This New Years Day at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, UFC 125 Resolution will take place.
The main event will pit Frankie Edgar defending his UFC Lightweight Title against Gray ”The Bully” Maynard. Edgar is hoping to seek revenge against the only man to have beaten him and he will have that chance Saturday night.
The main card kicks off with Clay Guida facing Takanori Gomi in an exciting lightweight battle. Also Dong Hyun Kim will be facing Nate Diaz in a welterweight battle and in a light heavyweight battle, Thiago Silva will be facing Brandon Vera in which could be a potential fight of the night.
Also on the card will be Chris Leben hoping to continue his run in the middleweight division as he takes on Brian Stann.
RSR previews the matchups…
Clay Guida, 27-11 vs. Takanori Gomi, 32-6-1
At one point, Takanori Gomi was considered the best lightweight in the world, in his Pride days, but I believe the game has passed him by. He still possesses the power in his standup and his wrestling is good but his Achilles heel has always been submission defense, as most of his losses have been by submission.
In this particular matchup, he wont be submitted as Guida is not known for his submission skills. This will be a very good matchup for Guida as his biggest strength is his stamina and I believe he will tire out Gomi who does not always look his best. A case in point would be his match with Kenny Florian.
If Guida decides to stand and trade, it will prove costly for him as Gomi is a very good striker. But he does have a very good chin and has shown it throughout his career but his bread and butter has always been his wrestling, which is how I see this matchup going. I see Guida by decision as he dominates on the ground.
Dong Hyun Kim, 13-0-1 vs. Nate Diaz, 13-5
This is a pick’em fight as Kim has been very successful in the UFC and is undefeated, whereas Nate Diaz has found new life in the UFC welterweight division.
As always, Diaz brings world class submission skills and an ever-improving standup game. Kim has always displayed good wrestling and judo and will be looking to play to his strengths in this matchup. Diaz has always had trouble with wrestlers in losing to Guida and Joe Stevenson. So I think that Kim will try to takedown Diaz and control him from top position. Diaz will try to use his jujitsu but will not be able to submit Kim, who I see winning the fight by decision.
Chris Leben, 25-6 vs. Brian Stann, 9-3
This is another good matchup that has the ever popular Chris Leben facing former Marine Captain and Silver Star Award recipient, Brian Stann, in what looks to be a standup battle.
Leben has much to risk in this matchup and after getting arrested for another DUI, I question his mental state heading in. This matchup doesn’t make sense for Leben coming off wins over Akiyama and Aaron Simpson, as he was rumored to be facing Wanderlei Silva before he injured himself in training. Stann has absolutely nothing to lose, but I see Stann victorious in an upset victory, either by KO or decision.
Thiago Silva, 14-2 vs. Brandon Vera, 11-5
On paper, this looks to be another fight in which two fighters who love to trade punches will be in another barnburner.
Silva, coming off a loss to Rashad Evans, is looking to get back in the title picture and Brandon Vera is looking to keep a job in the UFC, having lost three of his last five matches in the UFC. This is a classic case of two fighters headed in two different directions. But, make no mistake about it, Vera has all the skills to be a contender and I believe his leg kicks are one of the best in the sport, but much like another talented fighter he reminds me of in Pedro Rizzo, he often times frustrates you with his inactivity in the ring. I see Vera winning this fight as he realizes this is his last chance to keep his job and will by vicious knockout.
Frankie Edgar, 13-1-1 vs. Gray Maynard, 11-0
Seemingly the Rodney Dangerfield of MMA is Frankie Edgar, a fighter that can’t get any respect.
In his matchups with B.J. Penn for the title Edgar was a huge underdog but escaped with the title. In the rematch, he retained the title in a dominating performance against Penn in another fight in which he was made the underdog.
Heading into this matchup, I believe if Edgar is victorious, it will be a career defining performance even more so than his title winning fight with Penn, as he is facing the only man to beat him in Gray Maynard.
Maynard is all about wrestling and Edgar is quick on his feet and showed very good takedown defense against Penn. This time I see Edgar defeating Maynard and establishing himself as a champion to stay in the lightweight division.
Evaluation of fight card
Although this matchup lacks star power, I’m enthused by the fact that these could be some of the fights that set the tone for 2011 as the UFC kicks off another year of great action.
One fighter with something to prove (Edgar) and another trying to keep his job (Vera) to go with the always energetic Clay Guida and it looks to be a card to be remembered.