Fans don’t have to wait very long for the first Ultimate Fighting Championship card of the new year as UFC 125: Resolution is set to air LIVE from the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday, January 1, 2011. In the headlining fight, the lightweight championship is up for grabs as two-time BJ Penn conquistador and current champion Frankie Edgar takes on for surging number-one contender Gray Maynard.
For division kingpin Frankie Edgar, this title defense holds special significance. “It’s definitely motivation coming going into this fight being that I have a loss to the challenger, Gray Maynard.” says the Toms Rivers, New Jersey native. “He’s coming in with a perfect record and I have that one blemish and it’s him. I’m 13 (wins) and Gray Maynard. I want to do what I could to erase that, forget about it, and move on.” With this lone loss as motivation, the champion is aiming to do whatever it takes to only avenge the defeat, but also administer a “bully” beatdown with eyes on finishing the fight.
Not to be outdone, challenger Gray Maynard steps into this championship bout with the full momentum of an undefeated record behind him. Having already beaten the champion decisively via decision once before, “The Bully” feels he is now ready to lay claim to the lightweight title. With recent decision wins over Kenny Florian along with Nate Diaz, Roger Huerta, and another New Jersey native wrestler in Jim Miller, the Xtreme Couture product will be sure to try to muscle his way towards the 155 belt.
With the aim on starting 2011 off with a bang, the UFC 125 PPV undercard features several intriguing bouts and potential slugfests.
For one, Chris Leben will be going up against US Marine Brian Stann, who requested this bout with Leben specifically from UFC matchmakers. An awardee of the Silver Star, the nation’s third highest award for valor in combat, the courageous Marine dives head-first into this bout, looking for a fight and likely finding one in the fiery Crippler, most recently winner of back-to-back fights over Yoshihiro Akiyama and Aaron Simpson, all in a two-week span. This bout has fight of the night written all over it and will surely be a four-fisted gun battle.
Up next in what could be considered a must-win fight for both fighters, Brandon Vera is seeking to rebound from two straight losses to avoid the dreaded “three-strikes-and-you’re-cut” de facto UFC rule. His opponent and ATT-product Thiago Silva also has cause for concern as he is 1-2 in his last three bouts. Fans should forward to an exciting bout as both men will surely be fighting for their proverbial UFC lives in this one.
The rest of the main card is rounded out by two more divisional bouts. At welterweight, one of the brash trash-talking Diaz brothers in Nate Diaz takes on undefeated Korean Dong Hyun Kim as both look to climb the 170 ladder. Also in action is “The Fireball Kid” Takanori Gomi looking to capitalize on his recent knockout over Tyson Griffin against “Carpenter” Clay Guida in about that could determine top-five contender status in the lightweight division.
Below is the extended video preview of UFC 125: Redemption, courtesy of the UFC: