Resolutions, the aptly named UFC 125 event, will take place Jan. 1, in Las Vegas Nevada this weekend. This will be the first time in the company’s 17-year history, in which they will attempt to host an event on the first day of the New Year. If, by the end of the day on the 1st, you’ve recovered sufficiently from New Year’s Eve celebrations, here are five reasons to tune into UFC 125: Resolutions on Saturday night.
Leben’s Momentum: 2010 was a good year for Chris Leben, at least in the cage. The Oregon native went undefeated in the Octagon, and a win Saturday night would be his fourth in a row. Defeating Brian Stann would likely start the debate about his middleweight title chances. Outside of the cage, Leben recently slipped up when he was arrested for drinking and driving. It will be interesting to see if his arrest will motivate or hinder his MMA career.
Gomi’s Power: Now that Takanori Gomi has final gotten his first UFC win out of the way, I’m hoping to see more of his powerful striking skills displayed against the KO-resistant, Clay Guida. Guida has yet to be KO’d or TKO’d in his 38-fight career. Although that’s an impressive record and shows that ‘The Carpenter’ has one of the toughest chins in the business, Gomi ended a similar streak by knocking out Tyson Griffin back in August. Expect Gomi to put Guida’s record to the test in what will likely be a barnburner.
Diaz’ Evolution: The Stockton California native has done well of late, but still has trouble with stand-out wrestlers. Diaz is 2-1 in his last three fights, with his only loss coming against Gray Maynard, a college-level wrestler who will be competing for the lightweight belt on this same card. Diaz also lost to another unyielding wrestler in Joe Stevenson back in 2009. Although Diaz’ opponent Dong Hyun Kim isn’t your traditional wrestler, his grappling and judo skills will help determine if Diaz has improved that aspect of his game.
The Rematch for the belt: Can Champ Frankie Edgar even up his record against contender Gray Maynard? Edgar, who lost to the wrestling standout in 2008, is currently the underdog in their upcoming lightweight title bout. Will Maynard lay and pray or will Edgar once again find the answer? Regardless of who wins, this bout will look astonishingly different than their original clash. Both fighters have gone undefeated since they met and have improved 10-fold over the last couple years. Despite the grumblings about this main-event tilt being a potential snoozer, I expect quite the opposite. Edgar vs. Maynard is my pick for fight of the night.
Do or Die: It’s a must win for Brandon Vera and Thiago Silva. Both have lost two of three and need wins desperately to maintain relevancy in the light heavyweight division. A loss could send either fighter packing. Expect Vera and Silva to throw out all of the stops in order to keep their jobs.
Bonus: Three, instead of the normal two, prelim fights have been added to the list of televised fights. In addition to the 5-fight main card available on PPV, three under card bouts will be aired live on Ion TV. Spike is normally the home of the UFC prelims but Ion TV, available to 100 million viewers, has been given their first opportunity to showcase UFC fights. Upcoming contract talks between Spike and the UFC could be the primary reason that the UFC is seeking out other broadcast partners. Contract negotiating ploys aside, the end result for MMA fans is one extra televised bout. Happy New Year!
UFC 125: Resolutions will take place Jan. 1 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas Nevada.
Main Card on PPV
Frankie Edgar vs. Gray Maynard (Lightweight title fight)
Chris Leben vs. Brian Stann
Thiago Silva vs. Brandon Vera
Nate Diaz vs. Dong Hyun Kim
Takanori Gomi vs. Clay Guida
Ion TV Undercard
Mike Brown vs. Diego Nunes
Daniel Roberts vs. Greg Soto
Antonio McKee vs. Jacob Volkmann