Brock Lesnar returned to action after his much-heralded debut against Frank Mir earlier in the year at UFC 81. The UFC put the show in Lesnar's backyard at the Target Center in Minneapolis, on Aug. 9, 2008, and announced Hall of Famer Mark Coleman as his opponent.
But Coleman was injured and forced to pull out. Heath Herring accepted the bout and publicly expressed great confidence about his chances. Herring had developed a reputation in PRIDE as a fighter who was as tough as they came and who was willing to take on anyone.
Lesnar was irritated by Herring's talk and set out early to do something about it. Seconds into the fight, he landed a massive right hand that sent literally sent Herring somersaulting backward.
Lesnar spent the remainder of the fight brutally pounding on Herring. When it was over, and Lesnar had won a unanimous decision, Herring's face looked like a raw steak.
Herring wasn't the only fighter who wound up getting pummeled. Jon Fitch entered the show with a UFC-record tying eight consecutive wins.
He met Georges St. Pierre for the welterweight title, but St. Pierre picked him apart with strikes. Fitch's eye was blackened and swollen early and he absorbed a great deal of punishment in a five-round loss.
The card sold 600,000 on pay-per-view, firmly establishing Lesnar as one of the company's top pay-per-view attractions.
Rob Emerson earned KO of the Night honors with a 12-second beating of Manny Gamburyan. Emerson coldcocked Gamburyan with a right at the opening of the fight, landed a followup left and the bout was over.
Demian Maia appeared in his third UFC bout and was Submission of the Night for the third time. This time, he defeated Jason Macdonald with a rear naked choke in the second round.
Quoteworthy: "What else do I have to do to prove to people, to get a little love?" – Fitch, after his loss to St. Pierre.
Tamdan McCrory def. Luke Cummo, unanimous decision
Cheick Kongo def. Dan Evenson, TKO, 4:55 R1
Jon Jones def. Andre Gusmao, unanimous decision
Chris Wilson def. Steve Bruno, unanimous decision
Ben Saunders def. Ryan Thomas, submission (armbar), 2:28 R2
Demian Maia def. Jason MacDonald, submission (read naked choke), 2:44 R3
Kenny Florian def. Roger Huerta, unanimous decision
Rob Emerson def. Manny Gamburyan, KO, 0:12 R1
Brock Lesnar def. Heath Herring, unanimous decision
UFC welterweight championship: Georges St. Pierre def. Jon Fitch, unanimous decision (St. Pierre retains title)
- Brock Lesnar
- Heath Herring
- Jon Fitch