First off, great night of fights, great event.
I didn't watch the Facebook stream as I was away on my computer, but I watched the whole SPIKE broadcast and the whole PPV broadcast, and here is what I thought of some of the awesomeness that I saw. Thoughts on the prelims will be very short, but I'll go a bit more in depth for some of the main card fights. I'll also mostly be talking about how impressed I was with the winners.
Pablo Garza vs Yves Jabouin - A first round Knockout of the Night in his UFC debut and a first round Submission of the Night in his followup fight, Pablo Garza is an exciting Featherweight worth keeping an eye on. Talk about going for the kill.
Jon Makdessi vs Kyle Watson - Makdessi is young, undefeated, has great striking and just pulled off an epic KO seen more often in the UFC video games than in actual fights, he's just made my list of favorite up and comers. I hope Watson is given another chance and can bounce back with some wins, as I grew to like the guy on The Ultimate Fighter.
Jason MacDonald vs Ryan Jensen - I have a gut feeling that Jensen will be cut coming off of this loss, he is 2-3 in the UFC and lost 2 in a row. Great sub by MacDonald coming off of such a long layoff.
Ivan Menjivar vs Charlie Velencia - What an elbow! It's great to see Menjivar find success in fighting guys that are actually his size.
Jake Ellenberger vs Sean Pierson - Fantastic knockout from Ellenberger, and having taken the fight on about 16 days notice only makes it more impressive. 4-1 in the UFC with the loss being via split decision is not bad. Future rematches with Carlos Condit or Rick Story could be very exciting. As for Pierson, I think Ellenberger, even a short notice Ellenberger, was a bit too big of a step up, I expect him to bounce back well enough.
Rory MacDonald vs Nate Diaz - Great all around performance by Rory, considering coming off of his first loss and a big layoff that came with it. Those slams in the 3rd round were fantastic to watch. Nate Diaz may be more suited going back to Lightweight, or perhaps he should work on building muscle to fill out his Welterweight frame a bit more, he seems to be lacking in physical strength necessary to deal with strong grapplers.
Mark Bocek vs Ben Henderson - 30-27 may not have been the right call, but "Bendo" absolutely won the fight and pulled off another successful representation of the WEC Lightweights. I loved that when he was caught in inferior grappling positions near the end of the round, when he got out he would explode and make his last strikes count for everything they could.
Vladimir Matyushenko vs Jason Brilz - I read one fanshot where someone predicted Matyushenko being a problem for Brilz due to his one punch knockout power, to which a commentor sort of scoffed at, saying Matyushenko had a lot of ground and pound finishes and not necessarily big power standing. This fight seemed to provide evidence to the contrary as Vladdy showed that he has definitely been working on his standup.
Randy Couture vs Lyoto Machida - I didn't think any KO would be able to trump what Anderson Silva did to Vitor Belfort, but I was wrong. As for the overall fight, it pretty much went exactly how I expected it to go. This quote is from one of my previously posted comments.
Machida is a harder matchup than Nog, who was a harder matchup than Vera, who was a harder matchup than Coleman, who was a harder matchup than Toney.
Couture is taking a massive step up in competition from his last 3 opponents, and still a marked step up from Nog, who beat Couture to the punch on multiple occasions.
Machida will wreck Couture, and it will be sad."
Jose Aldo vs Mark Hominick - This is a fight I wasn't very invested in as far as who won or not. So the fact that there was so much toe-to-toe striking and so much back and forth action made it 10 times more exciting than it would have been if I were discouraged every time 'my guy' was at a disadvantage. This guys fought their asses off, absolutely deserved Fight of the Night, and I think both of them will come back looking better in their next fights.
GSP vs Jake Shields - I was hoping for Shields to pull of the upset here. I was also hoping that his gameplan would include more offensive grappling as opposed to trying to strike with GSP, but oh well. GSP is the bigger star and it works out better for the UFC as a company to have their big PPV draw continue his winning streak and reign as champion. GSP has now defended his Welterweight title more consecutive times than any 170 pound champ in UFC history. I hope his eye has a full recovery. Also, I don't think a GSP vs Silva superfight NEEDS to happen, it would certainly be cool, but I'm not begging for it.
All in all it was a fantastic card top to bottom. The main even wasn't the most exciting fight you could ask for, but after virtually every other fight being so great, the main even didn't exactly need to blow doors down. This card was historic in it's crowd size, Stadium setting, Toronto debut, Couture's retirement fight, GSP going for a record amount of consecutive defenses etc etc...and the action delivered by the fighters absolutely lived up to the significance of the card.