In case the almost nightly airing of MMA events all over cable networks wasn't enough proof for you of the Ultimate Fighting Championship's exponential popularity boom in recent years, consider this: The brutal fight league owns the trademark on the phrase "the octagon." Of course, they're referring to the eight-sided cage where the men, cut like boulders, beat the hell out of each other. But it's really noteworthy any time a sports league can trademark a shape; baseball hasn't even trademarked the diamond. Once regarded as a savage form of entertainment that even pay-per-view wouldn't carry, MMA has muscled its way into a reputation as a legitimate sport (rather than merely street fights with cameras rolling), and onto broadcast television. UFC 87: Search and Destroy brings MMA to the Target Center with a pair of high-profile bouts. Former World Wrestling Entertainment superstar and attempted Minnesota Viking Brock Lesnar will put his 1-1 career record up against veteran Heath "The Texas Crazy Horse" Herring (29-13-1). The night's marquee event will feature Georges "Rush" St. Pierre defending his welterweight title against challenger Jon Fitch. It's sure to be a bloody good time.
Sat., Aug. 9, 7 p.m., 2008