Thursday, December 30, 2010

UFC 125: Resolution

Saturday night, we get the first UFC event with a name in a while. Though the Co-Main went from Nelson/ Country to Aldo/Grispi and finally to the much less anticipated Leben/Stann, the whole card is stacked with very intriguing match-ups, with 8 of those fights scheduled to air. 5 on pay-per-view, 3 on Ion television. The Ion television channel is a weird choice for free mma fights, but the keyword is free, so I'm on board.

The Main Event is the classic Speed vs Power match up, as champ Frankie "The Answer" Edgar takes on Gray Maynard for the UFC Lightweight belt. Both have great records, with Maynard being undefeated and Edgar's lone loss coming at the hands of Maynard, so both know little to nothing about losing. Maynard has the tools to once again defeat Edgar and comes in to the fight as the favorite. All he needs to do is use his size and power advantage to take Edgar down again and again like he did in their first fight and has done against most of his opponents. His punches pack power but if BJ's deadly boxing proved to be ineffective against Edgar, Maynard's big looping power punches have little chance of landing. Edgar has awesome footwork, quick, crisp striking, great wrestling, and his ability to seamlessly mix it all up got him his belt, but the key to winning this fight is avoiding the takedown. If Maynard can take him down at will, it will play out like the extended version of their first meeting and so will the Maynard/Pettis match up. If Edgar can avoid the takedown, his fast hands should do the rest and it'll set up for a much more intriguing UFC/WEC title unification bout with Anthony "crazy, off-the-fence ninja kick" Pettis. Edgar always rises up to the challenge. No one gave him a chance against the bigger, stronger Sherk, but he still came in and dominated. Everyone thought Penn was going to steamroll through him like all his other opponents, and Edgar still came in and shocked the masses twice. He comes in as the underdog in his 3rd consecutive title fight, but I think he's going to do what he always does, step up, prove everyone wrong and with a win, maybe get the respect he should've gotten the day he beat BJ Penn for the very first time.

For the Co-Main Event, it's heavy handed slugger Chris Leben vs former WEC champ Brian Stann. Leben has strung a couple of wins together and is looking the best he's ever looked but like it's always been, his brawler style leaves him susceptible to be outpointed by the more crisper strikers of the division, and Stann is seasoned and skilled enough to do just that.

Thiago Silva vs Brandon Vera is an awesome match up. Both are very good strikers with a slick jiu jitsu game and though Vera's Muy Thai is very pretty to look at, Silva's drastically improved boxing and his power advantage should get him the win.

Nate Diaz takes on Dong Hyung Kim and though Diaz is the more known fighter, Kim is the more skilled fighter. Diaz has very good boxing and jiu jitsu, and though he's deadly off his back, strong wrestlers are his kryptonite. Diaz has trouble against strong wrestlers and that's exactly what Kim is. Kim's Judo style of grappling is very submissions-oriented, so he should be able to defend submissions effectively all the while smothering Nate. Kim takes this by decision and hopefully the win brings better competition for him.

Takanoroi Gomi vs Clay Guida puts the Fireball Kid's hands against Guida's hyper-activeness. Gomi made up his submission loss to Florian by KOing Tyson Griffin out cold. Winging punches is Gomi's only path to victory, and unless Guida walks in as the wrestler who wants to strike with the striker like Griffin did, Guida should be able to take him down and beat him up, and if Gomi can't handle the pace, it might even end in TKO.

The prelims on Ion are also stacked. Marcus Davis takes on Jeremy Stephens for what is bound to be a stand up affair, and though I love the Irish Hand Grenade, Stephens is the younger, faster, more powerful fighter and he probably gets the KO. Josh Grispi takes on Dustin Poirer instead of Aldo due to Aldo's injury. Poirer is a solid fighter but Grispi wants Aldo and Poirer won't be able to get in the way of the beating Aldo has in store for Grispi. "The New York Bad Ass" Phil Baroni takes on Ultimate Fighter stand out Brad Tavares. Baroni has heart but absolutely no cardio, so as long as Tavares weathers the early storm, he should be able to take over late in the first and for the rest of the fight. The card is crazy stacked, and just like most UFC events, it's a can't miss event for all MMA fans.

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