Check back here tonight at BloodyElbow.com beginning at 10PM EST / 7PM PDT for live play-by-play and results of UFC 87's main card. Be sure to make your voice heard and offer your thoughts on what's sure to be a fantastic night of fights.
Click here to see all undercard results live.
Alright, we're less than 30 minutes away from the beginning of the action. Or rather, 30 minutes away from "Optimus Bellum Domitor" and the unveiling of Mike Goldberg's Haimov watch of choice for the evening. Sounds like the prelims have been pretty exciting, so as usual please refrain from undercard spoilers in the comments.
And we're off!
Before the opening package, the UFC dedicates the show to Nelsen Bernardo, an in-house graphic designer for Zuffa who passed away in a car accident last week.
Demian Maia vs. Jason MacDonald
Maia enters to... Braveheart music? He's got Wandy in his corner. I see Clay Guida in the crowd, so hopefully we'll get some great shadowboxing later on in the evening. MacDonald's entrance music of choice is Metallica's cover of "Turn The Page."
Round 1 - Maia throwing left kicks low and high to start off. MacDonald clinches almost immediately and Maia pulls guard. Jason staying tight to the body as the Brazilian peppers him with shots. MacDonald leaves an arm exposed and Maia cinches up a VERY tight triangle. He pulls MacDonald's head down and Joe Rogan pronounces the bout over, but "The Athelete" won't tap. Now MacDonald stands and frees himself, quickly takes Maia's back and sinks in a rear naked choke! Maia frees himself and MacDonald works from the guard. MacDonald stands and lunges in, grabbing Maia's head and squeezing on a guillotine. Maia's cut near the left eye, now slips out of the guillotine and takes MacDonald's back. Now Maia takes the rear naked with :30 remaining! MacDonald rides it out and the round expires with the submission and body triangle still sunk in. BloodyElbow.com scores the round 10-9 for Demian Maia.
Round 2 - Maia catches MacDonald with a hard left hook to open the round, and MacDonald immediately shoots for a double and puts him against the fence. Now Jason against the fence with Maia throwing big knees, but not much connecting. Maia trips him to the ground, now in full guard raining down punches. Some hard elbows from Maia and MacDonald is bleeding from the nose. Maia smothering and neutralizing MacDonald's attempts at offense from the bottom with 2:00 left. Now Maia in full mount, throwing non-stop punches, alternating left and right as MacDonald simply covers up. These shots aren't landing flush but they're obviously frustrating the Canadian fighter. MacDonald finally escapes; Maia has isolated his left arm but can't do anything with it and it's MacDonald's turn on top again. BloodyElbow.com scores the round 10-9 for Demian Maia.
The crowd surprisingly cheers for a very technical match between rounds. MacDonald's corner tells him he needs to knock Maia out.
Round 3 - Maia tries for a guillotine as the round begins, but MacDonald trips him down and lands on top, popping his head out. Now MacDonald takes Maia's back again and tries for a neck crank/guillotine. Maia with another great escape and now the BJJ expert is back on top. MacDonald rolls and gives up his back, now he's taking shots that drive his head into the mat as Maia tries to snake his right hand under the neck. Both fighters look exhausted. MacDonald stops paying attention for a fraction of a second and Maia loops his right arm under and locks on an inescapable rear naked choke. MacDonald taps Maia's leg and Yves Lavigne steps in to stop it. Demian Maia def. Jason MacDonald via Submission (Rear Naked Choke) - R3, 2:44
Roger Huerta vs. Kenny Florian
Roger Huerta looks fired up as ever - he's doing wind sprints back and forth across the octagon. Looks like KenFlo borrowed Uma Thurman's tracksuit from Kill Bill. And don't look now, but "Big Dan" is our ref.
Round 1 - Huerta opens up with some sharp leg kicks. Florian tries to jump in with a knee, and eats a couple punches for his trouble. Takedown by Florian, now in Huerta's full mount. Huerta gives up his back and Kenny's got him flattened out against the cage, punishing the adopted Minnesotan with strikes. The fight gets back to its feet as Huerta stands and shakes Florian off. It's almost like it's nothing for Roger to give up his back, he gets out of that situation at least once every fight. Crisp strikes from Huerta that seem to faze his opponent, who drops down for a single-leg but is stuffed. Now the fighters clinch and Florian brings up a hard knee to Huerta's body. Huerta is pushing forward but missing a lot of punches due to some nice head movement from the Boston boy. Very close round, but I've got to give it to Kenny for taking the back. BloodyElbow.com scores the round 10-9 for Kenny Florian.
Round 2 - Huerta looks desperate for a takedown in the first minute, but is repeatedly stuffed as Florian backs into the cage. Goldberg notes "Kenny's avoidance is good." Kenny shoots but Huerta stuffs and is working for a standing kimura. Now they go to the ground and Florian takes top, then Huerta's back... but he's up too high and Roger escapes again. 2:00 left and they're back standing. Florian comes forward and sweeps Huerta's left leg. Roger hits ground but the Bostonian can't capitalize. Florian looking Machida-esque in his gameplan, peppering Huerta with shots whenever he comes forward. Huerta is in love with his Superman punch, which has been completely ineffective in this match thus far. I think he's thrown seven or eight. BloodyElbow.com scores the round 10-9 for Kenny Florian.
Round 3 - The two enthusiastically touch gloves as the round begins. Roger rushes in wildly and Kenny single-legs him clear across the cage. Back to the feet and Florian is landing stiff jabs at will that seem to simultaneously bewilder and piss off Huerta. Florian throws an elbow which narrowly misses Huerta, to which Kenny responds by pointing to Huerta's head. Maybe a little gamesmanship, as Huerta seems to check his forehead for a cut. Nasty front kick from Kenny catches Huerta right beneath the jaw. Now Huerta eats some jabs and attempts to unload, but Florian's dancing out of the way of almost everything. Huerta puts everything into a left kick to Florian's midsection, but overexerts himself and falls to the ground. Florian tries for a guillotine with about :20 remaining, then shoots some knees up into Huerta's grill as time runs out. BloodyElbow.com scores the round 10-9 for Kenny Florian.
BloodyElbow.com scores the bout 30-27 for Kenny Florian.
Kenny Florian def. Roger Huerta via Unanimous Decision (30-27 x 3)
After the fight, Florian says he "really wanted a dominant performance over Roger" and dedicates the win to fellow Bostonian Jorge Rivera, whose eldest daughter passed away this week.
Rob Emerson vs. Manvel Gamburyan
I'm suddenly moved to root for Rob Emerson, who enters to the Diplo remix of M.I.A.'s "Paper Planes." Very nice.
Round 1 - Gamburyan comes out swinging with a pair of overhand rights. As he throws the second one, Emerson jacks his jaw with a right of his own that sends the Armenian to the canvas. Manny struggles to get back to his feet, but Emerson follows him down and connects with a left hook that puts Gamburyan out cold. He wakes up two seconds later, but Yves Lavigne has already (correctly) called this one off.
Rob Emerson def. Manvel Gamburyan via KO (Punches) - R1, 0:12
Brock Lesnar vs. Heath Herring
Lesnar is sponsored by Jack Link's beef jerky and enters to "Shout At The Devil." Oh man, did I seriously pick Brock Lesnar? "Big Dan" just poked Herring in the left eye during the staredown. WTF?
Round 1 - Lesnar comes out with a ridiculous flying knee that misses, then composes himself and sends Herring tumbling to the canvas with a right. Lesnar jumps on the injured "Crazy Horse" and squeezes Herring's head underneath his massive arm. Herring still in the guillotine, back to the cage - it doesn't look serious but some blood is running down the Texan's face now. Herring shoves out. Lesnar shoots and takes Herring down with ease. Looks like Lesnar is going for some ride time as he maintains Herring's back. Brock is landing tons of powerful shots from the back, now Herring looking up at Miragliotta and "Big Dan" warns Lesnar about hitting to the back of the head. Lesnar absolutely controlling this, shoving his man into the cage with complete positional dominance with under a minute left. The crowd chants and some of that WWE experience comes out as Brock showboats, raising his head momentarily to nod along with the crowd. BloodyElbow.com scores the round 10-8 for Brock Lesnar.
Round 2 - Another shot from Lesnar to open the round, backing Herring into the fence, but Heath doesn't go down this time. Second attempt does it. Lesnar in side control. Big elbows connecting to the face of Herring, who tries to stand and gives up his back. Now the Texas turns on his side, arms wrapped around Lesnar's neck for dear life as the wrestler sends powerful knees into the small of Herring's back. Somehow Herring gets to his feet and presses Lesnar against the cage. Both fighters are warned multiple times by Miragliotta not to grab the fence. Heath shoots some good knees up the middle as they tie up against the fence, but Lesnar scores another takedown as the round expires. BloodyElbow.com scores the round 10-9 for Brock Lesnar.
Round 3 - Herring obviously knows he needs to finish this and rushes in with punches that connect but don't faze Lesnar at all. Lesnar ties it up and scores yet another takedown, taking the back once again. More huge knees to Herring's spine. Lesnar in full mount now. Herring scrambles out but Lesnar maintains side control; he's picking up and rolling Heath at will. Herring goes to stand, but Lesnar's arms are wrapped around his waist. Sensing the impending suplex, Heath wisely sits back down. Herring continues to scramble, but Lesnar winds up in side control or full mount each time. The match ends and Lesnar looks ecstatic, jumping up and down, pointing at Herring with his mouth agape. Not sure if he meant it as an insult, but Herring walks over to embrace and congratulate him regardless. BloodyElbow.com scores the round 10-9 for Brock Lesnar.
BloodyElbow.com scores the bout 30-26 for Brock Lesnar.
Brock Lesnar def. Heath Herring via Unanimous Decision (30-26 x 3)
Jon Fitch vs. Georges St. Pierre
Round 1 - Fitch comes in to strike right away but is met with a single-leg from the champ which drops him down. Fitch sitting up, keeping an active guard as St. Pierre works to pass and lands body shots and elbows from the top. GSP passes to half guard, now back to butterfly. Fitch scrambles but only makes it to his knees, where GSP tries a guillotine then scores another takedown. Fitch scrambles, back to his feet. Fitch throws a lazy leg kick and St. Pierre starches him with a hard right that sends the challenger crashing down. Fitch shoots desperately, GSP still standing and throwing punches downward. Fitch seems out of it but is being given a chance to recover. GSP does not seem to be a rush to finish this. No pun intended. St. Pierre follows the wounded fighter to the mat, now in side control and landing hard elbows to finish out the frame. BloodyElbow.com scores the round 10-9 for Georges St. Pierre.
Round 2 - St. Pierre is eluding every strike Fitch comes with. It's turned into a boxing match for the first two minutes of the second. GSP picking Fitch apart with right high and left leg kicks, plus jab-straight combinations which have bloodied Fitch's face. The challenger going to the body now with his punches. Spinning back-kick to the midsection lands for Georges. Fitch continues to step in with rights, but St. Pierre (who is alternating orthodox and southpaw rapidly now) is making him pay with the jab every time. Now switching it up, a left finally connects for Fitch. He's gonna need a lot of those. Fitch handily stuffs a double-leg from the champ. Jon going to the left hand and landing more, but he's still getting tagged almost every time he walks in. BloodyElbow.com scores the round 10-9 for Georges St. Pierre.
Round 3 - A huge right hook sends Fitch falling on his ass and his mouthpiece flying out. GSP takes his back, looking for a rear naked with both hooks sunk in. But Fitch flips around! St. Pierre on his back for the first time in this fight. The left eye of Fitch is looking terribly swollen, and blood is pooling on St. Pierre from an unseen cut. GSP scrambles and now lands in Fitch's guard. North-South position now, with Georges looking to unload with knees against the cage. A scramble and it's back to the feet. The fighters exchange low kicks; Fitch's looks to buckle St. Pierre's left knee. Fitch is in deep, deep trouble after a beautiful right high kick and follow-up right knee on the way down. Somehow he's still conscious and manages to stand. Fitch motions to his eye toward his corner - either he can't see or he wants them to get the Enswell ready now. BloodyElbow.com scores the round 10-9 for Georges St. Pierre.
Round 4 - The challenger's face is much improved after a visit to his corner, but for how long? Now GSP cut beneath his left eyebrow. Steady back-and-forth in the first two minutes of this round, with Fitch landing some clean shots and St. Pierre looking markedly slower. Low kick from the champ but it was unintentional and Fitch isn't hurt. Jon trying to measure out the jab, but Georges shoots one right back while he's waiting. St. Pierre stuffs a long single from Fitch, hopping around the cage on one leg. Jon won't let go of the leg, forcing GSP's side into the fence. Fitch falls to the ground but still won't let go of the leg. Now he does, St. Pierre in guard. Fitch kicking his heels into GSP's back. St. Pierre explodes looking for a heel hook in the last seconds of the round, but Fitch was never in danger. BloodyElbow.com scores the round 10-9 for Georges. St. Pierre.
Round 5 - The doctor checked Fitch between rounds and okay'ed him to come out. St. Pierre is landing right jabs and left hooks at will. Now a spinning back-kick and a takedown. Three minutes left and the champion is sitting in Fitch's guard on the verge of his first title defense. GSP postures and lands some nasty looking rights. Fitch trying to control the hands, possibly looking for an arm, but it's way too late and he looks way too tired. Back to the feet... and back down again. :30 remaining now, Fitch tries to scramble one final time but just winds up on his butt against the cage. Lots of class from both men just after the final horn sounds, kneeling before one another with heads bowed in the center of the cage. BloodyElbow.com scores the round 10-8 for Georges St. Pierre.
BloodyElbow.com scores the bout 50-44 for Georges St. Pierre.
Georges St. Pierre def. Jon Fitch via Unanimous Decision (50-43, 50-44 x 2)
Georges St. Pierre retains the UFC Welterweight Championship.