The fight card for the UFC’s Toronto debut is nearly complete, and a pair of high-profile matchups are now official.
UFC brass today officially announced that Jose Aldo meets Mark Hominick, and Randy Couture takes on Lyoto Machida at UFC 129.
Featuring a welterweight title fight between current champion Georges St-Pierre and top contender Jake Shields, UFC 129 takes place April 30 at Rogers Centre in Toronto.
Both fights were previously reported by MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
Aldo (18-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) debuted for the WEC in June 2008 with a second-round TKO win over Shooto legend Alexandre Franca “Pequeno” Nogueira.
Following five consecutive knockout wins to open his WEC run – including three in the first round – Aldo was granted a title shot against then-champion Mike Brown. Aldo halted Brown with strikes in the second round. Aldo then defended his belt twice with wins over Manny Gamburyan and Urijah Faber and is currently considered among the top pound-for-pound fighters in the world.
Aldo was expected to defend his belt for the first time at UFC 125, but injury forced the Brazilian to delay his octagon debut until April.
Meanwhile, Hominick (20-8 MMA, 3-0 UFC) earned his title shot with a first-round TKO win over George Roop at this past month’s UFC Fight Night 23 event. The win, Hominick’s fifth-straight, marked the Canadian striker’s first UFC appearance since a June 2006 win over Jorge Gurgel.
Prior to his return to the UFC, Hominick earned top-contender status in the WEC with promotional wins over Leonard Garcia, Yves Jabouin and Bryan Caraway.
This past October, Couture (19-10 MMA, 16-7 UFC) cast some doubt as to his fighting future by admitting he was focused more on potential acting roles than future in-cage matchups. However, “The Natural” never claimed he was completely finished with fighting.
In December, Couture’s lawyer and representative, Sam Spira, said the retirement talk was pre-mature.
Couture is currently enjoying a three-fight win streak that includes a heavyweight win over James Toney at this past August’s UFC 118 event, as well as two light heavyweight wins over Mark Coleman and Brandon Vera.
Meanwhile, after opening his career with 16-straight wins, Machida (16-2 MMA, 8-2 UFC) has now lost back-to-back fights. “The Dragon” surrendered the UFC light heavyweight title to Mauricio “Shogun” Rua this past May and then dropped a heartbreaking split decision to Quinton “Rampage” Jackson in November.