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UFC 129 Winners & Losers

by on May 1, 2011

WINNERS:

Jake Shields: Say what you will about him being handled by a one-eyed man, but if Georges keeps fighting at 170 and he can string together another win or two, he’ll get the rematch. It’s all about business and the tagline “I’m the man who took GSP’s eye” is a lot more appealing than some up-and-comer with the same song and dance about being the one to take down GSP’s legend that no one believes by now since everyone’s said it.

Mark Hominick and the entire UFC Featherweight Division: This is the fight that the division needed to establish itself as more than just “one of the WEC weight classes”. Hominick made himself a star and that fight raised the prestige of that belt tenfold. Stealing the show on a GREAT night of fights like this in front of this many sets of eyes in a five-round epic turns heads. I have the feeling that, soon enough, Aldo will be able to defend that belt as the headline fight on a standalone pay-per-view event and do decently financially. Hominick, if he doesn’t get the immediate rematch, will assuredly (at the least) be a solid semi-main eventer on another big card like this in the next half year (depending on how quickly he recovers).

(More under the cut…)

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People who make highlight videos. Rarely will you see a major league mixed martial arts card with this many spectacular finishes. From the jumping triangle to the Seagal crane kick and everything in-between…if you couldn’t make a great highlight reel just off of this show alone, you don’t know what you’re doing.

-Vladimir Matyushenko. I’m sure that, going into this card, Matyushenko might have been fearing for his job. The biggest name-value thing he’s been involved in in years was being a Jon Jones victim, he’s an elder fighter and he’s not terribly exciting. After tonight’s dynamite knockout (while he might not have earned himself an extra loss), he stayed with the top fighting company in the world for at least a few more months and might have made some new fans.

-Rory MacDonald. MacDonald was handed his first loss ever at UFC 115, at the hands of Carlos Condit. Being so young, he could have handled it the wrong way and gone into a downward spiral. Instead, he suplexed and suplexed his way to a great victory over a top-end fighter (Nate Diaz) on a huge card. MacDonald’s got the potential to be a force at 170 and he has nothing but time.

-Mixed Martial Arts.  Who would’ve thought in the 90’s that, in 2011, the Ultimate Fighting Championship would be hosting an event in a dome in front of 55,000+ people? Not only that, but the UFC production team (that’s sometimes notorious for cutting the live audience out of the televised experience) did a great job tonight at exposing how huge of a spectacle this thing was and how many people were truly there. It was a  tremendous night for a great sport.

LOSERS:

Ben Henderson. It was a pretty solid fight, but it was absolutely not the dominant performance he probably wanted (or needed). Instead of establishing himself as a top guy in the lightweight division, Henderson’s now middle-of-the-pack (which is a dangerous place to be in such a stacked weight class).

John Makdessi. To throw such an impressive spinning backfist finishing shot on any other card would’ve been an instant Knockout of the Night. For poor John, Lyoto Machida had to go and end Randy Couture’s career with an incredible crane-style kick to the jaw. Personally, I thought Makdessi’s shot was more impressive, but when in doubt, the decision-makers always go with the bigger star when handing out the bonuses (and considering how little some of the prelim fighters make, this bonus could’ve made Makdessi’s year).

The people who run the Rogers Centre. Supposedly, the story going around is that the Rogers Centre had to wait until around this timeframe to pay the UFC their gate money for this event. The Canadian dollar has gone up in value since then. While it’s a percentage of a percentage, that will still result in UFC getting hundreds of thousands of dollars more out of this shindig than they would’ve before (this probably should’ve gone into a win for UFC, but I’m tired and lazy).

Charlie Valencia. That punch…wow.

-TOM. 

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From → Features, UFC

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