GSP stars but Hominick steals the show

Mark Hominick, right, and Jose Aldo fight in the Featherweight Title Bout during UFC 129 in Toronto...

Mark Hominick, right, and Jose Aldo fight in the Featherweight Title Bout during UFC 129 in Toronto on April 30, 2011. (Mark O'Neill/QMI Agency)

Steve Buffery, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:01 AM ET

TORONTO - Georges St. Pierre was the star of the show at UFC 129 on Saturday night.

But it was Thamesford, Ont. fighter Mark Hominick who stole the show.

And he did it with a stunningly courageous performance against UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo of Brazil in co-main event.

Aldo was awarded a unanimous decision, but Hominick almost pulled off a major upset against the highly favoured champion, despite some shockingly ugly swelling developing on his forehead late in the fight.

Not to be flippant, but, really, Hominick looked like Frankenstein's monster when it was all over.

"I want to say to my wife, I hope I didn't put you into labour," Hominick joked afterwards, much to the delight of the 55,000 in attendance at the Rogers Centre. He very well might of. The couple of are expecting their first child, a daughter, any day.

"I love you, babe and I hope that you're okay," Hominick added.

Shortly after the Aldo-Hominick fight ended, it was time for the main event, the long-awaited bout between UFC welterweight champion St. Pierre and his challenger, American Jake Shields.

Shields arrived at the Octagon first, to little fanfare.

But as GSP made his way to the center of the Rogers Centre, the crowd exploded.

On Friday at the weigh-in, GSP promised a quick victory.

On that, he didn't deliver.

He did deliver a victory -- a workmanlike, five-round unanimous decision -- but it was anything but sensational. In fact, to those who don't appreciate the finer points of MMA fighting, you could say it was a letdown. In fact, by the fourth round the fans were whistling their disappointment. By the fifth, some of them were booing.

St. Pierre said a scratch over his left eye in the second round, which caused a bit of bleeding throughout the fight, limited his ability to deliver a telling kick or strike.

"I can't see with my left eye," St. Pierre said afterwards. "I'm sorry to the fans. I wanted to make it a knockout or submission. It's just bad luck."

St. Pierre, 22-2, took the fight to Shields with decent strikes, particularly his left jab and looping right, and he didn't allow Shields to take him to the ground. But there were no devastating strikes or kicks, save for a powerful left leg kick to the head delivered by St. Pierre in the fourth. Still, both fighters had facial cuts by the fourth round.

The victory does set GSP, who turns 30 on May 19, up with a possible mega-fight against Brazilian star Anderson Silva, the UFC middleweight champion, who was in attendance last night. The two are widely considered the best pound-for-pound MMA fighters in the world, though St. Pierre's performance last night did nothing to enhance his ranking.

Silva is expected to face Yushin Okami on August 27 at UFC 134, but if White wants it to happen, he'll make it happen.

"I'm so happy in my category," Silva said this week at the UFC Expo. "But, one day, I don't know. This is not my decision. This is Dana's decision."

Walking out of the Rogers Centre, people were still talking more about the Aldo-Hominick fight.

Aldo, 19-1, bloodied Hominick's face in the second round.

Aldo dazed Hominick, sending him to the ground, with a shot in the third and pounded his opponent's face with shots, but couldn't put him away.

By the fourth, both fighters' faces had begun to swell.

Aldo nailed him with two hard rights in the fourth with Hominick going down both times -- the second time the ugly swelling appeared on Hominick's forehead. Even the crowd roared in shock.

It was incredible that referee Big John McCarthy didn't stop it right away. He finally signalled for a doctor who, almost beyond comprehension, allowed it to continue.

Before the fifth round the doctor checked Hominick's head and his eyesight again, and waved for McCarthy to start the round. Amazingly, Hominick got Aldo to the ground in the final round and hammered him with over and over, despite his left eye pouring blood.

But the Brazilian survived, and when it was over, both fighters flopped to the ground to do some pushups, and the crowd went insane.

Next to St. Pierre, the biggest cheer of the night went to MMA legend Randy Couture, who faced Lyoto Machida in his final UFC fight.

Machida dominated from outside, striking the former heavyweight and light-heavyweight champion almost at will. It was clear from the start that Machida was just too quick, too strong and too crafty for the 47-year-old Couture.

The end came for Couture suddenly, at 1:05 of the second round when Machida nailed the American with a vicious jumping front kick to the face that sent Couture straight to the canvas. The ref stopped the bout before the Brazilian could afflict any more damage.


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