot at a title shot when he lost to Franklin.

    Comment by Kevin | August 8, 2008 | Reply

  8. -Absolutely true about the belts.
    It sort of reminds me of the story of MT vs Kung Fu.

    I haven’t seen much in the way of slick jits out of Fitch, with strength being a little more even in this fight than GSP/Serra and Hughes/Gracie, maybe we’ll see some skill.

    In theory Fitch should be the demigod: a bjj blackbelt, with a college wrestling background and he trains with top level MT guys. But I still fear he’s going to get whooped.

    -re: Maia/MacDonald – Maia has potential (as does Jacare) and I’m interested in how far it’ll take him. MacDonald is a decent test (as was Miller for Jacare) and if Maia has trouble with him his trajectory will be downgraded in my book (as Almeida’s was, he was supposed to roll over Cote).

    Comment by Aas Gutú Adéli | August 8, 2008 | Reply

  9. Interested where you’re gonna place Brock. I can’t see leaving Herring above Kongo and then pushing Brock above them, unless you’re gonna move that whole chain downward.

    Comment by JCS | August 10, 2008 | Reply

  10. JCS,

    I added a bit a the human element to the rankings:) I had to re-adjust a bit in order to keep Mir ahead of Lesnar. I figure that Lesnar getting a top guy like Herring in his 3rd fight is an abberration and that I won’t be having to go back and re-adjust all that often.

    Comment by Kevin | August 12, 2008 | Reply

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