Cheick Kongo

Previewing UFC 87: Seek and Destroy


Roger Huerta. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Just two weekends after Anderson Silva destroyed James Irvin on cable television, the Ultimate Fighting Championship returns with it’s latest offering: UFC 87: Seek and Destroy, which is headlined by Georges St. Pierre defending his UFC welterweight title against gritty top contender Jon Fitch, who will be challenging Royce Gracie’s age-old record for consecutive wins.

The UFC didn’t come alone on it’s first trip to the state of Minnesota - hometown products Roger Huerta and Brock Lesnar have come to participate in the biggest fights of their respective careers. Huerta will challenge Kenny Florian for the assumed right to take on UFC lightweight champ B.J. Penn while Lesnar will look to bounce back from an embarrassing first defeat against experienced veteran Heath Herring.

Here’s a little breakdown of what you can expect and what you should watch for during tonight’s event. The televised main card will air on pay-per-view and Yahoo! Sports starting at 10 PM ET. MMA on Tap will have complete play-by-play coverage of the event starting at 8 PM ET, so be sure to check back here throughout the night.

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UFC 87: Seek and Destroy Weigh-In Results


Georges St. Pierre. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

The official weigh-in results for tomorrow night’s UFC 87: Seek and Destroy, which will take place at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, are below. The show’s televised main card will air on pay-per-view starting at 10 PM ET. All fighters successfully made weight.

Main Card:

Georges St. Pierre (170 lbs) vs. Jon Fitch (170 lbs lbs)
Heath Herring (250 lbs) vs. Brock Lesnar (265 lbs)
Kenny Florian (155 lbs) vs. Roger Huerta (155 lbs)
Jason MacDonald (185 lbs) vs. Demian Maia (185 lbs)
Rob Emerson (155 lbs) vs. Manny Gamburyan (155 lbs)

Preliminary Fights:
Cheick Kongo (235 lbs) vs. Dan Evensen (244 lbs)
Luke Cummo (167 lbs) vs. Tamdan McCrory (170 lbs)
Andre Gusmao (205 lbs) vs. Jon Jones (205 lbs)
Chris Wilson (170 lbs) vs. Steve Bruno (170 lbs)
Ben Saunders (170 lbs) vs. Ryan Thomas (170 lbs)

UFC Announces “Seek and Destroy” Prelims


Hermes Franca throws a left hook at Spencer Fisher during their bout in January 2007. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

The Ultimate Fighting Championship has announced four previously rumored preliminary bouts that will take place as part of the organization’s upcoming “Seek and Destroy” event, which will take place on August 9th at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

UFC heavyweight contender Cheick Kongo will attempt to bounce back from a heartbreaking decision loss to Heath Herring back in March when he takes on newcomer Dan Evensen, a BodogFight veteran who has won his last four fights, most recently a decision win over Konstantin Gluhov last November.

Former lightweight title contender Hermes Franca will fight for the first time since testing positive for steroids, along with his last opponent, Sean Sherk, under the watch of the California State Athletic Commission. He will go up against standout wrestler Frankie Edgar, who suffered his first professional loss against Gray Maynard in April.

Additional non-televised matches that were announced include a battle between cast members of the sixth season of “The Ultimate Fighter”, pitting Ben Saunders against Jared Rollins, as well as a welterweight bout featuring Chris Wilson and Steve Bruno.

UFC 87 is headlined by newly crowned UFC welterweight champion George St. Pierre’s first title defense against top contender Jon Fitch, who has won his first eight bouts with the promotion. A bout between lightweight contenders Roger Huerta and Kenny Florian will also take place. Former professional wrestler turned mixed martial artist Brock Lesnar will return to action against longtime veteran Heath Herring as well.

Kongo: “I’m Fighting Dan Evensen”


Cheick Kongo. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

UFC heavyweight contender Cheick Kongo will try to bounce back from a recent loss when he returns to action in August against newcomer Dan Evensen at UFC 87: Seek and Destroy.

Kongo announced the bout through a MySpace blog post over the weekend.

Kongo’s two-fight winning streak was snapped in March when he lost a unanimous decision to Heath Herring at UFC 82: Pride of a Champion. It was the fourth straight time that the France native has gone the distance in a fight.

Evensen, a Gladiator Challenge and BodogFight veteran, has not fought since winning a three-round unanimous decision over Konstantin Gluhov at a BodogFight event in November of last year. Prior to the Gluhov victory, Evensen had won three straight fights by first-round TKO.

UFC 87 will be headlined by a heavyweight showdown between former professional wrestler turned mixed martial artist Brock Lesnar and former two-time UFC tournament champion Mark Coleman, who will be fighting in the UFC for the first time since 1999. Lightweight contenders Kenny Florian and Roger Huerta will fight for a potential title shot in the co-main event.

UFC 82 Thoughts and Notes

Some brief thoughts and notes from last night’s UFC 82: Pride of a Champion…

Full audio of the post-fight press conference here courtesy of Steve Cofield. Sam Caplan gives his take here, here, and here. Michael Rome here. Brian Knapp here.

Official news and numbers

Let’s get straight down to the facts. The official attendance inside the Nationwide Arena was 16,431. The live gate is expected to be somewhere around $2.2 million.

Fight of the Night honors went to Anderson Silva and Dan Henderson, who each received $60,000. Silva also earned $60,000 for submission of the night. Chris Leben won the same amount for his stoppage of Alessio Sakara.

Josh Koscheck and Yushin Okami both suffered separate hand injuries in their fights. Both Koscheck and Andrei Arlovski completed the last fights on their respective contracts with the UFC and are now officially free agents.

Silva looks unstoppable

I said before last night that if Anderson Silva dispatched of Dan Henderson easily, then I’d go ahead and claim that he is unstoppable. He is. He’s completely cleaned out the entire middleweight division. I was long a proponent that guys using the Team Quest style of fighting were bad matchups for Silva but obviously that isn’t the case. Silva shows us an entire new dimension of his game every time out.

While a rematch against Okami (who is now pretty much the top contender unless the UFC plans on bringing someone else in or creating a new plan) is intriguing, it’s pretty much set in stone that Silva would pick him apart on the feet. I don’t necessarily agree with Dana White’s constant statement that Silva is the best pound-for-pound fighter in the sport completely, but I will say that he’s getting dangerously close to achieving that honor.

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Silva Submits Henderson; Becomes Undisputed


Anderson Silva weighs-in for UFC 82: Pride of a Champion. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Anderson Silva passed his toughest test yet as champion with flying colors, submitting former Olympic wrestler Dan Henderson and successfully defending his UFC middleweight title for the third straight time, becoming the second undisputed champ in mixed martial arts history while doing it.

Even in defeat, Henderson perhaps gave the best performance against the champion to date. After an exchange on the feet to start the fight, Henderson was able to take Silva down and control him on the mat until the end of the round.

Although Silva did a good job of keeping a tight guard and preventing Henderson from doing any significant damage, the Team Quest co-founder used a number of hammer fists and the constant disruption of Silva’s breathing pattern to take the lead on the judge’s scorecards.

Silva heeded advice to crank up the pressure at the start of the second round, waving Henderson towards him and then stunning him with a mix of kicks, knees, and punches. A dazed Henderson swung wildly while trying to keep himself from falling over and then came up short in a takedown attempt.

Silva (21-4) capitalized by pouncing on his opponent. After softening him up with punches from inside his guard, Henderson (22-7) gave up his back and was forced to tap out via a rear naked choke moments later.

“My hat goes off to Anderson Silva,” Henderson said during a post-fight interview. “He was definitely the better fighter tonight. I controlled him well and beat him up a little bit in that first round and he came back ready to get after me in the second. He dazed me a little bit on the ground and then he got me in the choke.”

“I think I should have been more aggressive,” continued Henderson. “I didn’t fully execute my gameplan.”

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UFC 82: Pride of a Champion Weigh-In Results


Anderson Silva and Dan Henderson weigh-in for UFC 82: Pride of a Champion. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

The official weigh-in results for tonight’s UFC 82: Pride of a Champion are below. All fighters successfully made weight.

UFC 82 features a main event, middleweight title unification bout between current UFC title holder Anderson Silva and PRIDE champion Dan Henderson.

The show will also include a heavyweight affair between Cheick Kongo and Heath Herring as well as the return of former champion Evan Tanner as he takes on Japanese sensation Yushin Okami.

Main Card:

Dan Henderson (184.5 lbs) vs Anderson Silva (185 lbs)
Heath Herring (248 lbs) vs Cheick Kongo (233.5 lbs)
Yushin Okami (184.5 lbs) vs Evan Tanner (185 lbs)
Chris Wilson (169.5 lbs) vs Jon Fitch (170 lbs)
Alessio Sakara (185 lbs) vs Chris Leben (185 lbs)

Preliminary Fights:

Jake O’Brien (231.5 lbs) vs Andrei Arlovski (241 lbs)
Luigi Fioravanti (170.5 lbs) vs Luke Cummo (170 lbs)
Dustin Hazelett (170 lbs) vs Josh Koscheck (169.5 lbs)
David Bielkheden (170 lbs) vs Diego Sanchez (169.5 lbs)
John Halverson (155 lbs) vs Jorge Gurgel (154.5 lbs)

Video of the weigh-ins are after the jump, courtesy of ESPN:

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Previewing UFC 82: Pride of a Champion

Here’s a little preview breaking down tomorrow night’s UFC 82: Pride of a Champion, fight-by-fight, including detailed predictions along the way.

UFC 82 features a main event, middleweight title unification bout between current UFC title holder Anderson Silva and PRIDE champion Dan Henderson.

The show, which will take place at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio, will also include a heavyweight affair between Cheick Kongo and Heath Herring as well as the return of former champion Evan Tanner as he takes on Japanese sensation Yushin Okami.

A total of ten fights round out the card.

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Kongo Talks Herring, Title Aspirations

UFC heavyweight title contender Cheick Kongo discusses his upcoming fight against Heath Herring at this weekend’s UFC 82: Pride of a Champion as well as his hopes of eventually getting a chance at becoming heavyweight champion with ESPN.

Herring Wants to Get Back on Track at UFC 82

Former PRIDE veteran Heath Herring discusses his loss to current interim UFC heavyweight champion Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira last summer and his upcoming fight against fellow contender Cheick Kongo this weekend at UFC 82: Pride of a Champion, which will take place at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio with ESPN.

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