UFC 129 Recap: Couture’s retirement, Hominick’s heart, Machida’s kick and GSP’s eye

There hasn’t been an MMA event in recent memory that has been anticipated as UFC 129. In a throw back to the glory days of PRIDE in Japan, it was the return of Mixed Martial Arts in a big stadium. It was also only the 3rd MMA event in the province of Ontario, with a record of 55,000 in attendance, the biggest in North American history.

To make this historic event even sweeter, the UFC booked an extremely stacked card filled with old time favorites and pound for pound greats. But what the people were really looking forward to see was the main event between Welterweight king Georges St. Pierre defend his crown against former Strikeforce Middleweight champ Jake Shields.

The energy in the Rogers Centre was felt by the millions watching worldwide in anticipation for the main event and the card was filled with already very memorable moments. Unfortunately for those people out there looking for a climactic finish to near perfect Pay-Per-View, you won’t find that in the main event of GSP vs. Shields.

From the first round to the end, St. Pierre outclassed Jake Shields in the striking department and stuffed every single takedown attempt. However, this wasn’t GSP’s finest showing. Sometime in the second round Jake Shields hit St. Pierre with a right cross that affected Georges’ vision in his left eye. Georges didn’t look good technically as he had in previous bouts. He was telegraphing an overhand right through out the fight and utilized a spinning back kick that did connect a few times but was being over used. However, Georges did have some moments and he did rock Shields a few times. It was more than enough to win the fight, but even the great GSP wasn’t impressed with his performance.

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Questions after seeing GSP vs. Shields:

-With GSP’s far from perfect performance, do you think a superfight between GSP and Anderson Silva is still being considered?

-If Nick Diaz was to make the jump to the UFC, would he truly be the biggest threat to Georges St. Pierre’s title?

-Who would be a suitable opponent for Jake Shields when he returns to competition? Would a rematch with Martin Kampmann be a good choice or perhaps a rematch with Jason Miller if he could win in his UFC debut?

Notes from UFC 129:

Mark Hominick showed the fans how big his heart truly was. He was being dominated by the Featherweight champion Jose Aldo for four rounds and sported a huge hematoma. But he dug deep in the fifth round and was very close to finishing the fight wounds and all. I don’t think Hominick’s stock is at all down from his performance and within a few fights could be back in the Featherweight title picture again.

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Lyoto Machida finished Randy Couture in such spectacular fashion with another front kick victory almost similar to teammate Anderson Silva. Apparently Steven Seagal “taught” that kick to the Black House fighters. If this truly is The Natural’s last dance, at least he gone out on his shield against a top- ranked fighter. Thank you Randy for the memories growing up.

-Did you guys expect Vladimir Matyushenko to finish Jason Brilz in that fashion? In a recent interview we conducted with him for our debut episode of Split Decision radio, he said he was working on his striking with Antoni Hardonk. I guess it really paid off and it showed against Jason Brilz. Since Vladdy won this fight and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira lost to Phil Davis, do you think we should see a trilogy between Lil’ Nog and the Janitor?

-Ben Henderson put on a heck of a performance against Mark Bocek showcasing some solid striking and knees in the clinch. Who would be a suitable opponent for Smooth in his next fight?

Lowkick.com UFC 129 awards:

Fight of the Night – Hands down, Mark Hominick vs. Jose Aldo deserves the fight of the night award. Jose Aldo dominated for a big chunk of the fight, but Mark Hominick was very close to coming back late in the fifth round. The display of striking technique and amount of heart shown will be a fight that will be remembered for a long time.

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Performance of the Night – Jose Aldo put on a wonderful performance in defending his featherweight belt and dominated a very tough Mark Hominick for four rounds. His trip to Holland to visit K-1 MAX star Andy Souwer to help with his technical striking made a difference. Even little things like Aldo’s head movement was superb.

Finish of the Night –  Pablo Garza would get big props from Shinya Aoki for his spectacular flying triangle choke in the first round against Yve Jabouin during the Facebook prelims. Honorable mention to Lyoto Machida for his Steven Seagal Super Front Kick that possibly ended Randy Couture‘s career.

Disappointment of the Night – Unfortunately for Georges St. Pierre he is the receiptant of UFC 129‘s Disappointment of the Night. The champion may have done enough to win the fight, but he was far from the near perfect fighter we are used to watching. Once we figure out his eye problems and he recovers I expect him to come back better than ever, but as fan I hope to see him finish because I know he has it in him.

Photos: Francis Specker, Tracy Lee for Yahoo! CageWriter