Monday, August 4, 2008

August PPV Battle: UFC 87 vs $55

There's only one big PPV this month, UFC 87. So, instead of deciding which PPV is more worth your money, I'm going to try and decide if UFC 87 is worth your $55.

Main Event:

GSP vs Fitch

GSP is typically a very entertaining fighter. He fights at a fast pace and is talented enough to not only take the fighter anywhere, but to also finish the fight anywhere, unlike, oh say, Forrest Griffin.

Fitch is a decision machine.

GSP is out to cement his place as the top 170 lb fighter in the world and try to get his name thrown back into the best pound-for-pound fighter debate.

Fitch wants to show the UFC how big a mistake they made cutting him from the first season of The Ultimate Fighter at the last minute (Note: He was dropped for Diego Sanchez).

As much as I like Fitch, I don't see this fight being close. I think Vegas listing GSP as -325 is an understatement. Fitch is pretty much a one-dimensional wrestler who can't finish, and GSP can finish a fight anywhere.

I can't call this one an entertaining fight because GSP's one-sided victories aren't as captivating as Silva's. When watching Silva walk-through an opponent, you feel as though you're watching one of the greatest ever. Right now, GSP doesn't give off that historically great vibe.

This main event doesn't kill the card and can easily be saved by a good main card. Let's look at the main card.

Main Card:

Lesnar vs Herring

It is the UFC's sideshow versus a perennial also-ran.

Herring's good enough to always be in the mix at heavyweight, but he's not good enough to be anything more than in the mix. Also, since coming to the UFC, he's proved incapable of finishing a fight.

Do you think Lesnar is jealous of Kimbo Slice? Slice gets to main event EliteXC while fighting Thompson & Abbott, while Lesnar gets thrown in against ex-champ, and possibly future champ, Mir and the solid Herring. It is a great strategy on Dana White's part. Either Lesnar proves himself to be an elite heavyweight or by the time his UFC contract is up he's useless to any other promotion (crappy record and no longer a novelty).

This will probably play out like Lesnar's 2 previous fights. He'll come charging out, get the take down, and flail away from full-guard. Only this time he'll probably get the stoppage because Herring's ground game has looked like crap lately (he got dominated on the ground by O'Brien and struggled on the ground against Kongo).

Entertaining? No, Herring's UFC fights have been crap. I've seen Lesnar's shtick before, and the novelty factor has already worn off.

Florian vs Huerta

Fuck and yes.

These 2 guys are arguably the 2nd and 3rd best lightweights in the UFC (I put both of them ahead of lay-and-pray Sherk, largely because I hate watching Sherk, and you can make an argument for putting them ahead of Stevenson) and both are either top 10 or top 15 lightweights in the world.

I can't recommend this fight highly enough. It has 2 extremely talented lightweights both of whom fight at a fast pace and can actually finish fights.

Entertaining: Absolutely.

Gamburyan vs Emerson

What exactly has Emerson done to deserve main card status? Gamburyan has ditched the lay-and-pray style that he used so effectively on whichever season of TUF he was on and has become a bit of a submission dynamo. Emerson lucked his way into a no contest when Maynard put his head too far forward on a slam KO'ing himself and won a bad spilt decision in an incredibly forgettable fight. And, that's after losing twice while on TUF. How does that translate into the main card of a PPV?

Entertaining: Neither fighter makes you groan, but I can't help wondering how this made its way onto the main card.

MacDonald vs Maia

This is a battle of 2 very good middleweights.

Right now, MacDonald is a gatekeeper for elite middleweights. He'll finish average to good middleweights, but will be overwhelmed by elite middleweights (see his fight against Franklin). But, he is always fun to watch.

This fight will let everyone know how good Maia is. He's looked very good finishing his 2 UFC fights against solid competition.

This fight has as much talent as Cote vs Almeida, but styles that should make for a more entertaining fight, of course, waiting in line at the DMV is more entertaining than Cote vs Almeida was.

Entertaining: Yes

In total, we have a lackluster main event, a novelty act, a fantastic fight, why is this a main card fight, and a solid fight. Does that make UFC 87 worth your $55? I'd say no.

But wait, my cable company is running a promotion where I can order this PPV for $45. Is this worth $45? Depends on your opinion of GSP vs Fitch & the Lesnar side show. $45 is right on the edge of whether or not I think this one is worth it (it is worth $40, but not worth $50).

Best news about this PPV? Kongo has finally been demoted to the undercard. I so thought this guy was a serious heavyweight contender after he started his UFC career with 2 TKO's. Then, he became a decision machine without knock-out power and no ground game. Then, he became unwatchable when he developed enough of a ground game to lay on top of Cro Cop and Herring. Be very, very glad you won't have to watch him. If you have tickets to the event, use his fight as a good time to run to the bar and/or bathroom.

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