After multiple high-profile cards coming up short in the entertainment department, UFC 125 finally lived up to all the hype. The card was littered with high-profile names, which can sometimes lead to boring, tentative fights, but there was none of that. There were upsets, knockouts, submissions and taunting, everything you could possibly want in a night of fights.
So, where do all the winners from last night go now? Who do they get matched up with following their victories (or draws) from last night? Take a look inside for potential matchups for every winner from UFC 125.
Jacob Volkmann-Jonathan Brookins
Daniel Roberts-Johny Hendricks
Diego Nunes-Dustin Poirier
Brad Tavares-Tom Lawlor
Dustin Poirier-Diego Nunes
Jeremy Stephens-Joe Stevenson
Clay Guida has enjoyed a rather up-and-down career inside the Octagon, as he always manages to string together two to three wins before falling to Top 10 competition. With victories over Shannon Gugerty, Rafael Dos Anjos and now Takanori Gomi, Guida deserves a step into deeper water.
Mark Bocek has quietly crept into the Top 10 lightweights of the UFC. He is 4-1 over his past five fights, all submission victories. His lone loss came against title contender and top five lightweight Jim Miller. Bocek brings exceptional submission skills, as evidenced by his triangle choke over the always dangerous Dustin Hazelett.
Guida has shown some difficulties in the past over top-notch jiu-jitsu practitioners, and this fight should be no different. Guida has the ability to control the fight with his wrestling and stand-up, but he would need to be careful every time the fight hit the mat.
The winner would be launched into title contention.
This fight hinges on how long Koscheck could potentially be out after the one-sided beatdown he received at the hands of Georges St-Pierre. If he is out for an extended period of time, it would be wise to put Kim against someone else instead of waiting around for Koscheck to heal.
Kim has shown a penchant for a rather boring style of fighting. He uses his judo background and size to drag opponents to the ground, where he controls them without taking many risks. He rarely exposes himself to possible submission attempts or reversals.
To win against Koscheck, Kim would have to show much improved stand-up. If GSP couldn't get Koscheck down, I seriously doubt that Kim would be able to, either.
Kim wanted GSP, but he doesn't deserve him quite yet. A win over a top five opponent is a very good start, though.
Thiago Silva is in a rather awkward position following his dominating performance against Brandon Vera. His two losses have come to Lyoto Machida and Rashad Evans, putting him a notch below those two and Rampage Jackson.
I imagine the winner of Ryan Bader/Jon Jones will be getting a title shot if either one of them gets a convincing victory, eliminating those two as possible opponents.
Everyone else in the division is a clear notch below the dangerous Brazilian fighter, leaving only Rich Franklin and Forrest Griffin. And, luckily enough, they are fighting each other at UFC 126, positioning a fight between the winner and Silva perfectly.
A bout between Silva and the winner of Griffin/Franklin would catapult the fighters into immediate title contention, as well as just being an overall exciting bout. The combination of Silva's brutality and Griffin/Franklin's skill and toughness would be a perfect stylistic clash.
Looking back, it should have been plain to see that Chris Leben shouldn't have been as big a favorite as he was. His wins over Aaron Simpson and Yoshihiro Akiyama were both come-from-behind victories after having been outclassed during the beginning of the fights.
That's not to discredit Stann's win in any way, shape or form. He came out and dominated Leben in the stand-up, becoming only the second person to KO Leben in the Octagon. The other was Anderson Silva, putting the former Marine Corps captain in pretty distinct company.
I think Grove provides a lateral step for Stann, another tough quality opponent who provides a much different challenge than Leben. A win against Grove would put Stann into the Top 10 in the middleweight division and provide him with a big step-up in competition.
The easiest fight to call. Dana White has already announced that Gray Maynard and Frankie Edgar WILL fight again despite the original report that Anthony Pettis was next in line for a title shot. And that's a smart move on White's part.
After the five-round war that these two guys put on, it would be stupid not to match them up again. The fight was an exciting, back-and-forth affair that really could have gone either way. I wouldn't have complained if Maynard or Edgar had been announced the winner. A rematch is the right thing to do.
Let's just hope their third bout will be as action-packed as the one last night. Maybe then people will start appreciating both Edgar and Maynard.