St. Pierre-Fitch Signed for UFC 87
/ May 23, 2008 - 9:39pm
Georges St. Pierre will defend his welterweight championship against Jon Fitch in the featured bout at UFC 87: Seek and Destroy on Saturday, Aug. 9 at the Target Center in Minneapolis. UFC representatives announced the long-awaited showdown on Thursday.
St. Pierre (16-2, 10-2 UFC) has looked all but invincible since his surprising loss to Matt Serra at UFC 69 in April 2007. The 27-year-old roared past Josh Koscheck and future UFC Hall-of-Famer Matt Hughes en route to a rematch with Serra at UFC 83 last month, a rematch he dominated and won by second-round technical knockout.
One of the sport’s most dynamic fighters, St. Pierre owns a pair of stoppage victories against Hughes, along with wins over reigning International Fight League welterweight champion Jay Hieron and former Icon Sport champions Frank Trigg and Jason “Mayhem” Miller. He has also defeated UFC lightweight titleholder B.J. Penn and one-time 155-pound kingpin Sean Sherk.
St. Pierre respects Fitch’s talent and toughness.
“He’s a very, very tough guy,” St. Pierre told UFC.com. “I’m [going to] have to train hard and be very well prepared, because he may be my toughest fight yet.”
On a 15-fight winning streak, Fitch (16-2, 8-0 UFC) tied UFC Hall-of-Famer Royce Gracie’s longstanding record with his eighth consecutive win inside the Octagon at UFC 82: Pride of a Champion in March, as the 30-year-old Indianan defeated Team Quest’s Chris Wilson by unanimous decision.
“I think I’ve paid my dues,” Fitch said. “There aren’t too many guys that go 8-0 in the UFC. I’ve fought a lot of tough guys. Whether or not the fans really know the names of those guys who fought, those guys were all tough bastards. I’ve grinded away, and I think I’ve gotten to a position where I do deserve a title shot.”
Since he made his promotional debut with a unanimous decision win over Brock Larson in October 2005, Fitch has submitted Josh Burkman and Roan Carneiro, knocked out Thiago Alves and decisioned Diego Sanchez – who was 17-1 when they fought. He also holds UFC victories against Luigi Fioravanti and Kuniyoshi Hironaka.
“I’ve earned my position,” Fitch said. “Nobody took care of me. Nobody coddled me. Nobody gave me easy fights. I asked [UFC matchmaker] Joe Silva a long time ago to give me the toughest guys they could find to fight. I’m here to find out how good I am.”
A heavyweight match between former World Wrestling Entertainment superstar Brock Lesnar and Mark Coleman, the originally scheduled main event at UFC 87, has been called off after Coleman withdrew with a knee injury. Lesnar, who wrestled collegiately at the University of Minnesota, will remain on the card, though a replacement opponent has not yet been named.