There were so many seminal moments last night at UFC 129: St. Pierre vs. Shields. I was there live and even if a fight had never taken place, the size of the venue and the job the UFC did to preserve the "UFC experience" was something to behold. Luckily the fighters rose to the occasion and put on a number of excellent performances and memorable moments.
I'm sure everyone has their own idea of what is noteworthy, but here are a few I believe must be viewed again.
Lyoto Machida's front kick KO of Randy Couture. How could this not be on the list? In the last fight of his UFC and MMA career, UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture fought a tough first round against karateka Lyoto Machida only to be put to sleep with a jumping front kick KO. Know what's surreal? It looked like the crane kick from "The Karate Kid". Know what's more surreal? Machida credited martial arts action star Steven Seagal with helping him perfect the kick. This comes barely two months after Anderson Silva front kick KO'd Vitor Belfort...and then also credited Seagal with assistance on mastering his front kick.
The entire Jose Aldo vs. Mark Hominick bout. It was two rounds of fairly close action followed by two rounds of punishment followed by a spirited come back in the final round from the man who was en route to taking a unanimous decision loss. The UFC featherweight champion showed crippling power, crisp head movement, devastating leg kicks and nearly unstoppable takedowns through four rounds. The third and fourth were particularly brutal. Aldo eventually caused a gigantic hematoma to form on Hominick's forehead, but the doctor let it continue. In the fifth round, however, Hominick showed unreal guts and stormed back. He battered Aldo for nearly the entire five minutes on the ground while the champion laid there helplessly. The entire fight is a showcase of talent, brutality, and the courage it takes to never quit.
Vladimir Matyushenko getting a 20 second KO win over Jason Brilz. The cagey veteran Matyushenko entered this bout with little fanfare. Brilz, coming off the robbery loss to Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, was assumed to be the prohibitive favorite. Matyushenko, they thought, was too old. They thought wrong. Clearly well prepared and eager to prove a point, Matyushenko wasted no time in forcing striking exchanges. Seconds into the fight he landed a crisp right hand that sent Brilz crashing to the mat. The experienced Matyushenko seized the opportunity and finished off Brilz without the slightest amount of resistance. Total fight time? 20 seconds.
Rory MacDonald slamming Nate Diaz 3 times in round 3. 21 year old Rory MacDonald needed to get back on track after letting Carlos Condit come back to beat him at UFC 115. He did that and more by dominating the formidable Nate Diaz from pillar to post and putting an exclamation point on the beat down with not one, not two but three amazing German suplexes in the third round. Everytime Diaz thought he had gotten his bearings back, MacDonald sent him on another trip from the stratosphere to the canvas. MacDonald is once again a hot young prospect on his way up in the UFC.
The folks at Comcast want to know: which moment of St. Pierre vs. Shields would be best to relive with Comcast On Demand? Be sure to vote in the poll, make your voice heard and go relive that magic that was UFC 129.
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