clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

UFC 129 Predictions

Georges St-Pierre will defend his UFC welterweight title against Jake Shields at UFC 129.One of the biggest mixed martial arts cards in history takes place on Saturday night, with the UFC smashing its attendance record by selling 55,000 tickets to fans who will get to see the UFC's most popular fighter, Georges St-Pierre, defend his welterweight belt against challenger Jake Shields.

What: UFC 129: St-Pierre vs. Shields

When: Saturday, the Facebook stream starts at 6PM ET, the Spike TV fights start at 8 and the pay-per-view fights start at 9.

Where: Rogers Centre, Toronto

Predictions on the five pay-per-view fights below.

Georges St-Pierre vs. Jake Shields
St-Pierre has said many times in the weeks leading up to this fight that he views Shields as the toughest opponent he's faced so far. But is he really? I have a lot of respect for Shields' accomplishments, but I'm not sure that Shields matches up with GSP any better than the seven men GSP has dominated during his current winning streak.

In fact, for as great a grappler as Shields is, I think Shields' deficiencies standing up give St-Pierre an excellent chance of finishing this fight with his striking, rather than winning another dominant 25-minute decision. The difference between Shields' kickboxing and St. Pierre's kickboxing is immense.

So not only am I picking St-Pierre to win this fight, but I'm picking him to win it in a more spectacular fashion than he's been winning lately, and to make a strong case that he deserves to be considered not only the undisputed best welterweight in the world, but the greatest pound-for-pound fighter.
Pick: St. Pierre

José Aldo vs. Mark Hominick
Another fighter who has an opportunity to state his case for the pound-for-pound crown is Aldo, the featherweight champion who has torn through everyone he's fought since signing with Zuffa three years ago. In eight World Extreme Cagefighting fights, Aldo went 8-0 and was never even challenged, with seven wins by KO/TKO and a dominant unanimous decision over Urijah Faber.

When it comes to the pound-for-pound discussion, the biggest difference between Aldo and St. Pierre is that the featherweight class isn't nearly as strong as the welterweight class, so it's harder for Aldo to improve his reputation by beating top-notch opponents. The very fact that Hominick is fighting for the featherweight title demonstrates how shallow the weight class is.

That's not intended to be a knock on Hominick, but it's the reality: He's a good fighter who has an exciting style and always goes for the finish, but he's not an elite mixed martial artist. Aldo should beat him convincingly.
Pick: Aldo

Randy Couture vs. Lyoto Machida
It says a lot about how good a fight card UFC 129 is that Couture-Machida is only third on the bill: This is a better fight than some UFC main events.

Couture has won three in a row, but let's face it: Those wins over Brandon Vera, Mark Coleman and James Toney were nothing to write home about. Machida is on a completely different level from any of those three.

It's true that Couture has won big upsets when people wrote him off before, it's true that Couture is a great game-planner who will exhaustively study Machida's unique style, and it's true that Couture could (in theory anyway) use his wrestling to frustrate Machida by clinching and taking him down. But it's far more likely that Machida will use his karate-style striking to hurt Couture badly standing up, and either win a 30-27 unanimous decision or land the right shot to knock him out.
Pick: Machida

Vladimir Matyushenko vs. Jason Brilz
Brilz is fighting for the first time since he lost a surprisingly competitive split decision to Antonio Rogerio Nogueira 11 months ago. He gained a lot of new fans that night, taking the biggest fight of his career on short notice and putting up a spirited effort. Unfortunately, he's been dealing with a back injury since then, and I think ring rust will be significant. Matyushenko is a savvy veteran who will prove too much for Brilz to handle and win a decision.
Pick: Matyushenko

Mark Bocek vs. Ben Henderson
Bocek is a Brazilian jiu jitsu black belt who's capable of submitting anyone, but I don't think he has the all-around game to match up well with Henderson, the former WEC lightweight champion who's making his UFC debut. Look for Henderson to win a decision.
Pick: Henderson

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Fighting Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Fighting