The Ultimate Fighting Championship is making more steps in global expansion with UFC 129 being set in Toronto, Canada. The Canadian province recently legalized the sport and this will be the UFC’s first event in the area. With this being the company’s first time coming, the organization has created a card that is expected to entertain the masses.
The main event has been announced to feature Canadian hero, and perhaps one of the most dominant champions in UFC history, Georges “Rush” St. Pierre as he faces off what many people believe to be the last hurdle in the welterweight division, Jake Shields.
St. Pierre is coming off a one sided victory, when he defeated Josh Koscheck at UFC 124 in Montreal, Canada. The champion used a steady dose of the jab to injure his opponent and keep him on his heels throughout the fight. Undefeated since 2007, St. Pierre’s resume is stacked with some of the biggest names in mixed martial arts including Matt Hughes, Jon Fitch, BJ Penn and Thiago Alves. This will be his sixth title defense since winning the belt back from Matt Serra in 2008.
Cesar Gracie Black Belt, Jake Shields, also has had a strong run outside of the UFC. He’s a former champion in both Strikeforce and Elite XC where he held belts in two different weight classes. In his debut at UFC 121, Shields was able to edge out a victory against Martin Kampmann. Shields has defeated a number of ranked contenders that include Paul Daley, Carlos Condit, Dan Henderson and Jason Miller.
To go along with this matchup, a potential battle between former light heavyweight champions Randy Couture and Lyoto Machida is in the works.
Couture is coming off of a victory against former boxing champion James Toney at UFC 118 in August. The UFC Hall of Famer was rumored to be considering retirement unless a big named matchup could be dangled in front of him. This seems to be such a match.
Machida is trying to halt a two fight skid since losing the Light Heavyweight title early in 2010. He was recently defeated in what some considered a controversial finish when Quinton “Rampage” Jackson earned a split decision victory over Machida in November.
Former WEC Lightweight champion Benson Henderson is expected to face off against Canadian fighter Mark Bocek. Henderson was defeated in his last outing by Anthony Pettis in what was the last WEC event before their merger with the UFC. Bocek was victorious at UFC 124 when he submitted Dustin Hazelett.
Currently, one additional fight has been mentioned for the UFC 129 card. This matchup will feature another Canadian fighter, Ivan Menjivar against Charlie Valencia in the bantamweight division.
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