Before you crucify me, let me get this out of the way: I am stoked for UFC 129... more-so then I have been for any PPV in a long time. I'm a huge fan of the majority of the fighters on the card, and I think the fight card is stack from top to bottom.....
That said, I have a bad feeling in my stomach that this is going to prove to be a very underwhelming PPV.
Let me explain:
1.THE MAIN CARD: GSP, Jake Shields, Randy Couture, Lyoto Machida, Vladimir Matyushenko, Jason Brilz: Very rarely do we get to have a card with so many main event caliber fighters, but the problem with all the guys listed above is that they all have a very real ability to put on a dominant snoozefest at any time.
- Is Jake Shields a great figher? Yes, clearly he is. But he's not dumb either. His only chance of victory is to bring the fight to the mat, and sub GSP. Kinda like he tried to do to Martin Kampmann in his last fight, which was particularly painful to watch at the end. GSP on the other hand, has the ability to jab Shields face into a living death... Which is impressive, but can be very not-fun to watch (especially if his opponent is shooting for a single leg, or pulling guard ALL fight long).
- Randy Couture and Lyoto Machida are both masterful tacticians. Whether it is pushing your opponent up against the fence while "dirty boxing" them for 3 rounds (cough..Brandon Vera), or sticking and then back-pedaling in-order to avoid getting hit, these guys know how to institute their plans to a tee. But both guys have been criticized at one point or another for being boring. I have a feeling we are going to see Randy pull of the upset, and clinch Lyoto against the cage for 3 rounds, not really doing much damage ala Rampage Jackson.
- Jason Brilz and Vlad Matyushenko. Neither guy is a world beater, yet both guys are capable of guarding that top 15 LHW ranking spot. Both are skilled in wrestling, as Brilz proved against Lil' Nog, and "the Janitor" has proved time and time again. Vladdy might be most remembered for being 1/2 of the worst (pre-Anderson Silva debacle's) Main Event ever. This fight, especially if Vladdy has his way, will most likely end up with one guy on his back, and the other guy doing little to no damage. If Brilz can keep it standing, and show some of his underrated boxing, then it has a chance to be a fun fight..but I doubt it.
Now, there is a very real chance that none of this happens. GSP/Shields might turn into a fun fight with both fighters being put in dangerous situations. And Machida might show some of his recently found KO power and put a beat down on Randy.
And, yes, Aldo is always an exciting fighter...and matched up against another striker in Hominick, someone is bound to get KTFO.
Also Bocek is a grappling machine, and Ben Henderson always seems to get caught in tight submissions only to prove to be un-submittable, so that will be fun to watch.
And finally, Rory MacDonald is a hell of a fighter, who got the best of Condit (for 2/3's of the fight at least), and Nick Diaz ain't no punk bitch, so that will probably be a slobberknocker as well.
So what say you?