The Official Scorecard - UFC 129 - St. Pierre vs. Shield

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UFC 129 made history as the largest event in UFC and North American MMA history with over 55,000 in attendance at the Rogers Centre in Toronto. It’s safe to say that everyone was there to see Georges St. Pierre defend his UFC Welterweight Championship against Jake Shields, who had won the gold in every major organization he’s competed in up to this point. UFC 129 was also the final chapter in the epic career of UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture who took on Lyoto Machida in light heavyweight tilt. Somewhat overshadowed by the main event and the Couture vs. Machida bout was the first UFC Featherweight Championship fight as Jose Also put his strap on the line against Canadian Mark Hominick.

The Molson Canadian has been polished off and the judge has made his decision, so let’s go to the scorecard!

Main Event
UFC Welterweight Championship
Georges St. Pierre (21-2) vs. Jake Shields (26-4-1)
The consensus seems to be that this fight was not good. While I admit that it was not an all-time classic, I don’t think it was a bad fight and I don’t think it was necessarily boring. It’s up to the challenger to try and take the title from the champion, and therefore the burden of making it an “entertaining fight” falls on the challenger. That’s not to imply that St. Pierre was phoning it in or trying to skate it out. He was trying to land the same overhand right that Dan Henderson used against Shields. To criticize St. Pierre for not taking the fight to the ground, to the one area where Shields had the best chance to winning, is nonsense. And as awkward as Shields’ standup looks, he hasn’t been stopped since March 2000. The last point I’ll make on this fight is to ask St. Pierre’s critics to cover their lead eye and try to just spar with someone and to take notes on how well they gauge distance.
Georges St. Pierre wins via Unanimous Decision
Fight Score: 6.5

UFC Featherweight Championship
Jose Aldo, Champion (18-1) vs. Mark Hominick (20-8)
Very few people imagined this fight between two of the most aggressive strikers in the featherweight division would go the five full. For the first four rounds, Aldo used superb head movement and connected often with a left hook to the body and leg kick combo to pull ahead on the cards. A late Aldo elbow created a giant hematoma on Hominick’s skull which complimented his already busted up face. Going into the fifth round it appeared Aldo was going to cruise to a decision, but Hominick had other plans. Hominick took the fight to an exhausted Aldo and for a few minutes looked like he was going to wrench the title from the Brazilian's iron grip at the last moment. A great finish to an exciting title fight.
Jose Aldo wins via Unanimous Decision
Fight Score: 9

Light Heavyweight Fight
Lyoto Machida (16-2) vs. Randy Couture (19-10)
Machida entered this fight at a crossroad; was he going to climb back to the top of the light heavyweight division, or was going to drop his third straight and find himself miles away from another title shot? And Couture, well, he was finally at the end of his legendary career as he said multiple times in the buildup to the event. Machida returned to the form that saw him storm through the light heavyweight division; he was elusive and his counter-punching was excellent. As much this fight will be remembered at Randy’s last stand, it’ll also be remembered for Machida brutal “crane kick” style front kick KO.
Lyoto Machida wins via KO – Round 2, 1:05
Fight Score: 8

Light Heavyweight Fight
Vladimir Matyushenko (25-5) vs. Jason Brilz (18-3-1)
Before you could say, “Aw man, what’s this fight doing on the main card?” Vladimir Matyushenko answered your question with a series of hammerfists on Brilz’ jaw.
Vladimir Matyushenko wins via TKO – Round 1, 0:20
Fight Score: 6.5

Lightweight Fight
Benson Henderson (12-2) vs. Mark Bocek (9-3)
This was a really competitive grappling match. Henderson continued to prove that he is perhaps the most difficult man to submit in the entire lightweight division. Bocek worked some beautiful leg transitions, but it wasn’t enough to thwart off Henderson. On the feet it was Henderson who did all the damage, throwing knee after knee into Bocek’s midsection every chance he had.
Benson Henderson wins via Unanimous Decision
Fight Score: 7.5

Welterweight Fight
Rory MacDonald (10-1) vs. Nate Diaz (13-6)
For three rounds, MacDonald showed that he was bigger, stronger, and faster than the Season 5 winner of The Ultimate Fighter. Diaz never was able to initiate any sustained offense and seemed to playing catch up with MacDonald. This was the best performance so far in the career of the young MacDonald, who accentuated his rout of Diaz with three belly to back tosses, flinging Diaz around like a rag doll.
Rory MacDonald wins via Unanimous Decision
Fight Score: 7

Welterweight Fight
Jake Ellenberger (23-5) vs. Sean Pierson (11-4)
Ellenberger took this fight on two and half weeks notice, filling in for Brian Foster. The limited training time had no effect on powerful winner of three-straight coming into the fight. An Ellenberger straight left put Pierson out on his feet and another punch put the exclamation point on the win.
Jake Ellenberger wins via KO – Round 1, 2:42
Fight Score: 6.5

Welterweight Fight
Claude Patrick (13-1) vs. Daniel Roberts (12-1)
I suppose it’s not fair to compare this fight to the one that preceded it, but this fight was a bit of a hiccup in the middle of the card. Not a bad fight per se, but nothing memorable going on here. Patrick was the superior striker and it showed for three rounds.
Claude Patrick wins via Unanimous Decision
Fight Score: 5

Bantamweight Fight
Ivan Menjivar (21-8) vs. Charlie Valencia (12-6)
Ivan Menjivar made a career fighting heavier men, including Georges St. Pierre in 2002, and has finally found an opportunity to fight at his natural weight. The change seems to suit him well (and why wouldn’t it). The fighters tied up early and Menjivar absolutely crushed Valencia with a short elbow.
Ivan Menjivar wins via KO – Round 1, 1:30
Fight Score: 6.5

Middleweight Fight
Jason MacDonald (24-14) vs. Ryan Jensen (15-7)
MacDonald returned to UFC after a nearly a year on the shelf recovering from a nasty leg injury that he suffered at UFC 113. Jensen charged in with punches right away and locked up with MacDonald, dropping down for an arm in guillotine. MacDonald escaped rather easily and wound up on top. And what do you think happened when the guy with eighteen submission wins took control on the guy with six submission losses? 
Jason MacDonald wins via Submission (Triangle Choke) – Round 1, 1:37
Fight Score: 6.5

Lightweight Fight
Kyle Watson (14-6-1) vs. John Makdessi (8-0)
It was a striker vs. grappler special here with the Canadian (Makdessi) playing the striker and the American (Watson) playing the grappler. Watson made very little effort to get the fight to the ground and he paid for it. Makdessi landed with counter left hand and straight rights all nights. As Makdessi become more comfortable, he was able to land with a diverse arsenal of hook kicks, straight kicks, and spin kicks. The result was that Makdessi was able to fake a kick which paved the way for a blistering third round spinning back fist highlight reel KO.  
John Makdessi wins via KO – Round 3, 1:27
Fight Score: 7

Featherweight Fight
Yves Jabouin (15-6) vs. Pablo Garza (10-1)
The task for Jabouin in this fight was to somehow figure out how to deal with Garza’s extreme height and reach advantage. He did it with a lead foot head kick, a side kick, and a crippling pair of leg kicks. Instead of continuing to strike with Jabouin, Garza uses his length once more to cinch up a flying triangle that takes home the win in a great opening fight to start the evening.
Pablo Garza wins via Submission (Flying Triangle) – Round 1, 4:31
Fight Score: 7.5

Total for UFC 129 – St. Pierre vs. Shields: 83.5 out of 120
Average Fight Score: 6.96

It would have been difficult for the UFC to have orchestrated a better performing card from top to bottom for their biggest live audience ever. As far as the running score for best overall event of the year, UFC 129 barely edges past UFC 125 for the lead. Unlike UFC 125, which benefited from a few great fights and a few stinkers, UFC 129 had a stronger lineup of fights.


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