Hello once more fans and friends and welcome to the latest edition of “Crash Course”. “Crash Course” is a series of articles designed to give readers a quick rundown on all the relevant information they need to know heading into an upcoming major MMA event. Everything from why you should watch, what you should expect in the co-main and main event, and even where and when you can find it on TV is all covered in detail. So let’s get right to it with today’s edition, featuring UFC 129: “St. Pierre vs. Shields”.
The Event: UFC 129 “St. Pierre vs. Shields”, currently scheduled for April 30, 2011 at the Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Five preliminary fights will be shown on the UFC’s Facebook page starting at 6:00 PM ET. Two additional preliminary fights will be shown on Spike TV starting at 8:00 PM ET. The five-fight main card will be shown live on Pay-Per-View starting at 9:00 PM ET.
Why You Should Care: This is the UFC’s debut in Toronto after a long, long period of legal strife. It is also the first UFC event ever to be held inside of a stadium. It will also set the record for the largest North American MMA crowd in history, with over 55,000 fans expected to fill the Rogers Centre. And to top it all off, the event features two championship bouts with two dominant champions defending against two tough challengers, in addition to what could be the last fight of MMA legend Randy Couture’s career.
What to Look Forward to in the Main Event: Georges St. Pierre is considered the greatest fighter in the world, in the eyes of many. He’s practically revered in Canada. And as good as he’s been, Georges St. Pierre just keeps improving. We think his ground game has peaked, then he just comes out and dominates like never before. We think his striking isn’t good anymore, then he jabs Josh Koscheck at will for five rounds and breaks his orbital bone. GSP is one of the toughest tests any MMA fighter at any weight class could ever face. And in his path is Jake Shields, a multi-promotion champion with great wrestling, great submissions, good hand speed and power, and impressive cardio. Shields may be the underdog, but if there was a world out there where Georges St. Pierre didn’t exist, Jake Shields would probably be the one wearing UFC gold right now.
What to Look Forward to in the Co-Main Event: Jose Aldo was so dominant inside the WEC’s famous blue cage that he looked almost inhuman. He finished so many people, and the one man he couldn’t finish in the WEC just so happened to be one of the greatest Featherweight fighters of all time. Aldo is a wrecking machine disguised as a man, and he’s facing a very tough test in Mark Hominick. Hominick is fast, packs a powerful punch, and is a very cerebral striker. This is going to be a very violent fight, but it should also be a great one.
Why You Should Watch This Card: There’s not a lot more I could say about this card other than “go watch it”. It’s really getting to that point. I’m such a big fan of this card. You want free fights? You get seven. You want a good PPV card? You get five fights, two title fights, Randy Couture, and more. There’s very, very, very little not to like about this card.
Why You Shouldn’t Watch This Card: I honestly can’t think of one. Some of the fights may not look all that close on paper, but anything can happen in MMA and 2010 taught us that that’s a saying that’s more true now than ever. It’s a ridiculously stacked card and you should watch it. Period.
Closing Thoughts: I can’t wait to see this card. I’ve been building it up for the past several weeks and days, but I have complete faith that it’s going to live up to its potential. This is going to be an awesome, awesome event.
And what about you, fans and friends? Anybody out there looking forward to UFC 129?