The holiday season is upon us and another year of MMA is winding down. Fortunately, MMA withdrawals won’t last for long as UFC 125: Resolution is taking place on Saturday, January 1, 2011 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, NV, with the headlining bout taking place between Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard for the UFC Lightweight Championship.
UFC 125 looks to be a great event, but this card has been plagued with numerous injuries and substitutions more than any card in recent memory. Shane Carwin pulled out of his fight against Roy Nelson in October due to a back injury. No replacement was scheduled to fight Nelson, so Nelson was pulled from the card completely.
On October 28, 2010 it was announced that the UFC and the WEC would merge, with Jose Aldo becoming the UFC Featherweight Champion. Aldo was immediately signed to defend his title against Josh Grispi at UFC 125. Unfortunately Aldo was pulled from UFC 125 after he sustained an injury. Grispi will now face Dustin Poirier in a preliminary bout.
Now that the fight card for UFC 125 is complete, we can now move on to what everyone wants to know: Who’s going to win?
Frankie Edgar vs. Gray Maynard (Lightweight Championship)
Please, oh please, God, if you must intervene in any MMA fight in 2011, please let it be this one. Whisper to both fighters that they don’t give MMA fans a 25 minute wrestling extravaganza. I don’t believe that my prayers will be heard and instead of a slugfest or a submission finish, we’ll get UFC 125: Wrestlefest.
Maynard beat Edgar in the past, but that was almost three years ago. I see this one going the distance and going to a decision. Typically decisions will go to the champ and Edgar will retain the title.
Chris Leben vs. Brian Stann
Chris Leben has been nothing short of amazing as of late. He is on a three fight win streak, most recently beating Yoshihiro Akiyama in July, just two weeks after beating Aaron Simpson at TUF 11: Finale.
Brian Stann is 3-2 since entering the UFC in April of 2009, with three of those matches going the distance.
Both fighters are excellent strikers and love to brawl. This fight has Fight of the Night written all over it. Don’t expect this one to go the distance, because someone is going to get knocked out! Unfortunately for Stann, he will be kissing the canvas before the night is over. Leben will take this one via KO.
Thiago Silva vs. Brandon Vera
If you’re wondering why Brandon Vera is still in the UFC, you probably aren’t the only one. Vera is 3-5 in his last eight fights in the UFC and his performances have been lackluster. He was most recently dominated by Jon Jones in March of 2010.
Thiago Silva has been in the UFC since May of 2007 and has only two losses in seven matches, with both losses at the hands of former UFC Light Heavyweight Champions. All of Silva’s wins in the UFC have come via KO or TKO and expect no less in this bout.
If Vera loses this fight, Dana White just may send him packing and Vera will have to look for another fight organization. Vera has a lot on the line in this match, but Silva’s raw strength and KO ability will be too much. Silva will take this via TKO.
Nate Diaz vs. Dong Hyun Kim
This is definitely going to be a tough match for Nate Diaz. Diaz has typically had issues competing against sound technical wrestlers, of which Kim is. Diaz has won numerous Fight of the Night and Submission of the Night awards during his ten fight span in the UFC, but I don’t see that happening here.
Kim is 4-0 with one no contest in five fights in the UFC. “The Stun Gun” has excellent judo and wrestling backgrounds, which he demonstrated in his unanimous decision win against Amir Sadollah at UFC 114.
This one will go to the ground in every round and expect Kim to outwrestle Diaz, while Diaz will try to catch Kim and submit him. This is probably the toughest one to call, but I see Diaz taking it by a split decision.
Takanori Gomi vs. Clay Guida
What can I say about this match? “The Fireball Kid”, Gomi, is just an MMA machine. He has amazing punching power and he has solid takedown defense. Any fighter that wants to stand toe to toe with Gomi can expect to eat canvas after too long.
Clay Guida is the epitome of toughness. This guy can take a punch and has unbelievable cardio. It seems that Guida constantly comes back from a vicious beating early on in almost every fight and makes each bout competitive.
Guida’s tough chin will only last so long against Gomi and expect Gomi to win via TKO in round three.
For comments or questions, please e-mail James.