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Georges St. Pierre vs. Jake Shields to Headline UFC's Toronto Debut

As expected, Canada's favorite MMA son will headline the UFC's debut in Ontario, as welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre defends his belt against No. 1 contender Jake Shields at UFC 129.

UFC president Dana White confirmed the news to several different news outlets, including the Canadian Press.

The 29-year-old St. Pierre, who has captured the Canadian Athlete of the Year award three straight times, is considered by most observers to be one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world. A winner of eight consecutive fights, St. Pierre is coming off a one-sided win over Josh Koscheck just weeks ago at UFC 124.

It will mark the second straight title defense in his his home country for St. Pierre (21-2), who topped Koscheck in Montreal.

The Toronto show will be the UFC's first time in the province of Ontario, which just recently voted to sanction mixed martial arts.

UFC 129, which will take place at Rogers Centre on April 30, is expected to draw around 40,000 fans, a number which would shatter MMA's all-time North American attendance record. That mark was just set at UFC 124, with 23,152 fans filling Montreal's Bell Centre to watch St. Pierre retain.

Shields made his UFC debut in October, earning a hard-fought win in a split decision over Martin Kampmann at UFC 121. The 31-year-old jiu-jitsu specialist has one of the longest winning streaks in major MMA, capturing 15 straight wins.

During the time, Shields has beaten notables including Yushin Okami, Carlos Condit, Paul Daley and Dan Henderson in raising his record to 26-4-1. His last loss was in Dec. 2004, dropping a decision to Akira Kikuchi.

Over the weekend, MMA Fighting reported that the UFC is discussing a possible bout between Randy Couture and Lyoto Machida to take place on UFC 129. That bout would likely serve as the co-main event if it is signed.

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