UFC fighters arrive in Toronto

CHRIS DOUCETTE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 5:27 PM ET

GSP, the man touted to be the most famous Canadian athlete ever, has arrived in Toronto and he's ready to rumble.

Welterweight champ George "Rush" St.-Pierre and his opponent Jake Shields, who will headline UFC 129 at the Rogers Centre Saturday, took part in a press conference that was open to the public Wednesday afternoon at the Direct Energy Centre.

GSP, a Montreal native, said he's as prepared as he can be and he's confidant heading into the much anticipated bout.

Although Shields is considered by many to be the underdog in their fight, he said he doesn't feel disrespected.

"GSP is the best fighter in the world," the Californian said, adding the underdog status has only made him train harder.

UFC President Dana White said he's "pretty damn excited" to finally be in Toronto.

He and his counterparts fought long and hard to get Ontario to lift its ban on the sport of MMA, which Premier Dalton McGuinty ultimately did last summer.

The UFC has put together a card stacked with Canadians, including locals such as Sean Pierson, Claude Patrick and Mark Bocek.

The co-main event bout also has Canadian Mark Hominick.

The London resident will try to snatch Jose Aldo's featherweight belt Saturday.

A record-setting 55,000 people will attend the event and countless others will take in the fan expo running Friday and Saturday at the Direct Energy Centre.

"It's going to be insane in that arena," White said.

The fighters, more than 50 of whom have come to town to take in the colossal event, are just as excited as their boss.

And so are fight fans, many of whom have travelled from around the world to be part of the historical show.

Ricky Wright, who met up with friends from the U.K. in Toronto, came all the way from Wales for UFC 129.

"We've come because we wanted to be part of the biggest occasion in the UFC's history," he said. "This is an amazing card in an amazing city."


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