Unlike most UFC events, where the gymnasium only fills up when the main card is underway, the Rogers Centre in Toronto was packed starting with the very first undercard fight this Saturday at UFC 129. And it was worth it. To illustrate, the first four fights of the night ended in two knockouts and two submissions – all of them spectacular. And the excitement carried through to the main card. Check out the breakdown on how that went:
Georges St-Pierre vs. Jake Shields
In the evening’s main event, Georges St-Pierre defended his welterweight belt against Jake Shields, and to most it likely dragged on more than the others on the card. The action was lukewarm, nothing to write home about. GSP landed some solid punches, Shields didn’t stick his neck out much – five rounds without much to speak of. Even the most diehard Canadian fans – St-Pierre’s fans – took to booing some. However, the champion played it smart and, aside from a few bumps and bruises on his face, he didn’t run into much by way of danger. A unanimous decision – his ninth in a row.
José Aldo vs. Mark Hominick
José Aldo, fighting for the first time in the UFC since it came to encompass the WEC, faced hometown fighter Mark Hominick in a title defense that was none too easy. Despite Aldo dominating the first four rounds with leg kicks, takedowns, elbows from ground and pound, and knockdowns, Hominick didn’t fold, even with some serious damage to his eye and a welt the size of a grapefruit on his forehead. The final round saw Mark land on top and do well from the advantageous position, but nothing to put Aldo in any real danger. In the end, after a few pushups beside the challenger and waving Flamengo soccer team’s banner, Aldo could again strap on his championship belt, after his 12th win in a row. The unanimous decision of course was in his favor.
Now we may likely see him at UFC Rio against an opponent oft-mentioned behind the scenes: Chad Mendes, who is undefeated in his ten-fight career.
Lyoto Machida vs. Randy Couture
It was Randy Couture’s farewell, but Lyoto didn’t let it be a happy one. The Brazilian kept his distance in the first round. He did land a few strikes, but it was pretty even. The second round saw Lyoto looking keen on bringing it to an end – and with a front kick similar to the one Anderson Silva used to put away Vitor Belfort, he mercilessly knocked out Couture. The manner of the win was proof he truly is a fighter in his own league – although he is coming off back-to-back losses, the one to Quinton Jackson is widely questioned. Randy, with a broken tooth, set the record straight saying he has indeed retired. Lyoto said: “He’s the man.” And he really is.
Vladimir Matyushenko vs. Jason Brilz
There wasn’t time for a short coffee break – or better yet, a beer break! Matyushenko was seen having a cold one on the day of the fight, and in his case it served him well. The first big paw – a spot-on upper cut – put Jason Brilz the fireman’s lights out beyond any hope of recovery. A few strikes later, the ref had no choice but to call an end to the encounter. The fighter from Belarus won in just 20 seconds.
Mark Bocek vs. Ben Henderson
The first fight on the main card saw former WEC champion Ben Henderson rain on Canadian Mark Bocek’s parade. Aside from some stormy weather in the opener, the American got the better of the standup and used his elbows to effect. A gash opened up on the head of Mark Bocek, who was unable to get his Jiu-Jitsu to work for him. At the end of three rounds Henderson had the advantage in his opponent’s hometown, taking the unanimous decision.
Check out the results:
April 30, 2011
Georges St-Pierre defeated Jake Shields via unanimous decision after five rounds
José Aldo defeated Mark Hominick via unanimous decision after five rounds
Lyoto Machida defeated Randy Couture via KO at 1:05 min of R2
Vladimir Matyushenko defeated Jason Brilz via TKO at 0:20 min of R1
Ben Henderson defeated Mark Bocek via unanimous decision
Rory MacDonald venceu Nate Diaz via unanimous decision
Jake Ellenberge defeated Sean Pierson via KO at 2:42 min of R1
Claude Patrick defeated Daniel Roberts via unanimous decision
Ivan Menjivar defeated Charlie Valencia via TKO at 1:03s of R1
Jason MacDonald submitted Ryan Jensen via triangle at 1:27 min of R1
John Makdessi defeated Kyle Watson via KO at 1:27 min of R3
Pablo Garza submitted Yves Jabouin via flying triangle at 4:31 min of R1