Hype quickly became reality in Toronto last night.
UFC 129 fired on all cylinders and was the truly massive MMA event we all clamored for. I’d be willing to bet that the UFC is just as happy as us fans are, even if the main event somewhat dragged.
At the end of the night, champs Aldo and GSP both successfully defended their belts (featherweight and welterweight) and the challengers were proven worthy in the process. To boot, a handful of thrilling finishes kept the Facebook and Spike TV portions of the evening rolling with increasing momentum right up into the pay-per-view.
GSP dominates once again
It wasn’t the knockout or submission finish the champ and fans wanted, but “Rush” got the job done as a true professional does. It was apparent heading into the third round that St-Pierre was suffering from an issue with the left eye. For those listening closely during the broadcast, Georges expressed his frustration to trainers about the lack of sight while on the stool before entering the later rounds. From there, the lack of accuracy due to loss of vision was apparent from an onlooker’s perspective. Looking at who could possibly be the next worthy contender should be at the forefront of discussion now, rather than criticism for not finishing off the out-classed Jake Shields.
Mark Hominick makes Canada proud
“The Machine” did not walk out of the Octagon with a new UFC belt strapped around his waist on Saturday night but did have the Canadian fans’ support in full effect. A five-round, twenty-five minute battle with Brazilian wrecking ball Jose Aldo earned the local boy a knot the size of a baseball on the forehead during the middle rounds, but more so cemented his reputation for being one of the most well-rounded, tough-as-nails 145’ers in the game. Not that there were any questions about that to begin with.
Couture finishes a legendary pro career
“The Natural” announced his official retirement from professional MMA competition after being defeated by knockout (front snap-kick) by Lyoto Machida. While Machida was the favorite all along, Randy has always possessed the ability to flip the script from the underdog role. In fact, that’s pretty much been his calling card over the past decade and a half. He’s now down a tooth (removed by Mr. Machida), but up one heck of a legendary fighting career. Expect Couture to remain actively involved with the sport through his training center in Las Vegas and lobbying for fighter benefits like insurance, increased pay, and more.
Ellenberger should receive step-up
After his knockout win over Sean Pierson, who can deny that Jake Ellenberger doesn’t deserve a big-name opponent in his next fight? This guy continually puts on solid performances time and time again; even when on short-notice like this weekend. With only 16 (yes, 16) days to prepare for the biggest North American MMA event of all-time, he showed the fans and UFC brass why he’s a serious player in the welterweight division.
Picks & predictions streak keeps on rolling
Couldn’t have been much happier with how my official fight picks and predictions tallied up after GSP threw the last jab. 9-3 was the result and all main card fights were correctly called. Now, I had taken some criticism in the past few days for thinking Aldo would be victorious via a unanimous decision, but that’s exactly what happened. Hominick was a worthy challenger and I believe further raised his stock by never showing a hint of giving up against the ever-tough champ.
Correctly picked 9 out of 12 fights. Out of those 9, correctly hit on five as to how the match would finish (TKO, submission, or decision).
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