UFC 129 Results, Reaction, Analysis, Video for St-Pierre vs. Shields Fight Card
On Saturday, April 30 the UFC will present its largest event ever when it brings UFC 129 to Toronto's Rogers Centre, the home of MLB's Toronto Blue Jays.
The event sold out almost immediately, with 55,000 tickets being sold to MMA fans across the globe.
The card will feature two UFC title fights as well as the last fight of a member of the UFC Hall of Fame.
The headline bout on the card will feature UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre meeting a man who he has declared to be his most difficult opponent, former Strikeforce champion Jake Shields.
Saturday's co-main event will see UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo make his debut with the UFC. Aldo transitioned to the UFC when the WEC was absorbed by the former. Aldo, widely recognized as one of the top three pound-for-pound fighters in MMA, will face off against Mark Hominick. Hominick punched his ticket to the title bout by defeating George Roop via 88-second knockout in January of this year.
MMA legend Randy Couture will meet Lyoto Machida at UFC 129 in what will be his last fight. In the days leading up to the fight Couture announced that he was retiring from MMA after this fight, no matter the outcome of the bout. It's been a long road for Couture, who made his debut with the UFC back in 1997 at UFC 13.
The main card, which will be available via pay-per-view, will also feature Vladimir Matyushenko versus Jason Brilz, and Mark Bocek versus Ben Henderson.
The pay-per-view will kick off at 9:00 pm ET.
Prior to that Spike TV will air two preliminary fights at 8:00 pm ET.
The night gets started with five preliminary fights streaming on the UFC's Facebook page, beginning at 6:00 pm ET.
All 12 fights on the UFC 129 card will be broadcast in some form.
Georges St-Pierre met Jake Shields on Saturday, April 30 at UFC 129 and has been the case in many of his title defenses as of late, the UFC welterweight champion exploited the weakness in his opponent's game to retain his UFC title.
Going into the fight, the knock on Shields had been his weak striking game, which St-Pierre used to his advantage, keeping the fight standing for the full five rounds.
The champion was able to take advantage of that weakness, but he did not walk away without sustaining some damage.
According to the CompuStrike stats, Shields landed 63 of 318 arm strikes he threw, leaving the champion with a bloodied face as well as a damaged left eye. The injury to the eye, which appeared to come from an eye poke from Shields, left St-Pierre unable to see from that eye for much of the fourth and fifth rounds.
In addition to bloodying the champion, Shields was able to accomplish something that no one else had done for 30 straight rounds, and that was take a round from the champion. The scorecards gave the unanimous decision victory to St-Pierre 50-45, 48-47, 48-47.
Following the fight, St-Pierre, speaking with UFC commentator Joe Rogan apologized for his performance, "I can't see with my left eye right now. I just see a blur. I'm sorry to the fans. I wanted to make it a knockout or submission."
The fight marked the sixth title defense for St-Pierre.
video highlights courtesy ESPN
Bleacher Report's Danny Acosta:
UFC 129 brought viewers Georges St-Pierre’s welterweight record sixth title defense by snapping Jake Shields’ six year, 15-fight win streak with a five-round unanimous decision.
A UFC record of 55,000 at the Rogers Centre in Toronto, Canada this past Saturday also watched Jose Aldo retain the UFC featherweight crown in a 25-minute Fight of the Night against Canadian challenger Mark Hominick and Lyoto Machida emphatically ended UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture’s storied career with a first round knockout.
Here are 10 bouts fans may find kicking around UFC matchmaker Joe Silva’s desk in the aftermath of UFC 129.
1) Georges St-Pierre vs. Nick Diaz
While Georges St. Pierre continued the most dominant run in welterweight history at UFC 129, “Rush” did so with his fourth consecutive decision. Striking with Jake Shields for 25-minutes did little to spark interest in the St-Pierre-Anderson Silva super-fight outside of notching the requisite "W."
Silva has finished all but two of his eight UFC title fights, while St-Pierre has only finished two of six—the last in January of 2009. Non-committal in his post-fight interview about moving up 15-pounds to face the most devastating finisher in UFC history, it’s likely “GSP” maintains his position at welterweight.
Bleacher Report's Andrew Mahlmann:
A couple of times a year it is important to take a close look at who the young up and comers are in the sport.
Although it is a sport that is in it's infancy, time can pass quite quickly for those of us paying close attention.
We have seen tons of young dynamos rise up and entrench themselves into the spotlight, but for every batch maturing into veterans, there is a new batch hungrier and more talented than the last.
Some are practically veterans by the age of 25, while others are hot prospects with unlimited potential.
These are the top 25 MMA athletes that are 25 years or younger.
Bleacher Report's Nick Caron:
The results are in from the wildly successful UFC 129 event in Toronto.
No, I’m not talking about the fight card results. Those have been out for days. I’m talking about the results of which entrance song each fighter decided to use!
If you’re anything like me, the theme song that fighters use are an interesting glimpse at their character and are an awesome way to pump up the fans right before a big fight.
So if you’re interested in the entrance theme songs which each fighter used, look no further as they’re all here!
Bleacher Report's Tony Preston:
Nate Diaz suffered a unanimous decision loss to Rory McDonald this past Saturday at UFC 129.
The defeat marks his second straight loss at the welterweight division. It now seems that Diaz plans to return to the lightweight division.
According to a report from MMA Mania, Diaz's trainer, Cesar Gracie, has said, "Nate Diaz didn't look too good. I'm gonna be the first one to say it. He looked lethargic out there and he's been asking me to go back to 155 for some time now.
"Frankie Edgar is the champion over there and he's the student of a good friend of mine. Nathan was one of the contenders at 155 so we brought him up to 170 but it looks like we'll probably bring him back down to 155 where he belongs."
Bleacher Report's Michael Evans:
Jake Shields clearly wanted to get Georges St-Pierre to the ground at UFC 129 and he tried to do just that for a round or so. Then, at some point, he lost focus and decided to try and trade shots with the champion. It was a horrible idea and Shields never got back into the fight at all.
It was the first loss for Jake Shields in over six years and clearly he was not happy with his performance after the fight.
MMAjunkie.com was there to get his thoughts. Shields told MMAjunkie, "Obviously I'm not happy. I went in there, and I came up short. Georges has great stand-up, and he kept me away. I couldn't get him down. He did a great job of stuffing my shots."
Shields failed to close the distance, get the clinch and take the fight to the ground. He admitted that he was no match for the boxing and overall standup prowess of the champion. "I guess I need to go back, work on my boxing, and get better," Shields admitted.
Bleacher Report's Mike Hodges:
Machida, who was on a two-fight losing streak, attempted a flying crane kick that landed precisely on his opponent's chin, dropping him in the process. It's a win he desperately needed and a win he credited to his training regiment.
"I increased my training, demanding more from my sparrings, and I felt comfortable in every single situation," Machida explained to TATAME.com following his victory.
Machida continued saying he focused more on his karate and implemented different training techniques and a nutrition plan in order to prepare for the light heavyweight bout. And while he did change a few things during his training camp, "The Dragon" said he stuck to his roots that helped him become UFC light heavyweight champion not too long ago.
"I felt myself more aggressive… I kept my style, but with an upgrade," Machida said.
He credits the upgrade to his father, Yoshizo Machida and actor / martial artist, Steven Seagal, who helped Machida perfect his flying crane kick, ultimately earning "Knockout of the Night" honours.
Bleacher Report's Jordy McElroy:
A week ago, the world was buzzing about Nick Diaz's possible professional boxing debut, but after watching his teammate and close friend Jake Shields drop a unanimous decision to welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre at UFC 129, the Stockton native is eager to slip back into a pair of 4 ounce gloves.
"Obviously, there's a storyline behind it," Diaz's trainer Cesar Gracie said in an interview with MMAJunkie.com. "Shields just lost a decision, and Nick wants some revenge for that. Nick is very confident that he can defeat St-Pierre."
As Strikeforce welterweight champion, Diaz has amassed a 10 fight win streak and three consecutive title defenses. He has made multiple comments in the past about his dissatisfaction with the lack of competition and big payday.
Recently, he has turned his interest to the world of boxing, and a plethora of possible debut opponents have already been rumored, including Fernando Vargas and IBF champion Jeff Lacy.
What would it take to keep Diaz under the MMA umbrella and set up a superfight with St-Pierre?
Another Black House fighter, another front kick knockout victory and another claim by Steven Seagal that he trained that fighter on that particular kick.
If you recall, in post fight interviews Steven Seagal was more than happy to take credit for showing Silva that kick.
After Machida's victory on Saturday, Seagal spoke to Inside MMA, again taking credit for the knockout kick, "It's a little variation (on the Silva kick), I've been working with Lyoto very, very hard on a lot of different stuff. He did exactly what we've been working on and he did it well."
The good folks over at MiddleEasy.com have uncovered a video that was uploaded to Youtube back in November of 2009 that shows Machida in a training video demonstrating the kick that Machida used to KO Couture.
Bleacher Report's Patrick Drottar:
Last Saturday night, current UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre and former Strikeforce middleweight champion Jake Shields battled it out for five rounds in front of 55,000 screaming fans in Toronto.
The fight went the distance and the two fighters spent the majority in a standup battle.
Jake Shields' takedown attempts failed time and time again as GSP was able to stuff them and keep the fight standing.
St-Pierre out boxed Shields for five rounds, even after he was poked in the eye and could only see well.
The two heard a lot of boos from the restless Canadian crowd, but in the end, St-Pierre once again successfully defended his welterweight title.
Of the 55,000 fight fans in attendance, one was middleweight contender Vitor Belfort, who according to Fighters Only Magazine, was not impressed with the 129 main event.
During the fight, Belfort, via his twitter, gave play-by-play commentary of the fight.
Towards the end, he tweeted that he didn't think a super fight between St-Pierre and current middleweight champion Anderson Silva should be booked because it would be completely one-sided.
Bleacher Report's Adam Wells:
The hottest mixed martial arts trainer in the world is (drumroll please)....Steven Seagal. The film star has been at the center of two of the best knockouts in the sport this year.
First, it was Anderson Silva who credited Seagal with teaching him the front kick that caught Vitor Belfort square in the face at UFC 126. Then, Lyoto Machida offered praise for the "Under Siege" star for teaching him the move, which he used to knock Randy Couture into retirement at UFC 129.
Everyone and their brother has been trying to get in touch with Seagal to talk about the newest fad in the sport and how he has been able to get these two guys to perfect it.
In an interview with Inside MMA, Seagal said that the kick Lyoto did was just a little bit different than the one that he taught Silva. It seemed like Machida just put that little extra Ralph Macchio Crane stance into the kick.
Seagal is just a bad dude when you listen to him talk. He is so soft spoken, but you know that at any moment if you cross him he could drop you with one flick of the wrist.
And now that he has these two high profile victories under his belt, you can be sure that every fighter in the world is going to try and get in contact with him just so they can learn something. If I were him, I would show the fighters my movies. That way they can learn how to break a man's arm in two simple steps.
Plus, can you really beat the high quality entertainment of like "Out For Justice" or "Under Siege 2: Dark Territory"?
Bleacher Report's Leon Horne:
UFC 129 was chock-full of devastating knockouts and spectacular fights. Some complained about the main event between Georges St-Pierre and Jake Shields.
The reality is that only four out of 12 fights went to the judges score cards and one could easily argue over who deserved the knockout and the submission of the night bonuses (there was no doubting that Mark Hominick vs Jose Aldo was fight of the night).
As exciting as John Makdessi's spinning back fist knockout of Ultimate Fighter alumni Kyle Watson was, it was Lyoto Machida's flying front kick knock out of Randy Couture that ultimately got knockout of the night honors.
The flying front kick is the second front kick knock out in UFC history, it just so happened that the first one was by Machida's Black House teammate Anderson Silva who knocked out Vitor Belfort with it less than three months ago.
One may wonder why Black House fighters are all of a sudden landing these front kick knockouts, but both Silva and now Machida have given Hollywood actor Steven Seagal the credit for helping them perfect the technique.
Seagal's movie career really peaked during the early to mid 1990's and the actor is certainly on the back end of his career. In addition to his movie career, he is a graduate from a police academy in California and is a Reserve Deputy Chief of the Sheriff's Office of a community in Louisiana.
Bleacher Report's Michael Evans:
UFC 129 was a historic event in many ways. It was the largest event in UFC history in terms of media coverage, attendance, live gate receipts and marketing.
This was a night that saw a flying submission, an end to a historic career, a gutsy performance by Mark Hominick, an injury to Georges St-Pierre and a kick straight out of an '80s kung-fu film.
Overall, it was not the greatest in terms of the main card, but it did feature some great moments. The fact that the crowd cageside was the same as the entire Mandalay Bay layout is incredible. The more than 55,000 people in that stadium was a truly amazing sight considering that Zuffa has only owned the UFC for 10years. It makes a fan proud to see the sport growing like it has lately.
I will discuss seven topics that piqued my interest following UFC 129.
Bleacher Report's Mike Hodges:
Following his sixth successful title defense at UFC 129, Georges St-Pierre received some criticism over his lackluster performance against Jake Shields. For a majority of the fight, St-Pierre dominated on the feet but he refused to take the fight to the canvas. Following the second round, it was clearly audible in the champion's corner when he complained that he could not see out of his left eye.
His trainer, Greg Jackson, acknowledged the injury and he said it did play a part in the champion's underwhelming performance.
" Well, Georges eye was pretty badly injured, he told me that in between rounds, and Georges is a very timing-based fighter so when one of you eyes is injured, your depth perception gets off pretty significantly," Jackson told Sherdog.com.
Bleacher Report's Carl Padget:
After Lyoto Machida knocked out Rashad Evans in devastating fashion to win the UFC light heavyweight title, Joe Rogan famously declared the beginning of “The Machida Era”. After a sketchy first defence and subsequent loss of his title to Shogun Rua, and then a disappointing loss to Rampage Jackson, that declaration seemed just a little bit silly.
The spectacular way in which he finished Randy Couture at UFC 129 has got me starting to believe the hype again though. Couture, like Greg Jackson, is famous for game planning his way to victories, and after back to back losses, it appeared that Machida was not quite the enigma he used to be, and therefore able to be planned for.
But no one could quite plan for what Machida had in store for Couture, not even Captain America himself. Now I’m not saying that a knockout over a 47-year-old man is enough to catapult anybody into a No. 1 contender’s position, but Machida looked back to his best and like he still belongs at the very top of his division.
After being knocked out by Mauricio "Shogun" Rua, he clearly looked hesitant against Quinton "Rampage" Jackson (who has obvious knockout power), and we all wondered if he would ever be the same. How a fighter deals with his first knockout loss is an oft talked about topic, and can change a fighter’s entire future career.