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Round by round at UFC 129: GSP endures in stand-up battle against Shields

Metro's Fernando Carneiro covers UFC 129, round by round, from the Rogers Centre.<br /><font size="5"><font face="Verdana, Helvetica, Arial"><span style="font-size: 16px"></span></font></font>

Fight 1: Featherweight


Pablo Garza vs. Yves Jabouin (Montreal)


Round 1:


Jabouin is the aggressor early on, knocking down Garza with a punch midway through the round. It ends quickly, however, when the fighters go to the ground and Garza locks in a triangle choke. Jabouin attempted to fight it off — much to the crowd's approval — but eventually taps out. The official ruling is tapout by triangle choke.


Garza said after the fight:


“The triangle got him, not the armbar. He was rolling but I cranked it
very hard. I thought my last fight was a trip but this was mind
blowing.”


“The leg kicks didn’t bother me. I was a little jittery, the biggest
crowd I ever fought in front of was a couple thousand. This was like
‘holy%#41’ and it took a while to concentrate on the fight.”



Fight 2: Lightweight


Kyle Watson vs. John Makdessi (Halifax)


Round 1


The fighters start tentatively. They circle each other, Makdessi scores a leg kick. Watson followed with a kick of his own, misses. They exchange a flurry of punches just after a minute into the round. Makdessi hits with a solid punch to the head. Watson attempts A meek takedown attempt that Makdessi stuffs. Another flurry of punches, at 2:40. Makdessi lands a superman punch. Fighters taking turns exchanging flurries. Makdessi scores a hook kick that lands on Watson’s face. He’s the more active fighter, although Watson keeps pushing forward. Metro gives this one to Makdessi 10-9.

Round 2

Makdessi starts by pushing forward this time. The fighters exchange shots right away. More circling in the middle of the ring. Watson lands a hard head kick. Makdessi goes for another hook kick, misses this time. With 1:25 to go, Makdessi rocks Watson with a couple of hard punches. He’s too cautious and Watson recovers. Watson seems to be attempting high kicks. Metro also gives this round to Makdessi 10-9.

Round 3

Nasty cut on Watson’s face after the two exchange punches. Makdessi is pushing forward, lands a hard spinning backfist and Watson is out. He’s still down by the time Makdessi is interviewed about the win. Makdessi wins by knockout.


John Makdessi said after the fight:

“I knew I hit him well, but I didn’t know I knocked him out. I guess when you train that much, it’s just a feeling to know when to use it. I like to feel out my opponent first. It’s a true testament to my great coaches and my kickboxing coach.”

(on Dana tweeting that he’s going to win Knockout of the Night)

“This is going to change my life.”


Fight 3: Middleweight


Ryan Jensen vs. Jason MacDonald (Nova Scotia)

Round 1

The crowd roared as MacDonald is introduced. He quickly takes Jensen down and works his way to back control. Jensen manages to escape and lands in MacDonald’s guard. The crowd roars again as MacDonald attempts a triangle. Jensen picks him up and slams him, but the tringle sinks deeper. Jensen attempts to punch, but it’s too tight. He taps, and the Rogers Centre becomes very loud. This one ends at 1:37 of the first round.


John MacDonald after the fight:

“Words can’t describe what I’m feeling right now. I had the triangle locked in and I knew he was going to slam me. I knew as long I kept him tight it would be no problem. ”



Fight 4: Bantamweight


Charlie Valencia vs. Ivan Menjivar (from El Salvador, trains in Montreal)

Round 1:

The Rogers Centre looks nearly full by the time this fight starts. The fighters touch gloves and circle in the middle of the ring until Valencia goes for a high kick. Menjivar attempts a hard hook. Valencia is looking for leg kicks and swings wildly as they clinch. Menjivar lands an elbow to the nose that drops Valencia. He follows with a flurry of punches as Valencia, on the ground, covers his head. He’s not fighting back. The referee ends it. It’s Menjivar by TKO.


Ivan Menjivar after the fight:

(on the finish)

“From the clinch we were kneeing each other and then by reflex I threw my left elbow and connected. That spun him and then I followed him to the ground and that was it.”

(On fighting in front of the Canadian crowd)

“I was born in El Salvador but then I came here and now I represent both countries. I’m very proud to be here. It’s probably because I’m Latino too. We try to represent our culture and we work hard.”



Fight 5: Welterweight

Daniel Roberts vs. Claude Patrick (Toronto)


The Rogers Centre is loudest for this one.

Round 1:


Patrick immediately takes Roberts down. Roberts attempts to shake an arm loose, but Patrick is tight and moves into half-guard. He manages to escape and the fighters stand up again. Patrick’s lead hand is open, but he follows with punches – takes Roberts to the fence but the San Francisco fighter spins around. They take turns exchanging positions before moving to the middle of the Octagon. Crowd starts to chant “Let’s go Canada.” Patrick is the aggressor here, lands a punch before they tangle up against the fence. They go down, Patrick is on top again. He attempts a choke, but Roberts recovers guard. Roberts stands up, Patrick chases and lands several hard punches. Then a high kick. They tangle up again and the crowd asks for knees. Metro gives this round to Patrick 10-9.


Round 2:


They circle and Patrick is clearly
the aggressor. The crowd chants, “Let’s go Patrick.” He lands a low kick that
Roberts catches and uses to take him down. Roberts is on top, but Patrick
recovers. They’re against the fence again. Patrick lands a hard knee to the
head as they move away from the fence. Roberts attempts a superman punch and
misses. Patrick lands a low kick, then goes for a takedown attempt. Roberts
goes for a guillotine and in getting away from it, Patrick ends up on the
bottom. Roberts has side control and looking to mount. He gets to half-guard.
Patrick slaps the back of his head, Roberts doesn’t seem to find enough balance
to land clean shots. Patrick works back to full guard then gives up his back.
He recovers and has Roberts against the fence. He’s again stalking Roberts, who
looks tired. Metro also gives Patrick this second round, 10-9.


Round 3:

Roberts lands a hard kick to the body as he moves away from Patrick, who keeps pushing forward. Roberts goes for another kick and Patrick takes his leg. They go to the fence before Patrick finishes the takedown. He’s in full mount. Roberts recovers to half-guard, but not before eating a couple of punches. Patrick lands a knee as Roberts stands up. More tangling at the fence. Roberts can’t take the fight to the ground and after a while the referee breaks them up. Back in the middle of the Octagon, Patrick lands a punch to the head, Roberts goes for a takedown, but gets stuffed. Metro gives this round to Roberts 10-9.



Official decision: Toronto's Claude Patrick wins by unanimous decision with all three judges scoring the bout 29-28.


Claude Patrick after the fight:

“It was a long time in the making. I never thought it would be possible. It was an honor to perform in front of my hometown crowd.”

(On his opponent)

“The guy did something different that I will never let get to me again. He went on the computer and made a whole bunch of ridiculous remarks which I didn’t even read because I turn the computer off when I’m training for a fight. He made this video about my head being so big so that’s why I came at him so hard in the first round and let my fists do the talking.”


Fight 6: Welterweight

Jake Ellenberger vs. Sean Pierson (Toronto)

Round 1:

Chants of “Let’s go Sean Pierson” to start this one. Ellenberger lands a hard counter to the body. Pierson is pushing the action but Ellenberger is counterpunching well, lands a cross to the head. Elleberger takes Pierson down, but he quickly gets back up. They circle the Octagon again, throwing some punches. Ellenberger lands his, while Pearson seems to be struggling to close the distance. Ellenberger catches rim with a hard jab and Pierson is out. It’s a knockout win for Ellenberger.


Jake Ellenberger after the fight:

“There’s so many people, it’s hard to stay relaxed in there. I didn’t know I caught him until he went down. He was jabbing and then I just caught him with the hook. I was a little worried because it was a late-notice fight, but I came out with the win so I was happy about that.”

“Mentally, I was ready to go three rounds but nothing can get you ready for that crowd. I’ve been to a lot of UFC shows, but I’ve never heard anything like that. It’s hard to explain. It’s hard to stay relaxed in there.”



Fight 7: Welterweight


Rory MacDonald (Quesnel, B.C.) vs. Nate Diaz


Round 1:


Crowd is loud again for B.C.’s Rory MacDonald. Diaz gets booed during the introduction. MacDonald throws a few tentative jabs to start, Diaz seems content to wait. MacDonald throws a high kick, misses. Diaz is trying to adjust his timing. Diaz now opening up his hands and inviting MacDonald to punch him. They exchange. Diaz has MacDonald at the fence. Diaz eats an elbow, they reverse positions. MacDonald takes Diaz down, but Dias quickly gets back up. MacDonald lands a superman punch and stays active alternating the odd jab with a headkick. But it’s Diaz moving forward. Opens his arms again and the crowd boos. They clinch, with Diaz defending MacDonald’s knee attempts. Diaz goes for a takedown and gets stuffed. They go to the fence and Diaz lands an elbow. MacDonald replies with a punch to the head. A very even round, Metro gives MacDonald the edge, 10-9.


Round 2:

They circle in the middle of the Octagon with Diaz in pursuit. It ends in a clinch at the fence. MacDonald takes Diaz down. Lands a hard punch and head kick as Diaz gets back to his feet only to be taken down by MacDonald again. Diaz gets back up but eats a punch along the way. Diaz connects with a punch to the head and continues to stalk MacDonald. MacDonald goes for a takedown, but gets stuffed. Diaz then pins MacDonald against the fence and trips him. He gets back up, and misses a superman punch. Both land hard punches during an exchange. MacDonald appears to land a flying knee. Lands a superman punch and leg kick. Metro gives this round to MacDonald 10-9.


Round 3:

Diaz stalking again but it’s MacDonald’s range is better. They clinch and MacDonald takes Diaz to the fence. Both stay active. Diaz attempts a takedown, slips and eats a punch on the ground. He attempts to get back up and MacDonald throws him back down with a highlight-reel slam. Diaz attempts to pull gruad and MacDonald stands. Diaz attempts to do the same and gets brutally slammed again. The crowd is going wild — it’s very loud right now. Diaz gets back up, attempts another failed takedown and eats more elbows. He gets back up. They clinch at the fence. Diaz’s takedown attempt fails and it’s MacDonald who takes him down landing punches along the way. MacDonald in total control from standing position while Diaz defends the punches raining down on him. Diaz has a nasty cut above his left eye but gets up. It’s over, very impressive round by MacDonald. He’s loving it, the crowd is loving it. Metro gives the round 10-8 to MacDonald for a 30-26 win.

The official decision: 30-26, 30-27, 30-26 — It's a unanimous decision for MacDonald.


Rory MacDonald after the fight:

(on the first slam)

“He turned and exposed his back to me and that’s a pretty natural movement for me. I feel very strong in that position. He kept turning his back to me. I was really surprised by the third one. I felt like I was going to keep slamming him until the end of the round.

(on the crowd)

“It was awesome. I definitely heard them when I hit the slams and then on the ground-and-pound. It was like a big wave of noise.”

(on facing Nate Diaz / defending the possibility of a kimura when having Diaz’s back)

“I respected his skill level. He’s a very durable guy. I trained the defense to the kimura a lot. I didn’t feel threatened by the kimura. He wasn’t in position for it. I was on the offensive at that point.”




LIVE ON PAY-PER-VIEW:


Fight 8: Lightweight


Ben Henderson vs. Mark Bocek (Toronto)


Round 1:


Both the crowd and sound system are very loud for this first pay-per-view fight. The fighters start cautiously and soon they clinch on the fence. Henderson on the outside stays active with knees to the thighs but the referee breaks them up. Henderson lands a hard kick to the body. Bocek lands to the head and they clinch at the fence again. Back in the middle of the Octagon, Bocek is pushing the action but Henderson counterpunching well. Bocek grabs a leg, takes Henderson down, but eats a hard punch on the way to the mat. The jiu-jitsu specialist is now on Henderson’s guard, by the fence. Metro gives Bocek a slight edge and the round 10-9.


Round 2:

The fighters take measure of each other in the middle of the Octagon again. Bocek goes for the takedown, but gets stuffed when Henderson is back up against the fence. Bocek picks Henderson up, takes him down, but they’re quickly on their feet again. This time Henderson has Bocek against the fence, but the referee breaks them up. Henderson takes Bocek down, whose open guard is ineffective. Henderson landing hard punches, but Bocek gets back up. He sinks a choke and takes Henderson down. It’s not deep enough to finish, but it’s tight enough to control the other fighter. In trying to finish he loses the hold and Henderson replies with a flurry of hard punches. Bocek is bleeding from the top of his head. Metro gives Henderson a slight edge, 10-9.

Round 3:

It’s Bocek pushing forward to start and when Henderson throw a kick he catches it and takes him down. Bocek struggling to punch from Henderson’s closed guard. Henderson escapes and it’s Bocek on the bottom now, eating punches. He takes Henderson’s leg and moves behind the other fighter. They clinch on the fence again. Henderson is active with knees and elbows. Henderson also winning the exchange of punches while standing up but Bocek takes him down. He’s going for another choke, just a few seconds to go and they stand up. It’s over. A close round in a close fight. Metro gives this round to Henderson 10-9 for a 29-28 win.

The official decision: All three judges score it 30-27 against the Toronto fighter. It's Ben Henderson by unanimous decision.


Ben Henderson after the fight:

“I can do all things through Christ! Toronto, can I get an amen. It feels great to get the win. I hate losing and that I was coming off a loss. Yes, this was a big moment and it’s a big night but I’ve fought for the world title before so I was able to stay composed in there. I’m a pretty reserved guy until all these cameras get in my face.”

(on getting out of submissions)

“I always try and stay calm and relaxed. I have to credit that to [my Brazilian jiu-jitsu coach] John Crouch.”

(on the crowd)

“It was surreal. At first they were booing because I was fighting the local guy but it’s all good. At one point I took a look around and was like ‘Wow, that’s a lot of people’.”


Fight 9: Light-heavyweight


Jason Brilz vs. Vladimir Matyushenko


Round 1:


Matyushenko lands a flurry standing up. Brilz backs up and Matyushenko follows, landing along the way. Brilz is on the ground and appears to go limp only to be brought back by another punch. This one is over as the referee correctly stops the fight. It’s Matyushenko by TKO after 20 seconds.



Fight 10: Light-heavyweight


Lyoto Machida vs. Randy Couture


Round 1:


Floor crowd on their feet as people attempt to shoot photos of Randy Couture in what he said will be his final fight. Crowd chanting, “Randy.” Cautious approach by both fighters with Machida moving forward in his usual karate stance. Machida throws a jab, Couture moves in and Machida hits him with a cross. Machida more active with his jabs, until Couture lands a hard hook to the head. It’s Couture doing the stalking now. He attempts to clinch, but Machida gets away. Every time Couture closes the distance Machida throws a flurry of punches. Machida counter-attacking only at this point. Randy moves for a takedown and Machida lands a knee to the head. They stay up. Machida stuffs another takedown attempt. And another. Lands a hard roundhouse kick to Couture’s stomach. Metro gives this round to Machida, 10-9.


Round 2:

They start cautiously again. Couture looking for an opening without much success. Machida throws a light low kick followed by a hard punch to the head. Machida lands a jumping straight front kick to Couture’s head. He goes down immediately and is out. Eerily similar to training partner Anderson Silva’s win over Victor Belfort earlier this year. Couture is up and the crowd gives him a standing ovation. They’re chanting his name, “Randy, Randy, Randy.” The official decision is Machida by knockout at 1:05 of the second round.


During post-fight interview Machida says Steven Seagal also thought him that kick. Machida then calls Couture a "hero."


Lyoto Machida after the fight:

“I had a dream when I was 18-years-old that I would fight Randy Couture. But I thought I would never get the chance because I was too young. It was an honor to fight Randy. He’s the man and a legend.”

(on the fight-ending kick)

“My father said in martial arts to always be different. He taught me to look for different techniques and angles.”


Randy Couture after the fight:

“This is it. I think the last time we had this conversation I had all my teeth.”

“He’s a tremendous fighter. It felt like I was standing still out there, and he caught me with a great kick.”

“The fans have always treated me great, but to go out on that ovation was very special.”



Fight 11: Featherweight Title Bout


Mark Hominick (London, Ont.) vs. Jose Aldo


Round 1:


Screen flashing a maple leaf and snow flakes just before Hominick’s entrance to the Octagon. They touch gloves and it’s Hominick pushing the action. Aldo landing counters, punches and low kicks. Hominick stumbles after being hit with one, recovers and continues to stalk. Aldo kicks, he catches the leg and Aldo slips down. The champion is quickly back on his feet and takes Hominick down. As he attempts to pass the guard, Aldo has to work to get away from an armbar attempt. He ends up in Hominick’s guard and stays active by throwing elbows. Hominick is bleeding from his nose, also appears to have a cut under his right eye. The referee stands them up to the crowd’s approval. Hominick is on the attack again, but gets taken down. He quickly pulls guard and the round ends. Metro scores it 10-9 for Aldo.


Round 2:


Hominick starts quickly, but Aldo manages to escape damage. Aldo lands a hard low kick as they move to the centre of the Octagon. After Aldo lands a hard punch, Hominick gives one right back. The crowd cheers. Hominick lands another hard punch only to get taken down. He’s fighting from the guard again and defending elbows from Aldo. The crowd is starts to boo and the referee stands them up agan. Aldo’s face looks bloody, but it’s hard to tell if he’s cut or if it’s Hominick’s blood. The the champion shoots and scores another takedown. The round ends, Metro gives it to Aldo, 10-9.


Round 3:

Hominick looks alert in-between rounds. Damage seems superficial. He runs up to Aldo again and they exchange shots. Hominick lands a low kick and Aldo returns it. Hominick throwing double jabs, but it’s Aldo who lands a hard jab. Hominick avoids a takedown they move back to the centre of the Octagon. Hominick buckles after another low kick. Aldo landing more punches, but Hominick holding his own — he avoids another takedown. When Hominick punches Aldo moves his head side-to-side and stands his ground. He lands a hard punch and Hominick goes down. The challenger looks hurt, but kept his hands up. The fight is still going. Hominick pulls guard again. His left eye is starting to close as Round 3 comes to an end. Metro scores it 10-9 for Aldo.


Round 4:

Hominick again goes after Aldo and they exchange. Aldo lands a hard right low kick and buckles Hominick. It looks like Hominick got hit in the groin, Aldo offers to pause the fight but the challenger turns the invitation down. They touch gloves. Despite taking numerous low kicks Hominick does not appear to be limping. Aldo tags him with a hard punch and Hominick goes straight down. Aldo on top, but Hominick has guard. The champion is landing elbows and the crowd winces when the screens show a large bubble forming above Hominick’s right eye, under the skin. It’s nasty. The referee stops the fight so the ringside doctor can take a look at the growth. Huge reaction from the crowd to the bump on Hominick’s head — it’s twice the size of the doctor’s thumb. But the fight goes on and Aldo immediately goes after Hominick. They exchange and Aldo takes him down. Hominick hitting him with palm heels to the side of the head, it’s all he can do. Metro gives another round to Aldo, 10-9.


Round 5:

Hominick’s face looks battered but he’s coming back for the fifth and final round. The crowd roars in approval. Aldo smiles as they touch gloves, his face also showing bumps and bruises. Aldo is faster as they exchange punches and kicks in the centre of the Octagon. Hominick is hurt and goes down. Aldo goes for a choke that fails and ends up on the bottom. Hominick is in Aldo’s half-guard and working to pass. Aldo recovers to full guard and Hominick starts to land from the top. Some on the crowd are on their feet. Hominick still landing from the top, he’s giving it his all. Aldo is just defending, he doesn’t appear to be trying to get up. Two minutes to go, it’s deafening in here and Hominick is now landing body shots. Aldo looks tired on the bottom. Every time Hominick lands a hard shot the crowd noise gets louder. Hominick is in control. Aldo has never taken this kind of beating in the WEC. The champion is still defending and seems content to survive only, mounting no attacks. The challenger looks at his corner and they tell him he’s out of time. He steps up the assault, but the round ends. The crows is on their feet, clapping their hands above their heads. What a showing by Hominick. Metro scores this round 10-8 for Hominick. Aldo is likely to win 48-47.

The official result: Aldo wins a unanimous decision. Hominick is standing tall in the ring. It's announced that one of the judges scored the fight 50-43, but a UFC official quickly tells journalists that's a scoring error.


Mark Hominick after the title fight:

“First off, I just want to say to my wife that I hope I didn’t put you into labor. I know you’re do any minute. I love you, babe and I hope that you’re okay. And second, I just want to thank John McCarthy for not stopping the fight. I was never going to give up.”

“I didn’t throw enough combinations. I was throwing all single shots. I wanted to get one up on him and I let him get one up on me. It’s one of those things, you go back to the drawing board and I’ll come back stronger.”

“I thought I could’ve attacked a bit more on the ground. I thought he was going to be attacking me more instead of holding me down. I fought hard for you guys and I hope you enjoy the fight.”



Main Event: Welterweight title bout


Jake Shields vs. Georges St-Pierre (Montreal)


Round 1:

Crowd on their feet, cellphone cameras above their heads for Georges St-Pierre. The fighters start by circling each other. Neither is landing much. Shields grabs a hold of GSP’s leg and they clinch at the fence. GSP reverses and throws knees before they pull apart. GSP attempts a spinning back kick, misses, but the crowd loves it. GSP throwing the harder punches during exchanges. Both fighters very cautious. GSP landing overhand rights. Shields attempts a kick, falls and the crowd reacts. GSP lands a kick to the body. GSP also scoring with jabs. A cautious round ends and Metro scores it 10-9 GSP.

Round 2:

They start by exchanging jabs. Shields seems to throw more multiple-punch combinations, but GSP making each hit count. GSP alternating jab and jab-counter. He’s pushing the pace. GSP lands a hard spinning back kick to the mid-section. Both fighters still cautious. GSP misses with another spinning kick, Shields grabs the leg, but it’s too sweaty and he can’t hold on. GSP shifting stances, seems to be communicating that he’s going to step it up, but the round ends. All stand-up, nothing on the ground so far. Metro also gives this round to GSP, 10-9.


Round 3:

More exchanges in the middle of the ring. GSP seems to be throwing the harder shots, he’s really leaning into his punches. He scores with another overhand right. Shields attempts a weak kick and GSP moves in with a couple of punches. They clinch, but GSP pushes away. He doesn’t seem to want to go to the ground. Finally a takedown attempt from Shields but GSP calmly moves out of the way. GSP throwing hard low kicks. Shields not landing anything with power. GSP takes Shields down and ends up in half-guard. Little time left and they maintain position until the horn sounds. Metro scores it 10-9 GSP.

Round 4:

They meet in the middle and Shields goes after GSP, but his punches don’t appear to cause damage. GSP takes him down, Shields moves to full-guard and GSP stands up. GSP picking Shields apart, but only the overhand rights seem to hurt the challenger. GSP lands a hich kick to the head and Shields goes down. He’s not out of it and grabs GSP’s leg. The champ backs off and Shields stands up, blood flowing from his nose. Shields looks tired but has his hands up and is inviting GSP to hit him. Both turn it up. Shields seems to be going for broke. He’s landing more in the exchanges. GSP has a bloody face now. It’s Shields pushing the action, until the round ends. The high kick knockdown earns GSP this round, 10-9.


Round 5:

Both fighters seem revitalized. Shields moving forward, GSP countering with the jab, overhand right. Shields seems to expect it and usually blocks them. They clinch briefly, but GSP just pushes away. He doesn’t seem to want to test the challenger on the ground and Shields isn’t attempting takedowns. GSP continues to throw techniques from long range. Another spinning back kick attempt that grazes Shields. The crowd is becoming restless with 30 seconds to go. They’re urging GSP on, but he seems to be sticking to his game plan. The champ goes for a late takedown and gets stuffed. The horn sounds, it’s over. Another round for GSP, who took few chances and was never in trouble, 10-9. Metro scores the fight 50-45 for GSP.


The official decision: Ringside judges score it: 50-45, 48-47 and 48-47. GSP wins by unanimous decision and is still the reigning welterweight champion.


GSP apologizes to fans for not finishing fight during the post-fight interview.



 
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