New Year’s Excitement and Predictions for UFC 125

I wrote this article for http://www.cagepages.com. It went up about 1 hour ago on that site.

Tonight’s UFC 125 will answer several questions for me. And I for one am very excited about it.

I have to admit, I’m not your average MMA fan. I don’t neccesarily prefer stand up to ground game. I don’t always prefer finishes to decisions. And I don’t tend to think that wrestling based mma fighters are boring.

So I’m more excited about the Frankie Edgar vs. Gray Maynard fight than most. But that’s just me. I know I’m strange in that and probably a few other aspects.

Tonight we will see:

Frankie Edgar vs. Gray Maynard for the UFC Lightweight Title. I’ve got Frankie winning by split decision. I think the match will be a near draw. It could go either way. I personally like both guys… and will be excited no matter who wins.

Chris Leben vs Brian Stann to see who will take a step toward a title shot at middle weight. I’m picking Leben by 2nd round TKO. Either way, however many minutes of this fight actually take place… it will be a barn burner. This could easily be fight of the night… easily.

Nate Diaz vs Dong Hyun Kim. I think this fight will look just like the Karo Parysian vs Nick Diaz fight from years gone by. I’m picking Kim by decision. I’m really looking forward to this one. Its also a good contender for fight of the night. I think that we may be seeing a new contender at Welterweight in DHKim.

Clay Guida vs. Takanori Gomi. I think Gomi may be the next contender at 155 and although I hate it… Guida is destined to be a gate keeper. It will also be a contender for fight of the night. Gomi by decision. (If I may… the one unknown in this is what Greg Jackson’s camp will mean to Guida. If anyone can take his game to the next level its Greg Jackson. If I am wrong about this predicion… it will be because of Guida’s new camp. And I’d be happy to be wrong in this prediction. I’m picking Gomi but rooting for Guida.)

Brandon Vera vs. Thiago Silva. I have been a fan of “the Truth” for several years. I really thought in 2007 that he might actually be a serious contender in both the light heavy and heavy weight divisions. But he has had a bad few years. He has become the ultimate under achiever in the UFC. He says he has changed… and is finally serious about his career. If so, he will submit Silva. I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt. I think Brandon Vera will end Thiago Silva’s career in the UFC at least for now… by 2nd round submision.

On the Ion channel prelims… we will see:

Marcus Davis vs Jeremy Stephens. Stephens is energetic and exciting. But I think he is overrated. I predict Marcus Davis KO’s him in the first or second round.

Josh Grispi vs Dustin Poirier. Grispi is the man. He is a real stud. He will end this quickly and decisively. This fight is designed to introduce Grispi to a broader audience. And he will take advantage of it. Grispi by KO in the first.

Phil Baroni vs Brad Tavares. It all depends on which Baroni shows up. Phil is a great personlaity. He brings a WWE like personality to the UFC. But I don’t think it will help him in the cage tonight. Tavares wins in the second by TKO.

On the untelivised undercard…

Mike Brown vs Diego Nunes. This is going to an absolutely great fight. And I think both of these guys will have every reason to be proud of their effort and performance at the end of the night. Brown is a real stud. But Diego Nunes is on his way up. He wins by decision.

Daniel Roberts vs Greg Soto. I don’t know so much about this matchup. But I’m going to take a good guess… Roberts by 2nd round Submission.

Antonio McKee vs Jacob Volkmann. Its about time that McKee is the the UFC. He is a real man. He takes this one after a long hard battle. McKee by decision.

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