In the land of UFC 129 – VI

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Tapped out: Justin married Deanna inside the Octagon at Rogers Centre, with the blessing of a judge – and Dana White. Photo: Marcelo Dunlop.

Will Jiu-Jitsu indeed define UFC 129? How many tapouts will fans get to see at today’s show in Toronto?

The recent UFC 118, with Randy Couture and boxer James Toney, hit the five-submission mark. At the even more recent UFC 128, headlined by Jones and Shogun, the tally came to zero. Not one piddling submission. What’s the menu like for Jiu-Jitsu fans tonight?

I am of the mind that only José Aldo is capable of coaxing a tapout on the main card. In the undercard, Nate Diaz and Daniel Roberts are a couple of solid candidates. We’ll see. And, of course, none of this means we won’t see some sensational groundwork, even if it doesn’t result in the perfect finishing hold.

Whatever’s to come, Jiu-Jitsu has already reared its head. And we’re not talking about on Thursday, when GSP had an open training session demonstrating self-defense moves more akin to karate.

On Friday we had the first four “tapped out” of the UFC 129 week. Let’s get to them:

Victim number 1: Justin Peacock

At nine on Friday morning the Rogers Centre Octagon received 16 guests, a justice of the peace and two nuts: Justin Peacock and Deanna Peacock harbored the dream of being joined in matrimony on the UFC’s main stage. Justin, an executive working for a company that does business with the event, personally put in a request to Dana White, who authorized the madness. That Friday morning the two said “I do,” and Justin was the first one tapped out at UFC 129, with a finger lock. Deanna, who got her hubby good, was the author of the achievement.

Victim number 2: Andrew McInnes

With a special appearance from Bruce Buffer, UFC star Diego Sanchez was decked in white as he made his entrance to the first match of a four-fighter tournament. His opponent was lanky Canadian Andrew McInnes, a fiesty Jiu-Jitsu practitioner who had a good showing the other day against Marcus Bochecha. Andrew didn’t want to hear about fighting accolades: he started out sweeping and sliding to the UFC fighter’s back. Diego was at wit’s end trying to rally back and tame the young local’s f0rmidable guard, but the points counter wouldn’t budge. With thirty seconds left to go, the star put an end to the rookie’s romp: he wrapped up Andre’s ankle and cranked out a lock that popped his knee in a bad way. Diego is through to the final of the Grapplers Quest at the UFC Fan Expo, set for 1:30 pm local time.

Victim number 3: Jorge Britto

Even while teaching class to nearly forty students a day in Toronto, our GMA Jorge Britto can’t resist a good fight. “I go out there to have fun, no pressure at all,” he often says. That’s what he did at Grapplers Quest at the UFC Fan Expo against Ryan Hall, an athlete from 50-50 academy who’s been on a tear in Gi and No-Gi Jiu-Jitsu competition. Jorge spent the whole time in top position, trying to decipher Ryan’s pesky guard. Halfway through the match, Hall got Jorge in the 50-50 guard and attacked with a showstopping heelhook, to the dismay of the cheering section that turned out at the fair en masse to egg Britto on – with even his master Royler Gracie watching from the sidelines. So now Ryan Hall and Diego Sanchez will soon take to the mat for the final.

Victim number 4: Chuck Liddell

It was around 5pm in Toronto. The retired UFC star was kicking back on the UFC Fan Expo stage when a little guy sporting a Mohawk hairdo asked to have a word with him: “Chuck, I’m your fan! Can I get up on stage to fight you?” The crowd was aghast and Liddell authorized it, “So long as you don’t hurt me, alright?” The brazen Jiu-Jitsu practitioner heeded the former light heavyweight’s request and took it easy. Or easy to a certain point: he lunged at Chuck Liddell’s neck and sunk a snug guillotine that obliged the American to tap in desistance. The retirer gloated: “And the winner is the little fan, by guillotine!” His face still red and chuckling, Liddell set about attending to the other, less-rambunctious fans. “Sure, of course I’d like to face Jon Jones, but folks, I’m retired, you know…” he sighed.

Who’s going to be the next to tap out, tonight?

UFC 129
Rogers Centre, Toronto, Canada
Saturday, April 30, 2011

Georges St-Pierre vs. Jake Shields
José Aldo vs. Mark Hominick
Vladimir Matyushenko vs. Jason Brilz
Lyoto Machida vs. Randy Couture
Mark Bocek vs. Ben Henderson

Preliminary card Spike TV broadcast

Nate Diaz vs. Rory MacDonald
Sean Pierson vs. Jake Ellenberger

Undercard (an informal Canada vs. USA)

Yves Jabouin vs. Pablo Garza
Claude Patrick vs. Daniel Roberts
Ivan Menjivar vs. Charlie Valencia
Jason MacDonald vs. Ryan Jensen
John Makdessi vs. Kyle Watson

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