UFC 129 Buzz: Fun Facts and Storylines Surrounding St-Pierre vs. Shields

April 29, 2011

UFC 129 Facts:

UFC 129: St-Pierre vs. Shields takes place at the Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It’s the promotion’s sixth event in Canada (UFC 83, 97, 113, 115, and 124 were held in Canada). It is the first UFC event in the Canadian province of Ontario. Mixed martial arts was legalized in Ontario in August 2010.

UFC 129 is the first time the UFC has taken their show to a stadium. The Rogers Centre was originally configured to seat 42,000 spectators for the April 30 event, but 13,000 more tickets were released to accommodate demand. Tickets sold out, shattering North American records for gate and attendance figures, surpassing $11 million and 55,000 tickets, respectively.

The fight card features two title fights: the UFC welterweight and featherweight belts will be on the line in the co-main and main event fights.

UFC 129 is the 174th UFC event including pay-per-view, Fight Night, UFC on Versus, Fight for the Troops, and The Ultimate Fighter Finale cards.

UFC 129 will be the first UFC pay-per-view event to start at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT, an hour earlier than past UFC pay-per-views. All future pay-per-view events will begin in this new timeslot.

UFC 129 Welterweight Title Bout:

UFC welterweight champion Georges “Rush” St-Pierre (21-2) will fight in a UFC title bout for the 10th time, against Jake Shields (26-4) in the main event.

St-Pierre fought for the title for the first time at UFC 50 in 2004, losing to then-champion Matt Hughes by armbar with just one second remaining in the first round. St-Pierre avenged the loss to Hughes and captured the title at UFC 65 in November of 2006, but lost in his first title defense to Matt Serra at UFC 69 in April of 2007. He defeated Matt Hughes for a second time at UFC 79 for the interim championship and avenged his loss to Matt Serra a year and 12 days after his loss to the Renzo Gracie black belt when the two rematched at UFC 83 in April of 2008.

The fight against Shields will be St-Pierre’s sixth title defense under his current reign at the top of the 170-pound division.

Jake Shields is riding a 15-fight win streak heading into UFC 129. That’s a longer winning steak than Anderson Silva is currently on.

Shields has won every MMA championship he’s ever fought for. He’s the former Shooto middleweight champion, the former Rumble on the Rock welterweight champion, the former EliteXC welterweight champion, and former Strikeforce middleweight titleholder.

UFC 129 Featherweight Title Bout:

UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo (18-1) defends his title against Mark Hominick (20-8) in the co-main event. The Brazilian is on an 11-fight win streak. It will be Aldo’s UFC debut. If he loses, he will go down in history as the only UFC champion to not win a UFC title bout.

Hominick is on a five-fight win streak. He made his Octagon debut at UFC 58 in March of 2006 as a lightweight. He went 2-0 as a lightweight in the UFC. He’s competed most of his career as a featherweight.

UFC 129 Storylines:

UFC Hall of Famer Randy “The Natural” Couture (19-10) says his UFC 129 fight against Lyoto Machida (16-2) will be his last. The former three-time UFC heavyweight titleholder and two-time UFC light heavyweight champion has retired before and came back. Following his second knockout loss to Chuck Liddell at UFC 57, Couture announced his retirement in his post-fight interview with Joe Rogan. He of course came back at UFC 68 as a heavyweight to defeat Tim Sylvia to capture the heavyweight crown for the third time in his career. Couture holds the record for most title fights in UFC history. He’s fought in 15 UFC title bouts.

Machida is coming off back-to-back losses for the first time in his career. The former light heavyweight titleholder lost his belt to Mauricio “Shogun” Rua in a rematch at UFC 113 last May. He was then defeated by Quinton “Rampage” Jackson by split decision at UFC 123 in November. The once untouchable fighter is looking at the possibility of losing three straight matches.

Four fighters make their Octagon debuts at UFC 129: Jose Aldo, Ben Henderson, Charlie Valencia, and Yves Jabouin. All are coming from the now-defunct World Extreme Cage fighting (WEC) that was folded over into the UFC following WEC 53 on Dec. 16, 2010.

All twelve UFC 129 match-ups will be shown on either Facebook, Spike TV or the pay-per-view broadcast.

UFC 129 Full Fight Card:

Main Bouts (On Pay-Per-View):
-Georges St-Pierre (21-2; #1 Welterweight) vs. Jake Shields (26-4-1; #3 Welterweight)
-Jose Aldo (18-1; #1 Featherweight) vs. Mark Hominick (20-8; #7 Featherweight)
-Vladimir Matyushenko (25-5) vs. Jason Brilz (18-3-1)
-Lyoto Machida (16-2; #5 Light Heavyweight) vs. Randy Couture (19-10)
-Ben Henderson (12-2) vs. Mark Bocek (9-3)

Preliminary Bouts (On Spike TV):
-Nate Diaz (13-6) vs. Rory MacDonald (10-1)
-Jake Ellenberger (23-5) vs. Sean Pierson (11-4)

Preliminary Bouts (On Facebook):
-Yves Jabouin (15-6) vs. Pablo Garza (10-1)
-Claude Patrick (13-1) vs. Daniel Roberts (12-1)
-Ivan Menjivar (21-8) vs. Charlie Valencia (12-6)
-Jason MacDonald (24-14) vs. Ryan Jensen (15-7)
-John Makdessi (8-0) vs. Kyle Watson (13-6-1)