UFC 125 Breakdown

I might be more excited about UFC 125 on New Years Day than I was about Christmas. There are a ridiculous 13 Fight of the Night awards that have gone to the guys on the main card, and 3 of those were Fight of the Year.. This card is so stacked that half of the Preliminary card should be on a main card!

Clay Guida vs. Takanori Gomi: This could be a main event fight for me. Both guys are so exciting to watch, both have won a Fight of the Year, and are fairly evenly matched, though I give Gomi the edge on his feet, and Guida an edge on the mat. We may see Guida going back to his wrestling a bit more in this one and getting some takedowns. Gomi has great knockout power, as he showcased in his last fight with Tyson Griffin, but Guida has an amazing chin, and you just can’t tire him, or knock him out. This should be quite a battle, and Guida will get the W.

Nate Diaz vs. Kim Dong-Hyun: Honestly, why don’t the Diaz brothers have their own reality show yet? Diaz will look to keep Dong-Hyun at bay with his jab, and will have his hands full trying to do so. Dong-Hyun will work for the take-down, and will have his hands full when he gets to the ground. This is a really tough fight to guess, but I’m going with Diaz. He’s a scrapper, and knows how to pull it off and come back from getting an early ass wuppin.

Brandon Vera vs. Thiago Silva: This is another fantastic matchup of two highly skilled strikers. Vera knows that he’s gotta win this fight. He’s lost his last two, and had his face broken by Jon Jones in his last fight. I’m curious to see how Vera comes out in this fight and if he fights like he’s fighting for his spot in the UFC, or if his last loss makes him hesitant to exchange with a guy with the power that Silva has. Vera also hasn’t fought in almost 9 months. Silva is still sitting at 14-2, with the only two losses of his career to guys who have held the UFC belt (Machida and Evans). Silva has been out for a year since his rather unexciting loss to Rashad Evans, who spent 15 minutes laying on top of Silva. I give this one to Silva.

Chris Leben vs. Brian Stann: Chris Leben is another guy that you simply do not want to miss. If you are not a Leben fan, then you were simply not watching MMA this past summer. Leben got a Knockout of the Night award for his finish of Aaron Simpson, after Simpson gassed himself out from kicking Leben’s ass. Two weeks later, Leben steps in to replace an injured Wanderlei Silva, and got Fight of the Night, beating Akiyama by letting him tire himself out punching Leben in the face. It’s not often that I jump off of the couch yelling during a fight (OK, that’s a lie), but this was like watching Rocky and Clubber Lang slug it out at the end of Rocky III, and it went right down to the end of the 3rd round before Leben somehow pulled off a Triangle Choke on Akiyama. This will be Brian Stann’s second fight since dropping down to Middleweight, and is coming off of his recent Fight of the Night win against Mike Massenzio. Leben is known more for his jaw than his technical skills, but it’s entirely possible that he out classes Brian Stann in this fight. Count on this one being a battle. Leben wins this one.

Rockyama - (photo editing: Shane Burditt)

Frankie Edgar vs. Gray Maynard: The first time Edgar fought BJ Penn, and took his title, he was an enormous underdog. I’m not going to pretend I said he would win, but I said everybody was severely underestimating him. The second time they fought, he was STILL the underdog, and then was even more dominant in that fight. Gray Maynard, at 10-0, has been long overdue for a title shot. One of those wins of his was over Frankie Edgar. As Gray Maynard puts it, he’s been just walking through the competition to get here. Once again, Frankie Edgar is the underdog in this fight. Three things to consider though, are that

  1. Gray Maynard hardly “walked” through the competition. The last time he finished a guy was in 2007. The 7 fights since then have all gone to the judges. 2 of the last 3 were split decisions, so one of the 3 judges thought he lost those two fights.
  2. Frankie Edgar beat BJ Penn decisively. Then Edgar beat a pissed-off and hungry BJ Penn, even more decisively. BJ. Fucking. Penn.
  3. Edgar will come in with a better game plan. Maynard is a blunt instrument, and his game is going to be the same as it has been in his last 7 fights that got him here: get the takedown, and hold him on the ground.

Maynard’s game plan has been working for him this far, and it worked against Edgar the last time they fought, but I think he’s fighting a very different Frankie Edgar this time. In their last fight, Edgar edged out Maynard on their feet, but Maynard practically took Edgar down at will. If Maynard tries to stand with Edgar, he’s going to eat a lot of jabs. He may get some takedowns in the early rounds, but as the fight gets into the later rounds, it’s going to tip further and further to Edgar’s favor. I’m calling it another Frankie Edgar upset, and he will hand Gray Maynard his first loss.

Those are my picks. Guida, Diaz, Silva, Leben, and Edgar. Think I’m wrong? Wholeheartedly agree? Post your picks in the comments. To get the ball rolling, I asked my brilliant, and beautiful wife Heather for her picks (before letting her read my breakdown). Heather watches all of the fights, makes the best buffalo chicken dip in the world, and has a wicked overhand right. Trust me.

Here are Heathers picks:

  • Frankie Edgar is more awesome then Gray Maynard.
  • Brian Stann. Because he is from Scranton, PA and I love The Office.
  • Thiago Silva. He’s got a meaner face and Vera’s got a broken face. So yeah, Silva.
  • I pick Nate Diaz, because he reminds me of any number of guys I could find at a state fair in Vermont.
  • Clay Guida, because he’s metal. (and never fails to fight while swimming in a pool of his own blood)

Now post your picks. Or else.

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7 Responses to UFC 125 Breakdown

  1. Shane says:

    Guida his fight, but is covered in blood before it’s all over.
    Diaz, sadly, suffers a loss at against Hyun Kim due to superior Judo skills.
    Silva wins this one. Easily.
    Brian Stann gets a decision.
    And, after much thought, Frankie Edgar not only wins, but dominates. 50-45 or 49-46 all around.


    TJ Reply:

    I totally agree about Edgar. Stann will be a surprise for me. I think they want Leben to win, have given him exactly the kind of fight he wants, and then if Sonnen truly can’t coach the next season of TUF, it will be Leben and Wanderlei


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  3. TBURD says:

    Clay Guida vs. Takanori Gomi: How can you not pick Guida. This will be Fight of the Night. Clay has a chin of stone and obviously more blood in his veins than the average “Carpenter”. A mere mortal would bleed out losing the amount of blood he does. Besides he’s the closest thing to a Caveman that the UFC has.

    Nate Diaz vs. Kim Dong-Hyun: Diaz reminds me of that kid in high school that continually flapped his gums resulting in 6-15 record in his senior year. With the 6 wins coming against incoming underdeveloped freshman. However, Diaz can rumble and had a record of 21-0 as a freshmen against senoirs. I hate to see it but………. Diaz by submission.

    Brandon Vera vs. Thiago Silva: Remember when Vera was a small Heavyweight and winning. I couldn’t wait until he dropped down to Lightheavy and domonated the division. Ooops. “The Truth” is Vera was one of my favorite fighters but Silva will have way to much power to handle. Look for Silva to knock him out unless Vera unleashes one of his devastating high leg kicks.

    Chris Leben vs. Brian Stann: Who can take punch better than “The Carpenter”? “The Crippler”? The big difference Guida turns red from blood as intimidation and Leben dyes his hair red to look crazy as intimidation. Leben to win in the third as Stann will have to quit from sore or broken hands from hitting Leben………… A LOT!
    Truly a spectacular performance when Leben beat Akiyama on two weks notice. Nobody fights at this level in only two weeks.

    Frankie Edgar vs. Gray Maynard: I’m flipping a coin on this one…flip…flip…flip…flip…flip…flip It’s Maynard! Hey! Both sides of the coin are colored Gray. This one goes to the judges.


    TJ Reply:

    Vera vs. Silva is the only fight on the main card where neither fighter has had a Fight of the Night before, but if Silva can’t get the win early, this could be a real battle and Fight of the Night.


  4. danny ray says:

    i liked ur picks except i think we will have a new lightweight champion after tonite. in the prelims i got…josh “the fluke” grispi over poirer(LOVE the action and energy of the little guys), i think “the heathen” out wrestles “the irish hand grenade”, youth over experience…tavares over “the newyork badass”, antonio “mandingo” mckee debuts tonite with a win over jacob “christmas” volkman by superior nickname, mike brown over diego “the gun” nunes by “HULK SMASH”, and daniel “ninja” roberts (an all-american wrestler and gracie jiu jitsu guy) over greg soto (i guess he was on tuf…but i don’t remember him)


    TJ Reply:

    I’m picking Tavares as well. I liked him on TUF, he was really the runner up in my mind. His fight with Court McGee was one of the best from that season. Baroni can’t be training that hard with the amount time he spends on twitter. Totally agree on Stevens vs. Davis too.


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