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Un-caged: UFC 129 is finally here.

There’s a heavily-stacked card as the UFC makes a welcome return in Toronto. Brian Kirk taps out.

Georges St-Pierre works out in the octagon in preparation for UFC 129 in Toronto tomorrow.
Georges St-Pierre works out in the octagon in preparation for UFC 129 in Toronto tomorrow.
Image: AP Photo/The Canadian Press, J.P. Moczulski

IT HAS BEEN six long weeks since the last event but that has given me plenty of time to practice my Bruce Buffer voice and now I can finally proclaim “It’s time”, as the UFC touches down in Toronto for a colossal event this weekend.

UFC 129 has been described as one of the organisation’s biggest productions and it boasts two championship bouts, Randy Couture’s last foray into the Octagon, and plenty of Canadian fighters on show to keep the 55,000 fans in attendance satisfied.

GSP and Aldo look to overcome dangerous challengers

Georges St-Pierre takes on Jake Shields in the main event of the evening and isn’t taking him lightly despite the bookies making him a strong 1/4 favourite to win the fight. Jake Shields is on a 15 fight/five-year unbeaten streak and GSP is right not to underestimate him.

St-Pierre is an elite athlete and is ranked number one in the pound-for-pound charts. The fact that he has fought most of the time in the UFC has propelled him to global superstardom. Jake Shields has lurked in the shadows of lower organisations for most of his career but now seems ready to step up.

Many of his peers including Chuck Liddell and Phil Davis believe Shields has got what it takes to wrestle the title off the GSP, and he will be looking to emulate his Cesar Gracie teammates Nick Diaz and Gilbert Melendez in becoming champ.

If he is to have any chance against Georges, Jake must look to take him down and impose his very strong ground game on him, which is the only way I see Shields winning this fight. And that is much easier said than done.

Fresh challenge

In the first championship bout of the night Jose Aldo will look to utilize his stand-out stand-up skills as he takes on dangerous opponent Mark Hominick. This matchup promises to be a really exciting fight as both aren’t afraid to engage.

It is Aldo’s first defence of the newly formed UFC Featherweight crown and he will no doubt look to impress on his first outing in front of the UFC faithful.  He faces a well experienced and durable opponent in Hominick and the crowd will be behind him.

Aldo has dominated this division in the WEC, knocking out Manvel Gamburyan last time out and the number 3 ranked pound-for-pound fighter should have too much in his locker for “The Machine.” Hominick will look to avoid the sports’ most lethal leg kicks, something Urijah Faber was unable to do.

Randy’s “last” fight

We’ve heard it all before, but Randy Couture has claimed this will be his last professional UFC bout as he takes on Lyoto Machida. Machida is looking to dispel his previous defeats to Rampage Jackson and Shogun Rua while Couture looks to end his glittering career on a high.

Randy has been wrestling and grinding down opponents for 20 years so Machida knows what to expect from the Hall of Famer, but underestimate the 47 year old at your own risk. Couture relishes the underdog status and has so often upset the favourite in the past. With this being his last fight, don’t rule out the possibility of it happening one last time.

The prelims are being shown live on facebook and coverage on ESPN UK kicks off at 1am on Sunday morning.

About the author:

Brian Kirk

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