The dance card for UFC 129 “St. Pierre vs. Shields” is now full, as a light heavyweight scrap between Jason Brilz and Vladimir Matyushenko was today ratified by the promotion.
Twelve contests are now official for the event, which goes down April 30 at the Rogers Center in Toronto. The show will be headlined by a welterweight title tilt pitting reigning champ Georges St. Pierre against recent UFC acquisition Jake Shields. Co-headlining the event is newly-crowned featherweight champion Jose Aldo, who defends his strap against the red-hot Mark Hominick.
The main card, which also features Randy Couture taking on Lyoto Machida and Mark Bocek locking horns with Ben Henderson, will air live on pay-per-view. Meanwhile, undercard bouts pitting Nate Diaz against Rory MacDonald and Sean Pierson against Brian Foster will be broadcast live in North America on Spike TV one hour before the main card kicks off.
Brilz (Pictured) was originally tapped for the event as a replacement for Matt Hamill against Phil Davis, with Hamill having been pulled from the show in order to meet Quinton “Rampage” Jackson at UFC 130. Davis was then pulled from the bout to step in for an injured Tito Ortiz against Antonio Rogerio Nogueira at UFC Fight Night 24 on March 26, leaving Brilz with no opponent until Matyushenko filled the spot two weeks ago.
Brilz, 35, began his career in 2000 after a four-year wrestling career at the University of Nebraska-Omaha. A firefighter by trade, Brilz made his UFC debut in 2008, earning back-to-back wins before running into Eliot Marshall at UFC 103 in 2009. Since that split decision defeat, Brilz has gone 1-1 in the Octagon. The Nebraskan was most recently seen dropping another split verdict, this time to the aforementioned Nogueira at UFC 114 in May.
The first and only International Fight League light heavyweight champion, Matyushenko is one of the sport’s most seasoned veterans. The 40-year-old Belarusian debuted as a professional in 1997, losing only to Vernon White, Andrei Arlovski and Ortiz through the first decade of his career. Matyushenko’s second run with the UFC began in 2009, and “The Janitor” earned back-to-back wins before falling to current No. 1 contender Jon Jones in the main event of UFC Live 2 in August. Matyushenko rebounded from the loss, however, notching a TKO victory over Brazilian submission specialist Alexandre Ferreira at UFC 122 in November.