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UFC 129: ‘USA vs. Canada,’ All Over Again

Thanks to the handy flag icons on Wikipedia’s UFC 129 lineup page, I was just reminded that nine of the 12 bouts at this Saturday’s “St-Pierre vs. Shields” event — all seven prelims and two of the five main card fights — will be contested between an American and a Canadian. In that respect, it’s an unofficial sequel to UFC 58: USA vs. Canada, which took place on March 4th, 2006, in Las Vegas, and featured eight such fights. The Americans took that event 5-3, capped off by Rich Franklin‘s dominant title defense against David Loiseau in the headliner. (Coincidentally, Georges St. Pierre and Mark Hominick were also on that card, scoring victories over BJ Penn and Yves Edwards.)

Now the Canadians have a chance to even the score on their home turf. So how will it shake out? Well, I might have a couple of opinions on the subject…

Surest win for the Canadians: GSP over Shields. No surprises here. Jake’s gameplan will rely on taking St. Pierre down, and then either submitting him or wearing him down from the top. But putting GSP on the mat is a notoriously difficult proposition, and the longer Shields is forced to fight on the feet, the more likely he is to get his orbital bone cracked by high-precision jabs.

Surest win for the Americans: According to the betting odds, it’s Jake Ellenberger, who has much more high-level experience than Sean Pierson, as well as a sick wrestling game. But I’d also pick Nate Diaz to outwork the 21-year-old Rory MacDonald, who has been on injury layoff since his TKO loss to Carlos Condit last June at UFC 115.

‘Fight of the Night’ front-runner: Mark Bocek vs. Ben Henderson. A jiu-jitsu ace vs. one of the hardest-to-submit fighters in the world. Could be a classic ground-battle along the lines of Sotiropoulos vs. Stevenson or Beerbohm vs. Healy. After his humiliating loss to Anthony Pettis, Henderson will be coming back to make a statement.

‘Win or get fired’ alert: Already released once in 2009, Jason MacDonald‘s return to the Octagon at UFC 113 ended in a horrible injury. The UFC is giving him another chance, but if he underperforms, he’s probably gone. The same goes for his opponent Ryan Jensen, who’s coming off a submission loss to TUF 11 winner Court McGee.

Flip a coin: Claude Patrick vs. Daniel Roberts. Patrick is a Canadian submission specialist who’s now 2-0 in the Octagon and hasn’t lost a fight since 2002. Roberts is on a three-fight win streak and has been sharpening his blades at one of the greatest camps in the world. Whoever wins puts himself on the welterweight map — but I won’t make a prediction on who that will be.

Projected final score: 5-4, USA


Cagepotato Comments

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Enrique619- April 28, 2011 at 8:15 am
I'm not canadian or american, but GSP is the best no matter what, but once u look at the rest of the canadian fighters there not that good. And look at where GSP is training, its not in canada, its with Greg Jackson in his camp in the US. and also check out the MFC thats supposed to be Canada's fighting league, and most of the notable fighters are not from canada, aside from ryan jimmo, check it on wikipedia. Sure canadas got their top ten on CP, but aside from GSP, not any of them have really found huge success. The only fight really interested is the couture machida fight and i believe couture can win this with his wrestling. Ive been to Canada and the US. I like canada better, But seriously canada get your heads out of your asses,GSP
is probably your only premiere fighter at this time and era.
fatbellyfrank- April 26, 2011 at 8:40 pm
Great to see Bocek on the main card, love watching him fight, so I've got two canadians for the main events, only thing i can say with any certainty is no Aussies or brits will win
dranokills- April 25, 2011 at 5:41 pm
I can't pick a single American to win.
Mdollas- April 25, 2011 at 3:16 pm
@ Canadia

Rory is not the guy Dunham "dry humped in vancouver"....

Rory had a 3 round war with Carlos Condit, and the fight was stopped with 7 seconds left, and Rory winning on the score cards. IMO bad stoppage too, He had taken worse punishment earlier in the round and with 7 seconds left, the official robbed him.

Either way he got the FOTN Bonus $85k worth....

Anyone who thinks Diaz is gunna walk through Rory, your about to be blown away
cyoulookn1- April 25, 2011 at 2:30 pm
Ohh and i forgot to add to that top part California Has a larger Population then Canada Alone and you cant pull out a quality fighter out of all the US Camon Mannnnn lol
cyoulookn1- April 25, 2011 at 2:28 pm
To KSGBOBO lmao ..
OK so GSP Took Out

Koschek Twice
Penn Twice
Fitch Twice

Remind Me how americans are better then canadians. Whos your champ? Frankie edgar? thatll last a whole one more month Lmao.

Get a real champ with a real Streak of more then 3 wins in a row like Silva or GSP and then well talk lol
ChrisH- April 25, 2011 at 2:00 pm


Sooo against US, thats 8-1? Yeah, thats whats up.
El Famous Burrito- April 25, 2011 at 1:58 pm
This one is for all the bacon.
ksgbobo- April 25, 2011 at 1:54 pm
Why is this even a discussion? Everyone knows Americans are better than those effing Canucks!
preacher-boy- April 25, 2011 at 1:09 pm
Possible crazy upsets so unlike taqiyyah or a "Holy Deception"
Canadia- April 25, 2011 at 1:01 pm
Why the hell is Janitor/Brillz on the main card and Nate diaz vs Rory Mcdonald is on the prelims (Rory's that guy Dunham dry humped in vancouver)

I remember just last summer Jason Mcdonald was having troubles jogging around the block on his gym (i live in red deer yo). His knee got torqued and I doubt it'll ever be 100%. But I still give Jason the win here. Jasons ground game is vicious and according to Wiki Jensen's a ground guy himself but his biggest profile fights all have him getting subbed, so i'm going with Jason.

Sean Piersen's the guy who went to war with Matt Riddle. Not much of a athlete but he's a gamer with a head on his shoulders but fuck man it's Ellenberger. Talk about getting Jake getting fed, still going with Sean for the upset

lol kyle watson, isn't that matt Hughes Ju-jitsu coach? Well John Makdessi is a unbeaten prospect who has only stepped up in competition his last fight. Kyle has the edge in experience but i'll give John the guy i've never seen before the edge in explosiveness and John takes er.

yves jabouin is a beast

I'm hoping Hominick hits Aldo and lays him out.anyone can be beaten and maybe hominick knows something we don't.

So yeah, I have all the Canadians winning, how do you like dem apples
LOKI- April 25, 2011 at 12:59 pm
I like Nate but Rory was raping Condit for 2+ rounds before running out of whup-ass fuel late in the 3rd, with his wrestling...I dunno.
I would love to see a non-Canadian sweep, or even only GSP and Hominick losing!
Machida>Handy is most important to me though.
RwilsonR- April 25, 2011 at 12:57 pm
I predict that Canadian gingers will go 1-1.
rampageisgod- April 25, 2011 at 12:50 pm
Diaz and Shields are forcing me to side with Team Canada.