April 27, 2011
No UFC tickets? No problem
By NEIL SPRINGER, QMI Agency
So UFC 129 is only days away and you failed to get tickets, eh?
Needless to say, the Rogers Centre can only fit so many fans and the money you’d need to drop dealing with a scalper could put your kids through college.
Don’t feel bummed, though. Just because you won’t be there live on Saturday doesn’t mean you can’t experience all UFC 129 has to offer.
Sure, you won’t feel like you’re a part of history, but you won’t be forced to wait 20 minutes to grab an over-priced beer.
You also won’t have to put up with some idiot trying to cut in front of you in the beverage line when they’re about to stop selling brewskis, forcing you to make a big, drunken scene about how lame it is to butt in without asking. Then, moments after he steps in line directly behind you, you let two attractive ladies jump ahead and proceed to loudly tell them about the jerk standing to your rear.
Not that I know anything about that.
And though staying at home means you’ll miss out on the buzz and atmosphere that can only be soaked up by being there in person, many of the fans who were lucky enough to score tickets will still spend most of their night staring at the screens anyway.
I’ve covered a number of UFC events live and can tell you the best seat for catching all the action inside the octagon is still your sofa, surrounded by friends.
Not to mention, for the first time in UFC history, you can watch all 12 fights from the comfort of said sofa.
Five bouts will be streamed on Facebook for free, starting at 6 p.m. (ET). All you have to do is ‘like’ the UFC Facebook profile and then click “live video” to get access.
Then, at 8 p.m. you get two additional free fights on Rogers Sportsnet. Once 9 p.m. rolls around, the pay-per-view portion of the card kicks in.
Though all eyes will be on Georges (Rush) St. Pierre defending his welterweight championship against Jake Shields, Mark (The Machine) Hominick challenging Jose (Scarface) Aldo for the featherweight title and Randy (The Natural) Couture potentially having his last MMA fight against Lyoto (The Dragon) Machida, some of the best matches can be found on the free broadcasts. There really aren’t any duds on this card.
But here are three fights you need to watch prior to the big three.
MAKDESSI VS. WATSON
Though John (The Bull) Makdessi has only made one appearance in the UFC so far — he earned an impressive unanimous decision against Pat (Awesomely Awesome) Audinwood at UFC 124 in December — he has established himself as one of the most dynamic strikers in the lightweight division.
Fighting out of Laval, Que., Makdessi put on a striking display against Audinwood that included spinning backfists, axe kicks and spinning heel kicks. On Saturday, he meets The Ultimate Fighter alum and H.I.T. Squad Brazilian jiu jitsu coach Kyle Watson.
This fight is a definite must-watch for anyone checking out the Facebook portion of the card.
Watson is a dangerous submission fighter and will look to take it to the ground as soon as possible. Though Makdessi may put a leash on some of his fancier techniques to keep the fight standing, Watson will have to trade punches with him for at least a little while in order to get in close and set up a takedown.
If Makdessi can catch him coming in, this one could end violently. If Watson can put him on the mat, a slick submission might only be moments away.
Sure, it’s the old striker vs. grappler cliché, but that’s made for some pretty entertaining fights in the past.
DIAZ VS. MACDONALD
Though Rory MacDonald came out on the losing end against Carlos (Natural Born Killer) Condit at UFC 115 last June in Vancouver, he dominated the first two rounds before succumbing to strikes on the ground with seven seconds left on the clock.
MacDonald will look to make a statement in his return fight against the always-aggressive Nate Diaz.
Much like his brother Nick, Nate gets in his opponent’s face and never stops applying pressure. He’s also looked like more of a killer since moving up to welterweight.
Expect both guys to move forward and attempt to break the other’s will.
BOCEK VS. HENDERSON
OK, the fight between Mark Bocek and Benson (Smooth) Henderson won’t be available for free. The two lightweight competitors will kick off the pay-per-view portion of UFC 129.
But if I were a betting man, I’d throw cash down on this being the fight of the night. Both guys are beasts with the gas tanks necessary to give fans a high-octane 15 minutes of fighting.
Bocek is a submission wizard with great wrestling and improved striking, while Henderson is well-rounded and damn near impossible to stop.
This has the makings of a back-and-forth classic.