What an event this was. Epic is probably the word best used to describe UFC 129. Yeah, the main event was a bit lackluster, but the sheer awesomeness of every other fight on the card surely makes up for it. I’m not sure yet here it rates on my list of favorite MMA events evar, but it’s gotta be right up at the top.
Let’s get on with the highlights.
Randy Couture vs. Lyoto Machida
Gotta start with Machida-Couture. Welcome back to the wagon, all of you fair weather Machida fans. There was no doubt in my mind that he was going to obliterate Couture, but by CRANE KICK?! Lyoto was on point tonight, looking quicker than ever, and a bit more aggressive and frequent in his exchanges. His countering and brutal knees to the body in the first round fucked Couture’s world up. War Machida.
Jose Aldo vs. Mark Hominick
Real guts and determination shown by both of these guys. This was the first time I’ve seen Aldo getting bettered on the feet at any point, and the first time I’ve seen his gas running low, but he pushed through and did what he had to do. Aldo was pushed and tested, and he passed. What wasn’t so impressive was his ground game. I know, he was tired, but he didn’t do shit once he was on his back.
Hominick put up one hell of a fight, but by the end looked like the homeboy from Fist of the North Star after &t=0m34s”>Leatherface bashes that dude over the head with a mallet in the original Texas Chain Saw Massacre. Couldn’t be happier for Ivan.
Nate Diaz vs. Rory MacDonald
What a showcase for Rory MacDonald. Diaz had a bit of success (i.e. wasn’t getting merc’d) in the clinch against the cage with knees and shoulder bumps, but other than that his game was shut down completely by Rory. Rory used his own personal shoulder bumps, but I’m not really sure how rubbing your bacne on your opponent’s face really helps you in a fight. MacDonald found his groove from the 2nd round on, landing crisp combos, GNP, and OMG SUPLEXES! The kid landed 3 awesome suplexes in a little over a minute. There should definitely be a Suplex of the Night bonus.
Georges St-Pierre vs. Jake Shields
Disappointing fight after the fact, compellling and frustrating while watching it live. Georges was playing it safe, despite minimal risk on the feet, and minimal risk of getting taken down. Jake did better than expected, but he was seemingly satisfied with just doing better than people expected. Perhaps he did better than he expected he would. He never showed any urgency, never really worked for clinches or takedowns, and was content to kickbox it out to a losing decision.