UFC 125 Results: 15 Things We Learned on New Year's Day
UFC 125 is now finished, and there's still plenty to discuss.
Many fans will probably think Gray Maynard got robbed from a victory over Frankie Edgar in Saturday night's main event at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Others will probably say Edgar did enough to retain his title. Others probably are rejoicing after Nate Diaz lost, while many are probably still wishing they didn't have to see what they did in the light heavyweight bout between Thiago Silva and Brandon Vera.
Let's go ahead and chew on just some of the details and storylines that developed Saturday night. Here are 15 things we learned from UFC 125:
15. Wait and Make Sure
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images
Dana White wasn't able to attend the post-fight press conference following the Edgar-Maynard rematch, but it was announced that Anthony Pettis would be the next fighter to get a shot at Edgar's lightweight title. Later in the night, though, two different media outlets reached White, who said that wasn't the case and that the right thing to do is give Maynard another shot.
Fans probably won't think it's a big deal, but UFC brass may want to make the talk the next time before they announce who is fighting who. It would've been a crime for Maynard not to get an immediate rematch.
14. Baroni Falls Short As Predicted
No one liked Phil Baroni's chances entering Saturday's fight with Brad Tavares, and it turned out as thought, as Tavares scored a first round knockout at the 4:09 mark.
13. Stephens Bombs and Banks
Knockout of the Night went to Jeremy Stephens, who caught Marcus Davis on the chin, dropping him immediately to the ground for a knockout victory. Stephens also won a $60,000 for his performance.
12. Just the Second Loss
Jacob Volkmann opened the card by winning a decision over 40-year-old Antonio McKee. Volkmann was given a split decision, with judges awarding him a split decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29). But the fight also marked just the second loss for McKee, who entered the fight 18-1 in fights that had gone the distance.
11. Poirier Shatters Hype Machine
We should hold off on the Josh Grispi hype. The talented featherweight suffered a shocking unanimous decision loss to Dustin Poirier. Grispi entered the fight considered one of the many potential challengers to current champ Jose Aldo.
All three judges scored Saturday's fight 30-27 for Poirier.
10. First Step for Silva
Maybe I'm by myself on this, but I wasn't overwhelmed or amazed by Thiago Silva's victory over Brandon Vera. If I'm Silva, I'd want to get back in the Octagon soon, and keep building confidence. It would be great to see him get two more fights before June, then go after some of the big shots in the light heavyweight division. Saturday night, though, he didn't do enough to convince me he could take out any of the top tier fighters above him.
9. Talk About an Off Night
Like many, I thought Nate Diaz was the favorite entering his fight, but he just seemed off from the beginning and didn't look impressive at all. It will be interesting to see what his future holds, and if he possibly goes back down in weight.
8. A Great Face for the Sport
If I'm Dana White, I keep Brian Stann on TV as much as I can. Stann scored an incredible first round technical knockout over Chris Leben.
He did it with a heavy heart, too. Yahoo Sports reported that Stann dedicated the fight to Garrett Meisner, a fellow Marine who was in Stann's same platoon and recently died in combat.
"Absolutely, Garrett Meisner was with me during my second deployment to Iraq," Stann told the website after the fight. "During my last year in the service, Garrett would come to my martial arts classes for Marines for post-traumatic stress. He was one of the most professional Marines I ever met. I believe he volunteered to deploy again, his third or fourth time going overseas to combat. He could have been an instructor and stayed teaching. It literally just happened this week. It was an improvised explosive device that killed him. It’s tough. I’ll miss him."
7. Guida Stays Focused
Props to Clay Guida for remaining focused and patient against Takanori Gomi. Guida kept bouncing around and circling Gomi, and you could just tell he was dying to engage and get aggressive. But he worked his plan, which eventually led to a guillotine choke and Gomi tapping out at 4:27 in the second round.
6. Taking Him Apart
Many fans were probably expecting the co-headliner between Brian Stann and Chris Leben to last a little longer, but Stann took him apart and won with two key shots, beginning with a shot to the jaw that buckled Leben. He got back up, but Stann came back to land a knee to his head that dropped him for good.
5. Incredibly Talented
The lightweight division certainly isn't lacking in talent. There will obviously be a third fight between Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard (pictured), but there should be plenty of opportunities for fans to get treated to several other compelling matchups in the future.
4. It Wasn't Boring
Many fans were criticizing Saturday's rematch, saying it would have no action and would be boring. It did turn out to be exciting, and have plenty of nervous tension. You had a great matchup of two very talented, smart, tactical fighters who both had a shot at a win until the very end. Was it a slugfest? No, but it certainly had lots of back and forth moments that gave you your money's worth.
3. He Can Take a Whupping
For a while it looked like the main event wouldn't even last two rounds. Edgar took a ton of punishment in the first round, and it was a miracle he survived.
2. His Chance Was in the First
As upset as Gray Maynard was about the draw, he had his chance to take out Frankie Edgar in the first round. That's where his win would have come, not on the scorecards.
1. Did You Scream Too?
I wound up eating with two guys at a Buffalo Wild Wings, and several people screamed out loud at the sight of Brandon Vera's nose following his loss to Thiago Silva. Even Vera knew it was nasty, and ended up covering his face with his hat.