The UFC is gearing up for the biggest show in company history. Dana White officially announced that Georges St. Pierre vs. Jake Shields for the UFC welterweight title will headline UFC 129 in April. Randy Couture vs. Lyoto Machida is expected to co-headline UFC’s Toronto debut.
[adinserter block=”2″]This was a bit of a no brainer here. The UFC 129 event at the Rogers Center in Toronto is expected to break attendance records. The UFC needed a strong main-event and equally strong semi main-event to pack the 68,000 plus seat building. The UFC will be setting up the building to host between 30,000 and 40,000 crazed MMA fans. As of press time, the current UFC attendance record was set at UFC 124 in Montreal with 23,152.
Hey if the UFC is going for another record, why not use the same fighter who broke the first record? Fresh off his dominant five-round win over Josh Koscheck at UFC 124, Georges St. Pierre will take on his next challenger once again in his home country. This will be the fourth UFC fight in Canada for GSP and his sixth UFC welterweight title defense. The move makes a lot of sense but is a bit surprising since GSP just fought in April. This is the fastest turnaround time between fights for the champion since 2007-08 when he beat Matt Hughes for the interim UFC welterweight title at UFC 79 in December and won the Welterweight title at UFC 83 from Matt Serra in April.
Randy Couture vs. Lyoto Machida at light heavyweight is expected to be announced as the co-headliner. Couture vs. Machida comes a week after UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez had to pull out of his scheduled fight at UFC 129 against Junior dos Santos. While not a heavyweight championship fight, the Machida vs. Couture fight is intriguing enough in my opinion to substitute for the postponed heavyweight title fight.
[adinserter block=”1″]Even with such recognizable names as Couture, St. Pierre, and Machida, the UFC will really need to stack the rest of the card to draw 40,000 fans. MMA writer Dave Meltzer speculated on his podcast that the UFC would move the Frankie Edgar vs. Gray Maynard UFC lightweight title rematch to UFC 129. Coming off such a great fight, that would be a fantastic compliment to the star studded lineup and the icing on the cake of a potential show of the year. Two title matches plus Couture vs. Machida could be enough to sell out the Rogers Center.
UFC 129 tickets are not on sale yet. Most MMA analysts are predicting a quick sellout when tickets do hit the market. That would be a very impressive feat for the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
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