UFC 129 Recap: The Best and Worst Fights
In a much anticipated event and card, UFC 129 was an overall success as the organization made its debut in the city of Toronto to a record crowd of just over 55,000 in attendance.
There were a number of great fights and knockouts in the card as was expected. Unfortunately for the main event participant, Canadian welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre, he wasn't featured in any of the highlight reels and for good reason.
GSP had a rather dissappointing night, rarely doing anything spectacular and reluctant to do anything other than jab and occassionally kick his way to another five-round decision victory.
Now, the fact that he suffered an eye poke near the end of the second round and as a result had his vision disrupted, must be considered to have contributed greatly to his all in all poor showing.
However there were moments in the fight that GSP had Shields stunned, at least momentarily (head kick) but again he failed to capitalize and instead chose to allow Shields to regain his equilibrium before proceeding to again outpoint the challenger in what proved to be a stand up chess match instead of a UFC championship fight.
The fight even failed to impress some of GSP's biggest fans in his home country as boos could be heard between the third and fifth rounds.
Now every fighter is entitled to having a bad fight, unfortunately for GSP it came at a crucial time in his career when the organization was setting him up to fight the other best "pound for pound" fighter in the world, Anderson Silva.
The fact is, eye poke aside, he did not do enough in the fight to convince people that he would have a realistic chance of beating the middleweight champion.
At the end of the fight, when asked about the possibility of taking on Silva by commentator Joe Rogan, the usually confident champion sounded somewhat reluctant to answer the question clearly.
Instead, he chose to use dubious statements like "maybe," "I don't know" and "we will see." The poor fight seemed to have sapped GSP's conviction as a legitimate threat to Silva's pound-for-pound throne.
Although the main event was a rather disappointing and lacklustre affair, there were some very impressive finishes and fights in the card. Here's a look at the best fights and finishes of UFC 129
Machida's Karate Kid Crane Kick
Yet another fighter with ties to actor Steven Seagal, Machida used a fantastic crane kick a la The Karate Kid to knock out UFC legend Randy Couture and and ultimately end Couture's amazing career that began 14 years ago.
The first round started out with Machida's evasiveness and quick strikes dominating Couture in the first round.
In the second, out of nowhere, Machida faked a lead left-leg front kick and instead pulled the right leg trigger in an absolutely magnificent and aesthetically impressive display.
Machida was justly rewarded the knockout of the night. As for Seagal, first it was Silva with the front kick knockout and now Machida.
Is he really the guy teaching these fighters that move? His legend continues to grow in the MMA world.
Flying Triangle Choke
In one of the preliminary bouts, Pablo Garza vs Yves Jabouin, we were treated to a flying triangle choke by Garza who had to keep it locked for close to a minute before Yves Jabouin eventually tapped out.
An amazing submission, and the winner of submission of the night.
John Makdessi's Spinning Back Fist KO
In another highly entertaining preliminary fight, Makdessi vs Watson was a battle of contrasting styles and sizes (Watson towered over the Canadian Makdessi).
The first two rounds were a back-and-forth affair that saw Makdessi moving in and out with quick strikes while Watson was having some success with his high kicks; overall, Makdessi had the upper hand in the first two rounds.
In the third round after a couple of quick punches, Makdessi faked a leg kick and quickly spun around and landed a back fist on Watson's chin, effectively ending the night and causing the crowd to rise from their seats in a jubilant uproar.
Tremendous knockout and on any other night would have been my pick for the best KO, if only Machida weresn't on the card. Still, amazing knockout from the undefeated Canadian.
Jose Aldo vs. Mark Hominick
A very entertaining fight that saw Jose Aldo retain his featherweight title, but not without struggle. Aldo began the fight in great form by hurting Hominick a number of times in the first three rounds, but then gradually fading as the momentum began to shift from the fatigued Aldo, seeing Hominick repay the favour in the latter two rounds.
Aldo clearly had the upper hand in the early exchanges, sending the challenger to the mat a number of times with his strikes. In the second round, though, he clearly began to tire and resorted to taking down Hominick instead of striking with him.
Aldo was still winning the fight after the first few rounds but had slowed significantly, just edging out the challenger for points.
The fourth round saw a grotesque welt over Hominick's eye form into a full hematoma, much to the delight and disgust of the Toronto crowd.
The fifth round was where the challenger Hominick completely changed the momentum of the fight as he had the champion pinned to the mat and rained down big body shots and head punches.
If there was another round or another couple of minutes added to the final round, it would be hard to imagine Aldo surviving it and retaining his title.
But fortunately for him there wasn't and he won the fight unanimously on the judges' score cards, his title defense proving to be a lot more difficult than was expected.
Great fight and great courage on the part of Hominick.