UFC 129 News: All Fighters Comment On Toronto Event

with UFC welterweight title belt

UFC Welterweight Champion Georges St. Pierre

The Ultimate Fighting Championship sent out this press release earlier today.

Las Vegas, NV (USA) – The Ultimate Fighting Championship® announced today the remaining bouts for its long-awaited debut in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. UFC® 129: ST-PIERRE vs. SHIELDS, presented by TapouT®, takes place Saturday, April 30 live from Rogers Centre and brings 12 total fights, including two title fights.

Following the announcement of the UFC welterweight championship match between Georges St-Pierre and Jake Shields and the UFC featherweight championship battle between champion Jose Aldo and challenger Mark Hominick, the UFC confirms 10 additional bouts for UFC® 129: ST-PIERRE vs. SHIELDS:

The remaining bouts include: Randy Couture vs. Lyoto Machida, Vladimir Matyushenko vs. Jason Brilz, Mark Bocek vs. Ben Henderson, Nate Diaz vs. Rory MacDonald, Sean Pierson vs. Jake Ellenberger, Claude Patrick vs. Daniel Roberts, Ivan Menjivar vs. Charlie Valencia, Jason MacDonald vs. Ryan Jensen, John Makdessi vs. Kyle Watson and Yves Jabouin vs. Pablo Garza.

UFC® 129: ST-PIERRE vs. SHIELDS will be available live on Pay-Per-View at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT on iN DEMAND, DirecTV, DISH Network, Avail-TVN, BellTV, Shaw Communications, Sasktel, and Viewer’s Choice Canada for a suggested retail price of $44.99 US/$49.99 CAN for Standard Definition and $54.99 US/$59.99 CAN for High Definition.

The Diaz vs. MacDonald and Pierson vs. Ellenberger bouts will air live on Spike TV at 8 p.m. ET/
5 p.m. PT. The remaining five bouts – Patrick vs. Roberts, Menjivar vs. Valencia, MacDonald vs. Jensen, Makdessi vs. Watson and Jabouin vs. Garza – will air on http://www.facebook.com/ufc at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT.

Below is a sample of quotes from the stars of UFC 129:

GEORGES ST-PIERRE on facing the most dangerous threat to his title and the significance of this pivotal event in UFC history:

“He’s the toughest guy that I’ve fought. He’s a specialist with submissions, but I’m gonna beat him because I’m more well-rounded.

“It’s an honor for me to be headlining this card because it’s a historical event, but don’t blink. There’s gonna be a lot of action. My ultimate goal in this sport is being the greatest and also being the one who made the difference and brought the sport of mixed martial arts to another level.”

JAKE SHIELDS on fighting in front of 55,000 GSP fans:

“They are going to be booing me like crazy. There’s no way to prepare for 55,000 people booing you, but I know what’s going to happen and that’s beat GSP.

“The Canadians will go home pretty miserable, but hopefully they will at least appreciate that they saw something special in the title changing hands in a huge upset.”

JOSE ALDO on being UFC champion and keeping his dream alive against a tough opponent:

“Being UFC champion and defending the UFC belt is a real dream come true. I literally dreamed as a kid of being a UFC champion, I wanted to grow up and be like the great Brazilian fighters I always heard about.

“Hominick is a great fighter; he is the number one contender. I know this is his dream too – but his dream must come to an end for my dream to go on. And I have come too far, worked too hard and want to take care of my family too much to let anyone take this UFC belt from me.”

MARK HOMINICK on what drives him and the emotions of co-headlining an event of this magnitude:

“I’ve always thought MMA is about winning and that’s what drives me. I don’t need something to motivate me to train or to win; the win is what drives me and the win is still what it’s about.”

This whole event has been such a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and it’s just been crazy and I’m really trying to enjoy the ride. I’m just trying to take it all in. This is an experience that I’ll look back on and say ‘wow, that was a crazy time.’”

RANDY COUTURE on possibly fighting his last match in front of a record crowd:

“I kind of want to go out on my own terms and decide when enough is enough and I think that time has come. I realize I’ve pushed it a lot further than anybody is going to push it. I just feel like I want to go out on my terms, and not after one or two or three losses, and have everybody else telling you should be retiring. I kind of want to do it when I want to do it. I think now is the time.

“It’s certainly exciting to be involved in a card like this and have it be before a crowd of 55,000 or more and set a new attendance record. It’s certainly fun for me to be a part of that whole thing and part of that historical event.”

LYOTO MACHIDA on fighting a UFC legend in what may be his last fight of his career and what he expects from “The Natural”:

“I have so much respect for Randy Couture; I am honored to match up my skills with a legend, especially in front of the biggest crowd in UFC history. If this truly is Randy’s final fight, it is truly an honor, because people always remember the final fight of a legend.

“Randy is known for always having a plan, for being able to figure out any style and always coming up with a battle plan. I look forward to matching my skills and tactics against his, but regardless of the result, Randy will be leaving the Octagon as a champion and legend.”

VLADIMIR MATYUSHENKO on his quiet, but dangerous opponent Jason Brilz:

“He has good wrestling and grappling, and dangerous striking, but I’m coming in there looking to do what I always do, and that’s power my way to the victory.”

JASON BRILZ on fighting in front of the passionate Canadian fans:

“I’m glad I’m not fighting a Canadian because it’s going to be pretty loud in there!”

Canadian MARK BOCEK on competing at this historic event:

“It’s an honor to fight at home at the biggest UFC in history, I will remember it forever.”

BEN HENDERSON on fighting respected Canadian grappler Bocek on his home turf:

“I don’t care. I have to go into his backyard, but my last fight, (Anthony) Pettis had to fight me in my backyard (Glendale, Ariz.), so it’s OK. I fought in Edmonton twice before. I love the Canadian fans. They appreciate wrestling and jiu-jitsu and really know what’s going on. They’re very knowledgeable fans.”

NATE DIAZ on fighting UFC up-and-comer Rory MacDonald:

“He seems like a tough guy. He trains with a good bunch of fighters, but the guys I train with are better, so I’m gonna put it on him.”

RORY MACDONALD on his MMA dreams becoming a reality:

“I’m happy I get to show the world what I can do. This is a very big opportunity for me on a major card for the UFC. I dreamed I would be a part of something like this when I was younger.”

SEAN PIERSON, a St-Pierre training partner and native Ontarian, on carrying the pride of a nation:

“To be a part of history, on the first UFC card ever in Toronto, is an honor for me. It’s an honor to represent my fellow Canadians. Being Canadian means I have to carry more on my back. I’m going out there to represent Canadians, my family, and my friends the best that I can.”

JAKE ELLENBERGER on the outcome of his fight with Sean Pierson:

“This is an important fight for me and I’m going to leave with my hand raised.”

CLAUDE PATRICK on fighting Daniel Roberts, who trains at the famed Cesar Gracie Academy:

“His record in the UFC speaks for itself, and coming from Cesar Gracie’s Academy, you know he will be prepared, so it’s making for great training motivation for me to get the win.”

DANIEL ROBERTS on representing the U.S. in front of a pro-Canadian crowd:

“I’m definitely going to represent the U.S. and bring back a win. I plan on fighting my fight and quieting that crowd. I know that the Canadian fans are passionate but they’re going to be disappointed on fight night.

“It’s not even a contest. Canada has some good fighters, but we have the best.”

IVAN MENJIVAR, originally from El Salvador but now living in Montreal, on representing his adopted home country:

“I fight for me, for my family and my team, but I feel happy to have Canada, Quebec and El Salvador behind me for this fight. I am the pride of El Salvador, the pride of Quebec, the pride of Canada. It is fun to see the popularity of the sport in Canada.”

CHARLIE VALENCIA, a long-time WEC veteran, on debuting at this event:

“As long as you put your heart on the line and fight with passion, I’m sure I can win a whole bunch of fans over.”

JASON MACDONALD on his emotional return to the Octagon:

“I’m excited to fight in front of 55,000 Canadians – hopefully they’ll be cheering for me. It will make the victory celebration that much better. I’ve fought in front of 20,000 people and that was amazing. So I can only imagine what it’s going to be like to make my return in front of 55,000 people.”

RYAN JENSEN on fighting in hostile territory:

“I don’t mind being the bad guy. I’m just out to give fans what they want, which is a knockout.”

JOHN MAKDESSI on what kind of fight he expects from his opponent, Kyle Watson:

“It should be a good fight. He is an experienced fighter and I’m expecting a war.”

KYLE WATSON on fighting a former training partner in Makdessi:

“We both had the unique opportunity to train with each other briefly before this match was made, so we have an idea of what each other will bring to the table. That being said, I definitely anticipate a tough fight. However, I feel that I am more well-rounded, and therefore will be able to pressure him in all areas.”

YVES JABOUIN on getting past the event hype and thinking about the job at hand:

“At the end of the day, it’s a fight in a cage and I focus on what I need to do.”

PABLO GARZA, a former college basketball player, on keeping his winning ways:

“Like all of my fights, a good game plan will be implemented in order to get the ‘W.’”

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