Whether or not you like the UFC, you have to give them the merit that they deserve. They can create a monster, and they do it well.
More than 55,000 people watched UFC 129 at the Rogers Centre in Toronto. Amazing town, amazing event.
My seat was at the journalists’ lodge, in the middle of the press box. It was a nice view, if different from my cageside seat at UFC 128 in Newark. I could see almost all of the gigantic crowd, and each time I looked it was unbelievable to see all those people encouraging their favorite fighter or booing the one they didn’t like. I could physically feel the Rogers Centre shaking during some moments.
Rogers Centre is huge, and it’s a wonderful place. Everywhere you look it’s clean, and employees are very courteous. Dana White’s media buffet was very good as always (I love to think that it’s Dana is cooking for us), and none other than Jon Jones was taking part in it. I have to say that my Canadian heart was happy to see a GSP bandana on the head of the light heavyweight champion. It made Jones look so good I nearly failed to recognize him.
Going back to the lodge, one journalist in front of me listened to something on his computer with the speakers on. Why? I don’t want to hear your stuff. Please stop it! A few minutes later, good for me, he stopped watching his “I don’t wanna know” video.
As we all know, fight of the night was given to these two spectacular machines, Jose Aldo and Mark Hominick. Not only was the crowd standing up for the fifth round, but also were a lot of journalists. Several Canadian media folks were excited about the idea of having the Ontarian fighter winning the last round by TKO and taking the featherweight belt.
UFC 129 almost yielded two Canadian champions. I asked Dana White about a rematch, and he told me that it could happen, but not right now. So if Hominick wins his next few fights while Aldo keeps his belt, we will be set for another rendez-vous. Patience is going to be the word is this case.
I was there when Georges St-Pierre won over Josh Koscheck at UFC 124 at Montreal, part of 23,000 people that stood for the while 25 minutes. Nobody wanted to sit. The fans were extremely noisy, excited, the roof of the Bell Centre wanted to tear free. The atmosphere was surreal.
I didn’t feel those emotions on Saturday night. It wasn’t the best fight. GSP got hurt and Jake Shields didn’t deliver as well. Sometimes you have bad days at work, I guess fighters are humans, too. There will be better duels, hopefully.
Shields arrived at the post-fight press conference in good condition. Waiting for it to begin, he sat almost next to me, just three or four people away, in the same row. He was joking around with his crew and his face did not appear to have sustained any serious damage. After many long minutes, a tired White showed up. Steven Seagal was around, listening probably to what Lyoto Machida had to say about his “Daniel-san” kick.
Someone asked if UFC will go back to Japan … it’s not exactly the right time to start a UFC project out there; wrong question.
Shields looked annoyed, Vladimir Matyushenko did not receive enough attention, in my opinion, and Aldo had a lot to say. I won’t rehash that since MMADieHards,com did great coverage of the event, so check it out!
I did enjoy UFC 129 card. It was crazy as hell and I was there. Love the mix. What about you?