A historical bout

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UFC prepares to make debut at the Rogers Centre in Toronto

Inside the Octagon
Autumn McDowell
Sports Writer

On April 30, the Ultimate Fighting Championship will make history.

For the first time ever, the UFC will be hosting an event at the Rogers Centre in Toronto, which is poised to draw nearly 55,000 fans. That would break the UFC’s previous attendance record by roughly 30,000.

In order to draw such a large crowd, the UFC’s management knew that there was only one man for the job: Canadian Georges St-Pierre. The welterweight champ and one of the pound-for-pound best fighters in the entire world got the call to headline the event.

St-Pierre is set to defend his belt against former WEC champ Jake Shields. This fight has been years in the making, as Shield has boasted numerous times about how he could “easily” knock out St-Pierre. This accusation by Shields is quite laughable, really, but he will finally get his shot at St-Pierre this April. However, I would be willing to wager that it won’t be Shields who has his hand raised at the end of this one.

Both fighters are extremely well rounded in all aspects of the game, with Shields being split a perfect 33 per cent in all three top elements of the sport including striking, takedowns and submissions. 

According to the statistics, St-Pierre is much better than Shields at takedowns and slightly worse at submissions and striking.

These statistics are rather “unique” for lack of a better term, since they are based on how often the fighters exhibit each of these three skills in a fight, not how good they are at them. If the statistics were based on quality and not quantity, St-Pierre would blow Shields out of the water in every aspect.
In case anyone is curious, Shields earned a big fat zero per cent for takedown defence. St-Pierre should have some fun with that. Not having any takedown defence whatsoever against one of the best wrestlers in the business is a recipe for a hilarious disaster.

It is also slightly enraging that Shields has had one mediocre fight in the UFC, where he “earned” a split decision victory of Martin Kampmann, and is being rewarded with a title shot. I suppose there is no one else in the division who could provide the slightest challenge to St-Pierre, so Joe Silva didn’t really have much of a choice when he was making the fights.

People continue to whine about St-Pierre being due for a loss and how it’s time for someone else to be the champion. Let’s be honest here. St-Pierre is unreal. The kid is the truest all-around athlete that mixed martial arts has ever seen and there is no way in hell that he is going to let some skinny prep named Jake Shields take his belt. There is quite simply no way.

Another fight that intrigues me on this card is Randy Couture vs. Lyoto Machida.  Machida is fresh off of two back to back losses in the octagon. His first loss ever in the octagon came at the hands of Mauricio “Shogun” Hua, where Hua took Machida’s coveted light heavy weight belt from around his waist.
Following the belt loss, Machida earned his second loss in the octagon, this time courtesy of Rampage Jackson. Machida is looking to get back on track with a big win against the legendary Couture.

Couture is currently riding a three-fight win streak. However, these are against lackluster opponents. With a win, Couture will be that much closer to another title shot, but a loss is sure to have him contemplating retirement once again.

It will be a historic night and an event that is well worth purchasing, even if the pay-per-view price is outrageous.

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