FLASHBACK: UFC sets live gate, attendance record with Georges St-Pierre headlined UFC 129 event in Toronto in 2011

By Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

George St. Pierre (photo by Jason Silva © USA Today Sports)

Five years ago tonight, the UFC’s biggest ever live event hit Toronto’s Rogers Centre on pay-per-view, with 55,000 fans in attendance bringing a record $12 million gate for UFC 129. Though the attendance mark was technically bested by November’s UFC 193 event in Australia, that card drew just half of the gate brought by the 2011 event. That historic card was headlined by Georges St-Pierre’s victory over Jake Shields, featured Jose Aldo defeating Mark Hominick, hosted the final MMA appearance for UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture, and featured a young Rory MacDonald suplexing the hell out of one Nate Diaz on the undercard.

Take a trip down memory lane and relive MMATorch’s live report from that event in today’s new flashback!

=====UFC 129=====

Originally published on April 30, 2011


ROUND ONE: Ellenberger engaged first, reaching in a few straight punches. Pierson held the center as Ellenberger circled. Ellenberger landed a nice short right. They exchanged leg kicks and Pierson kept the center. Ellenberger landed a nice left hook over a right from Pierson. He landed a short leg kick. Ellenberger exploded in for a takedown, but Pierson walked right back up the cage. Pierson missed a punch and Ellenberger landed a counter. Ellenberger landed another hard right in an exchange and Pierson clinched. Ellenberger got loose. Ellenberger cracked him with a left that hurt him badly and had him out on his feet. He then landed a right that dropped Pierson face first to the canvas, landed a couple more punches and the fight was done. That quieted the crowd.

WINNER: Ellenberger via TKO at 2:42 of the first round

POST FIGHT: Ellenberger said he hoped Pierson was alright after that, and thanked his teammates and corner for having him ready on short notice.

STAR RATING: (**+) Too short and one-sided to be much higher, but Ellenberger looked fantastic on short notice. He was patient, found his range and hurt Pierson badly early and often.

-They broadcast Ivan Menjivar’s vicious TKO over Charlie Valencia from the preliminary card. That elbow from Menjivar broke Valencia’s nose on contact.


ROUND ONE: MacDonald took the center and walked Diaz down, landing a short jab and a leg kick. He threw a straight kick but Diaz backed off of it. Diaz popped back in with a punch to the body. Diaz blocked a high kick to the body. MacDonald landed another leg kick. Diaz tried to stalk and MacDonald held him off. Diaz caught a high kick and ate a hook as he came in for the clinch on the cage. MacDonald landed an uppercut and a short elbow and Diaz got a hold of him again. MacDonald tried to take Diaz down and they scrambled. MacDonald nearly got his back, but they got back to their feet. MacDonald landed some more kicks and punches. The crowd booed a slowed down part of the action. MacDonald got double underhooks and landed a knee to the face. He kept Diaz on the cage. He landed a knee as they separated. MacDonald landed a leg kick and Diaz got in a combination. Diaz shot for a takedown and MacDonald held him off. Great takedown defense by MacDonald. He got separation and landed another right. MacDonald got in a leg kick as the round ended. Diaz got into his face after the round ended.

Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 MacDonald. Great first round for the kid. His striking is good and his takedown defense was fantastic.

ROUND TWO: MacDonald landed a left leg kick and a hard right knee in succession early and then grabbed a body lock and pressed Diaz to the cage. He backed off and went back to stalking. MacDonald threw a straight kick to the body that got caught. MacDonald scored a nice takedown by grabbing Diaz’s leg. He let Diaz get back up but tagged him with a right. He got another clinch and took Diaz down again. MacDonald stepped out of guard and let him up. He landed a hook as Diaz got back up. Diaz walked forward and landed a punch. MacDonald landed another big combination and hit Diaz hard with an uppercut. Diaz got in and landed two hard punches against the cage and clinched. MacDonald broke free. He shot in but let it go. Diaz pressed MacDonald to the cage but they jockeyed for position and separated. MacDonald landed a nice punch and kick combo. Diaz landed a right and MacDonald countered with a combo. Diaz threw a shoulder strike. They turned around and MacDonald landed a knee high. He attempted a flying knee but it was blocked. Diaz landed a right. MacDonald shot in but Diaz grabbed for a kimura and MacDonald let it go. MacDonald landed a quick combo before the round ended.

Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 MacDonald. Another very good round for the kid. He’s got Diaz flustered here.

ROUND THREE: MacDonald landed a nice high kick and punch combo. Another kick and punch from MacDonald and they clinched. He pressed Diaz to the cage and got a body lock. Diaz threw a number of elbows and punches. MacDonald got his back standing and suplexed him. Diaz got back to his feet and MacDonald did it a second time. He landed a few punches and then stood up out of his guard. Diaz tried to roll and MacDonald landed a bunch more punches. Diaz tried to get back up and MacDonald landed a third suplex that completely flipped him. Diaz got back to his feet somehow and MacDonald landed a couple more fights. He stuffed another takedown and landed some hard punches and elbows. Diaz got back to his feet and MacDonald pressed him to the cage. MacDonald got another takedown and landed some strikes from Diaz’s guard. He landed some hard shots to the body and the head with 30 seconds left. MacDonald landed another left. Diaz tried an up kick and tried to roll but MacDonald got away. Diaz got to his feet right before the round ended and then it came to an end.

Penick’s Scorecard: 10-8 MacDonald. That was one of the most fantastic rounds by any fighter that didn’t end in a stoppage. Three suplexes from MacDonald there. That was fantastic.

WINNER: MacDonald via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-26)

STAR RATING: (***) That final round brought that up. MacDonald is fantastic at 21-years-old, and that third round was immensely fun. Three suplexes in one round is not something I thought I’d see in an MMA fight.


The arena setup is simply awesome tonight, with four 60 foot video screens in the center of the arena and some great video shots. Goldberg and Rogan run down the fights still remaining tonight.


ROUND ONE: Bocek took the center and walked Henderson down, shooting in for the clinch. Henderson turned him around with double underhooks. Henderson landed a couple of knees to the body in the clinch. They were separated on the cage as they were battling for position. Henderson landed a kick to the body. Bocek landed a right to the body and shot in for the clinch again. Henderson again held him off and landed an elbow to separate from the cage. Henderson landed a combo as Bocek got in a leg kick. Henderson got across and landed a hard leg kick. Bocek pressed in with a right. Henderson again got in with the right kick. Bocek landeda body punch. They each missed a few punches. HendersonHeld off another takedown attempt and landed a number of punches. Bocek tripped him up with a kick to the back of the leg and completed the takedown. He kept Henderson on his back but wasn’t able initially to advance position. Bocek kept Henderson on his back for the full last minute, but didn’t do anything there. Not enough to steal in the last minute.

Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Henderson. He outstruck Bocek, and though he got taken down, Bocek did nothing on top in that last minute. Henderson just edged it.

ROUND TWO: Henderson landed a hard combo 40 seconds in and Bocek shot in for the single leg. Henderson held him off on the cage and attempted to grab for a guillotine. Bocek slammed him, but Henderson having the guillotine got him out and he got to his feet. He pressed Bocek to the cage and landed some knees against the cage. Bocek caught a leg kick but Henderson held off the takedown. He then took Bocek down. Henderson landed a hard right and stood up in Bocek’s guard. Bocek went for a leg lock and Henderson landed a hard right. Bocek nearly got the leg locked in and Henderson got out and they stood up again. Henderson again pressed Bocek against the cage. Bocek grabbed a headlock and got Henderson into a sprawl. Bocek set up for a D’Arce. He didn’t have it locked on and let it go. Henderson got up and Bocek set up the standing guillotine. He dropped and tried to get the guard and he had to let it go. He got greedy and Henderson got to his feet and exploded with a big combination. Henderson landed a nice combination and a bunch of knees and Bocek’s been cut open on the top of his head. He was bleeding badly after the round.

Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Henderson. He could be up two depending on how the judges scored the first round.

ROUND THREE: Bocek needs to do something drastic as his head continues bleeding. He shot in for the takedown and Henderson held onto his head for a guillotine. Bocek got out and into Henderson’s guard. Bocek stays in Henderson’s guard and tries to land some strikes. Henderson swept and got out into Bocek’s guard standing and dropped down some huge strikes. He landed some hard punches to the head and body. Bocek grabbed Henderson’s leg again and tried to take Henderson’s back standing. Henderson got out and turned him around. Henderson got a takedown and tried to take Bocek’s back. Bocek spun around and Henderson grabbed a single leg. Henderson got him to his knees and dragged him down. He landed some punches. Bocek grabbed a leg and Henderson sprawled. Bocek got to his feet. Henderson landed a series of knees and punches. Bocek landed a takedown with 40 seconds left. He’s in half guard and couldn’t pass. Bocek turned for a guillotine but Henderson got to his feet and landed another knee and a big flurry as the round ended and Henderson should take this easy.

Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Henderson. That was a vicious display when he got out of trouble. Very impressive from Henderson and a big statement to where he’s at in this division.

WINNER: Henderson via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

POST FIGHT: The crowd briefly booed the decision. The crowd was dead silent throughout his interview. He said he worked to be prepared for whatever happened throughout the fight.

STAR RATING: (**+) That was a very good fight for Henderson. He did a great job of neutralizing Bocek’s grappling and got out of a couple of bad spots to deliver a ton of punishment.


ROUND ONE: Brilz took the center but Matyushenko delivered the first blows. He dropped Brilz with a right to the haw and a left to the cheek, then landed a couple of strikes on the ground and Brilz went limp and got knocked back into consciousness right away. The replay showed the second shot on the ground put him out and the third brought him right back. Good stoppage.

WINNER: Matyushenko via KO at :20 of the first round

POST FIGHT: Matyushenko said he’d been working on his striking skills and he wanted to give a good show for the fans.

STAR RATING: (**+) That was quick and vicious. Brilz wasn’t happy with the stoppage but it was good. Good performance by Vladdy, unfortunate return for Brilz.


ROUND ONE: Machida took the center of the cage and they each circled around each other. Couture looked to step in and he barely avoided the counter. He landed a short right and backed away. Machida landed a right as Couture tried to close the gap. Couture landed a left hook. Couture ducked away from a punch and nearly got a clinch. Couture tried to stalk to close the distance. Couture got the clinch briefly but ate a couple of punches. Machida landed a side kick to the leg. Couture landed a punch to the body. Machida snapped in with a quick right to the cheek. Couture tried to walk him down again and missed a right. Machida landed a hard knee as Couture got in. Couture tried to clinch, but ate a couple of knees. Machida popped in with a two punch combo. Couture shot in, got shrugged off but landed a couple of strikes. Machida then threw him off and separated. Machida landed a hard kick to the body. Machida landed a hard knee as Couture ducked in. The round came to a close and Machida’s up.

Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Machida. Couture’s pressing the action, but Machida landed the more significant strikes of the round.

ROUND TWO: Machida hurt Couture early with a short combo and then sprawled on the takedown attempt from “The Natural.” Couture recovered and got to his feet. Machida landed a kick to the knee. Machida landed a jumping front kick to the face that dropped Couture. Holy hell that was a crane kick! He followed up with one more punch on the ground and that’s all over. That was one of the most fantastic knockouts ever in the UFC, and is right up there with Anderson Silva’s front kick to Vitor Belfort in February.

WINNER: Machida via KO at 1:05 of the second round

POST FIGHT: Machida said he trained that kick a lot, and his dad taught it to him. He got emotional as he said this was a dream for him. Couture was brought in. He again reiterated that this was his last fight. His tooth was knocked out from the kick and he joked that he had all his teeth when the fight started. The crowd gave him a great ovation.

STAR RATING: (***+) The knockout brought up greatly what was just another fight, but that kick, man, it’s hard to put into words how awesome that knockout was. That’s the type of thing that Lyoto Machida is capable of, and though it doesn’t always get showcased, his level of skill and ability at times is awe inspiring, and this was one of those times.


ROUND ONE: Hominick walked Aldo down and immediately was met with a two punch combo. Aldo landed a hard leg kick and followed with a hard uppercut. Another leg kick from Aldo. Aldo moved away from two shots from Hominick and came right back at him with an uppercut to the body and a leg kick. Aldo landed a right. Another leg kick. Hominick caught a kick and Aldo got thrown off balance but he got right back up. Aldo with a hard left and another leg kick. Hominick got in with a right. Aldo with a hard left to the body and a leg kick and Aldo shot in and took him down. Hominick tried to grab an armbar and Aldo got out of it into his guard. Aldo pressed him to the cage and landed a short elbow. Aldo continued to land strikes against the cage. Aldo stood briefly but dropped back into Hominick’s guard to deliver some more strikes. He landed a few more hard elbows against the cage. Hominick tried to hold onto him to cause a standup. Aldo landed some more short elbows. Aldo landed a hard right. He’s not attempting to pass, but is staying busy enough to keep the fight on the ground. Hominick held onto him again. They were stood up with 30 seconds left in the round and Hominick came back across the cage quickly. Hominick landed a hard body punch but ate a leg kick and then Aldo took him down again as the round ended.

Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Aldo. Good round for the champ. He hurt Hominick’s legs with the kicks and hurt him on the ground.

ROUND TWO: Hominick came forward immediately again and ate a leg kick. Hominick landed a right. Hominick got in a couple of nice left hooks to the body. He landed a right to Aldo’s face. Aldo landed a hard uppercut. Aldo landed a kick and Hominick stuffed a shot. Aldo landed a short combo. Hominick landed a right. Aldo has slowed down here. Hominick landed a left. Hominick landed a left. Aldo ducked under a punch and completed a takedown. Hominick held him in guard. Aldo’s not attempting to do anything here. He landed a short elbow, but Hominick continued to hold onto him and stifle any offense. Aldo stood and dropped two hard punches. They were stood up again after inactivity with a minute left. Aldo looked up at the clock. Hominick landed a kick to the body. He landed a right, but Aldo shot in and took him down again to side control. Aldo landed a short forearm as Hominick put his feet on the cage. Aldo ended the round on top.

Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Aldo. Much closer round, but Aldo is seriously slowing down. Rogan said he had a rough cut, and it’s showing, because he’s really tired already.

ROUND THREE: Aldo threw an uppercut early that was blocked. Hominick hopped around and got in with a few short jabs and a hard leg kick. Aldo landed a leg kick. Hominick popped in with the jab. He’s moving a lot quicker than the champ here. Hominick landed a leg kick. Aldo landed a left. He shot in for another takedown but Hominick stuffed it. Aldo pressed in with reaching punches but didn’t do much damage. Aldo landed a hard left and another leg kick. Hominick landed a right but Aldo countered nicely. Aldo with another hard shot. Hominick landed a straight right, then another. Hominick landed a hard left. Aldo shot in and nearly got a takedown but Hominick stayed up. Hominick landed a few more hard strikes. Aldo hurt Hominick with a right or an elbow and Aldo tried to pounce. Hominick recovered, however, and pulled Aldo into guard. Aldo didn’t do much in the guard, and Hominick again tried to stifle him. The round ended with Aldo in Hominick’s guard.

Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Aldo. Another round for Aldo, but again a much closer round than the previous two. The knockdown turned it to Aldo’s favor.

ROUND FOUR: Hominick landed a hard jab early. Aldo landed a hard leg kick. He hurt Hominick with an overhand right. He tagged him with a kick low and gave Hominick a second to recover from the accidental blow. Aldo has regained a little energy. He landed a few more punches. He went for a knee and caught Hominick low with the foot on accident. Aldo was warned. Aldo landed a hard leg kick. Hominick landed a right but ate another leg kick. Aldo landed a left. He landed a body punch and a hard leg kick again. He’s hurting that lead leg of Hominick. Hominick landed a nice double jab. Aldo dropped him with a straight right. Hominick’s got a nasty hematoma over his right eye. Gross. Aldo continued the assault against the cage. The doctor’s will probably stop this fight from that alone after this round. Wow. Hominick is keeping him in his guard. Big John stopped things to call in the doctor and this may be over. The doctor let him continue. A replay showed it was an elbow on the ground that opened that up. Aldo came in and took him down again against the cage as the round came to a close.

Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Aldo. He’s not anywhere near at his best and yet he’s been better than Hominick all fight. This is not how people thought it would go, but he’s still well ahead in this fight.

ROUND FIVE: Aldo landed the leg kick early. Aldo cracked him with a huge left hook. Aldo landed a big uppercut, and Hominick shot in and took him down. First time Aldo’s been on his back in this feet. Hominick’s bleeding really badly from under his eyes. He postured up and landed a couple of strikes. Hominick cracked Aldo with a couple of strikes on the ground. He continued trying to stay aggressive. He’s going to need to finish this if he wants to win. He’s landing some hard strikes here and he has two and a half minutes. Aldo is dead tired here. Hominick landed some hard shots to the body and head. More punches from Hominick, but he needs to have more of a sense of urgency here. He landed some more big strikes. He’s hurting Aldo, but Aldo is still blocking. Hominick continued laying on strikes, but time was running out on him. Hominick stood and dropped a big shot. He landed a few more strikes and Hominick ended a hell of a round on top. Both then dropped to do pushups.

Penick’s Scorecard: 10-8 Hominick. Hominick was on top for the entire second half of the round, but it was still too little too late.

WINNER: Aldo via unanimous decision (48-45, 48-46, 49-46)

POST FIGHT: Aldo sad his injury and the layoff affected his performance. Hominick said he hoped he didn’t put his wife into labor, and thanked John McCarthy for not stopping it. He felt he didn’t throw enough combinations and was throwing too many single punches.

STAR RATING: (***+) Not quite the fight we thought it would be, but it was still fantastic. For Hominick to battle through the hematoma and continue to come at Aldo, especially in that last round, was fantastic. Douglas Crosby’s 50-43 score is mind-numbingly terrible, though. I didn’t see any 10-8 rounds from Aldo in the fight, and to not give Hominick round number five is insanity. Just really, really awful. But not unexpected considering he scored Frankie Edgar-B.J. Penn I for Edgar 50-45.

Franklin McNeil reports that Douglas Crosby’s scorecard was misread and was actually 48-45


They must be prepared to go over time, because this fight is starting with 20 minutes left in the scheduled time, and it’s a five round fight.

ROUND ONE: Shields landed the first strike with a leg kick, and nearly fell after throwing a body kick. St-Pierre landed a left. He circled on the outside. He landed a body kick and Shields caught it. St-Pierre held off the takedown. Shields clinched him at the cage. St-Pierre blocked some knee strikes from Shields and spun him around and separated. Shields landed a jab. Shields threw some more strikes but didn’t get in with much. St-Pierre landed a nice left. He threw a couple of spinning kicks that didn’t land. St-Pierre landed a left. St-Pierre landed a hard jab that staggered Shields. He missed the turning side kick and barely missed a superman punch. He landed another jab. Shields landed a right and GSP countered. GSP sent Shields going backward with a jab. He landed another hard jab as Shields came in. St-Pierre landed a body kick and showed off the takedown defense again after Shields caught the kick. GSP with another jab as he circled around. He landed a leg kick. He got in a superman punch. GSP switched his stance and landed a left. He landed the overhand right shortly before the round ended.

Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 GSP. Shields couldn’t get that takedown early, and it may have affected his confidence, because GSP started turning it on in the second half of the fight. His jab is right on point right now.

ROUND TWO: GSP countered an attempted strike from Shields with a two punch combo. Shields landed a right but ate the counter. GSP landed a short leg kick. Shields landed a good kick to the body. St-Pierre landed a hard leg kick. GSP got in with the jab. GSP barely missed a big overhand right. GSP then got in with it and Shields got on his horse. That hurt him. St-Pierre stalked him. He went for the overhand right again but missed. He barely missed it on the third try. He landed it on a fourth time. GSP got in with the jab again. He landed a spinning back kick to the body and Shields clinched, but GSP got right out of it. GSP landed a punch to the body. GSP landed a punch to the body. Shields clinched but St-Pierre shrugged him off. St-Pierre landed the overhand right and threw the spinning back kick but Shields caught it. St-Pierre popped out again. GSP switched stances. He landed a hard leg kick. He stuffed a short takedown attempt. GSP landed a few more jabs and the round ended.

Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 GSP. He’s in full control of this fight right now. I hope the UFC is alright in going overtime, as there will be a massive riot if this thing cuts off.

ROUND THREE: Shields tried to rush in. GSP landed a hard jab. Shields is trying to be aggressive, but his striking is just not on St-Pierre’s level. GSP with more jabs. St-Pierre is simply staying on the outside and waiting for his shots to open. He got in a jab to the body. St-Pierre with the overhand right again and then he stuffed a takedown attempt. St-Pierre with another jab. St-Pierre landed an uppercut to the body. Shields tried to clinch again and GSP threw him off. Shields again shot in but was shrugged off. St-Pierre landed a hard leg kick. St-Pierre landed the right. He got in a punch to the body. St-Pierre landed a couple of jabs. Shieldsducked away from the overhand right. Shields got in a kick to the body. GSP landed a left and a body kick. He caught a kick and landed a counter right. GSP landed the spinning back kick to the body. Shields landed a body kick. He got in another. GSP got in with a jab. He caught a kick and threw Shields on his back. He got in half guard and ended the round on top.

Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 GSP. He’s not doing much, but it’s enough for him to stay ahead. He got poked in the eye, and he said he can’t see out of his left eye. That would be an awful way for the fight to end.

ROUND FOUR: GSP took Shields down early but stood up and let Shields get to his feet. Shields landed a right. GSP with a jab. He missed the overhand right again. Shields tried to clinch but got shrugged off. St-Pierre landed a left. He got in the superman punch. GSP landed a left. He landed a head kick that dropped Shields. Shields went for his leg. He scrambled and grabbed St-Pierre’s leg but GSP just got right out of it. GSP landed another jab. GSP landed another jab. Shields tried to raise his hands like his teammate Nick Diaz. GSP is bleeding from the nose. Shields landed a right. GSP missed the spinning back kick. He landed the overhand right. GSP went for the high kick and it was blocked. GSP with a couple of hard jabs to end the round.

Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 GSP. He’s having trouble seeing and now he’s cut on the bridge of his nose, but he’s still well ahead. I don’t know what Shields is trying to accomplish in this fight right now.

ROUND FIVE: GSP landed a left jab. He circled and Shields tried to engage. GSP went for the high kick but it got blocked. He got through with the superman punch. He landed the overhand right again. GSP landed a combo as Shields tried to come after him. Shields has zero sense of urgency, I just don’t know what he’s doing in this fight, and St-Pierre is frustratingly not doing much himself. This is the worst he’s looked in all of his dominant victories. Shields landed a right. St-Pierre landed the superman punch. St-Pierre landed a kick to the body. GSP landed a jab. GSP missed another overhand right. GSP landed a spinning back kick. GSP landed the right. GSP landed another left and then an overhand right. Shields is bleeding badly himself. GSP shot in for the clinch as the fight ended. Shields raised St-Pierre’s hand at the end of the fight.

Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 GSP. I just don’t know what Shields was doing in this fight. If he had a gameplan, he gave it up and tried to stand with GSP throughout and he just didn’t have anything for him there. St-Pierre had trouble with his eye from early on in the fight, and I think he was scared throughout that something was seriously wrong, and yet he still won all the rounds. This was not a good fight though.

WINNER: St-Pierre via unanimous decision (50-45, 48-47, 48-47)

POST FIGHT: St-Pierre sad he got something in his eye or got scratched and he still can’t see with his left eye, so he needs to go to the hospital. He said he was expecting to do more with his striking and take him down later but he couldn’t do much with his eye. He said Shields was much better than he thought. He wouldn’t commit to moving up to fight Anderson Silva.

STAR RATING: (**) This was just a confusing fight. I think the eye injury was very much a hindrance to GSP throughout the last three rounds, and hopefully it’s not something that is going to be a major or serious injury.

[Photo (c) Jason Silva via USA Today Sports]

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