The BE staff has been doing an awesome job with their predictions for UFC 125, but I wanted to throw my two cents into the hat.
Here they are....
The perfect way to put the finishing touches on the holiday season is UFC 125. The celebration is not over. Call the boys and pull up a chair!
This awesome fight card has the makings of an incredible fight night that is sure to have a ton of fireworks and action.
The calm before the storm is upon us. Can Frankie Edgar win again as the underdog? Can Chris Leben prove that the post-steroid fighter is better? Can Nate Diaz submit his way into title contention? Can Clay Guida continue to be the UFC’s most exciting fighter but get a win?
Time to play Ms. Cleo.
Wait till you see my upset special!!!!!
During the weigh- ins one of the funniest things in MMA happened right before our eyes. Two falling stars entered with walkers and diapers, or was it just Phil Baroni and Mark Coleman? Actually, Phil looked to be in very good shape and prompted me to ask… ”what is he taking?” Tavaras is a tough fighter that is hoping to use the New Yorker as a stepping stone. Let’s be honest, the loser of this one could be the next on the UFC’s chopping block.
Everyone knows Phil is going to start strong and drag early. Tavares will weather the early storm and Rope-a-dope long enough to tire him out and get a TKO win.
Grispi is a young Bostonian that is looking to make a home in the UFC. He won four straight in the WEC and could be the next real competitor to challenge for the belt. No belt here, he will take on Poirier, a game fighter who will look to out-dual Grisip in this battle of little guys.
Grispi went from fighting Aldo to Dustin. While it puts him at an uncomfortable cross road, he should win this one. He has a knack for finishing fights out of no where and this could be one more highlight reel finish.
Marcus Davis vs. Jeremy Stephens
This is one of the most promising fights on the card. Both of these guys are exciting in every outing, and will have no problems doing it here. Marcus Davis is in no man’s land by losing three of four and another loss puts him in a very bad spot. Stephens may be more than just a Lil Heathen, he is a huge challenge for Davis. His stand up isn’t as good but his wrestling is better.
I am going to go a bit different than many outlets. I not only think Marcus Davis wins this one, I think he wins it decisively. While Stephens’ wrestling is better, he is smaller. Davis will be able to use his length and boxing initially, and a surprisingly strong ground and pound display to finish the fight.
Is there any doubt that this will be an exciting fight? Guida is a fighter that pushes forward 100% of the time. He is arguably the most exciting fighter on the UFC’s roster. The big question in this one will be will Gomi be the fighter he was in Pride, or the one that showed up against Ken-Flo?
DING… Guida rushes to the middle to meet Gomi…This is where it gets interesting. Gomi has impressive one punch power. Guida tends to be reckless and leaves a ton of angles that can be exploited. If Guida stays tries to drop his head and slug it out, then it could be a quick night. He opens up for a nasty uppercut that with Gomi’s KO power could end the bout. Instead of push push push, he needs to use that energy in bursts taking advantage of his experience and comfort in the cage to dominate the former Pride champ. If Guida can keep Gomi in the cage and on his back then he will win. I don’t think he will be able to do that, and the overall skill set of Gomi allows him to eventually hit one of those gaps and finishes the fight.
Nate Diaz is the UFC’s bad boy. He is both hated and loved every time he walks into the cage. He welcomes the Boo Birds with a smile and often a win. His jits makes him the same as a home run hitter. Instead of getting walks, opponents keep the fight standing to stay out of his area of strength. Kim has shown no lack of confidence coming into this one. He is planning on defeating Diaz and starting his won title run.
Diaz will use his hands to disrupt Kim. Nate may not have KO power but his version of punches in bunches is often as effective. Kim is a wrestler but will initially try to keep this one standing. If it hits the ground Diaz will try to lock onto an arm or leg and finish it. If Kim gets in trouble he will look for the take down, putting him into a bad spot. His jits is good but eventually he will make a mistake. Watch out for a slick submission from the bottom off of a scramble or take down. Diaz wins his third straight and gets a huge bump in competition.
On paper Vera has the tools to be a champion (but you know what you can do with that paper). Thiago throws leather and will be head hunting. Both fighters need a good win, and they will be pressing to get this one. Vera has always been a confusing fighter to watch, sometimes he shows up a beast and others he doesn’t. If he doesn’t show up for this one then he will be in trouble. Speaking of looking bad, you can’t say anything good about Thiago’s fight against Rashad Evans. While the loser more than likely doesn’t get cut from the UFC, it is a start to the end.
Overall Vera has the tools to dominate Silva, but I am not sure he will be able to put it all together. I expect an onslaught of punches and a TKO stoppage at some point in favor of Silva.
Talk about your complete opposites… Leben has been busted for steroids, a DUI, and spritzing, while Stann is the All American hero. The good guys don’t always win, and once they step into the cage none of that matters. A win for Stann officially puts him on the UFC map, a loss by Leben puts an end to his current title run and solidifies him as a career gatekeeper.
My largest critique of Stann in the WEC was his inability to improve his combinations and striking. So much that it was often telegraphed and a good fighter with a decent staff could game plan against it. He has started getting out of it, but in trouble he reverts back to it. If he does this against Leben then he will go to sleep. Leben is a brawler and is never out of it till the final bell. Expect this one to go to the ground…I know I know… When it does Stann will be tested. In my upset special, Stann over Leben by GnP.
Is it me or is this bout not getting the attention it should? These are the two best lightweights in the entire world! How weird is it that the champ is an underdog? I can’t wait for this one. Edgar will try to use his quickness to be in and out and avoid Maynard’s punishment. He will try to mirror his second Penn fight, and if he does then he will have all but cleaned out this division already.
Everyone seems to be picking Maynard. While Maynard is tough, it could be time for him to suffer his first loss. However could it be that Edgar just had Penn’s number, or has he really improved? I see Gray being Gray and winning a very close split decision in a bore fest that only wrestlers will love. He will be the stronger man and will use his size to slow down Edgar.