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UFC 125 Preview – Gray Maynard Vs. Frankie Edgar


The new year of 2011 brings us UFC 125. It was once a show that was going to feature Roy Nelson against Shane Carwin. And then Jose Aldo against Josh Grispi. But because of injuries, neither fight is on the card and the card really lacks star power.

That fact doesn’t mean there shouldn’t be some great fights on the card. Not with Chris Leben, Clay Guida, Brian Stann, Takanori Gomi, and Nate Diaz on the card, it won’t. Also, the prelim card is stacked with guys like Antonio McKee, Mike Brown, Marcus Davis, Jeremy Stephens, and Grispi, who is now fighting Dustin Poirier.

The FGB crew, along with Stevie J from Angry Marks, and friend of the site JP, have predictions ready for what we consider the top two fights on the show.

(Ryan Frederick and I went through all of the fights on FGB Radio earlier in the week, if you want to take a listen.)

Takanori Gomi vs. Clay Guida

Duan: Gomi by 2nd round TKO
Alan: Guida by decision
Stevie J: Guida by decision
JP: Guida by decision
GG: Guida by decision

Duan says:

Guida gets hit alot and Gomi has the power to finish him. Watch Dynamite!! instead!

Alan says:

Duan raised a great point here, Guida does get hit alot and Gomi does have bigtime KO power (ask Tyson Griffin) but Guida also has one of the best chins in MMA. So what I see happening is sometime in the 1st round, Gomi knocks him down but not out and Guida starts to fight desperately and it’s takedown city from there. We’ll get lots of Clay ground & pound in two and three, and if Gomi doesn’t turtle up and get stopped, then it will go to a decision which Guida takes 2 to 1.

Stevie J says:

I thought Gomi was a UFC flameout until his Tyson Griffin knockout. To be honest I’m still not sure what to make of his second career stateside – as impressive as that one knockout it only makes him 1-1 in UFC. He’s still small for a lightweight by weight cutting standards, whereas Clay Guida always looks like an unfrozen caveman of a fighter at 155 and fights like one too. The problem is that Guida is a very easy guy to like but a very hard guy to judge – he’s always exciting but he’s lost a lot of his big fights – Nightmare and Griffin (albiet split decision), KenFlo and Huerta (via RNC) so it’s never clear he’s going to make it all the way to the top of the UFC Lightweights. He was a Strikeforce champion for a cup of coffee but has been in UFC for so long that’s almost completely forgotten by now, but to be fair he lost to Gilbert Melendez, who could be the best lightweight in either promotion (seriously). So who wins here? The fans. With Gomi believing in the “you must be exciting no matter what” philosophy of Japan, and Guida believing in the “you must make Dana White happy no matter what” philosophy of UFC, these two will slug it out for three rounds standing until it goes to the judges – who this time will (just barely) find for Guida.

JP says:

Clay Guida is currently enjoying a nice winning streak and will bring his go-all-out style against power handed Takanori Gomi. A real simple fight equation: Gomi’s power against Guida’s intensity. No one has ever finished Guida on strikes and unless Gomi becomes the first, he will find himself on the losing end of three long rounds with Guida.

GG says:

I think the guys have all said it very well. Guida will get hit. Gomi will hit him. That will be a theme. But so will be Guida’s tenacity overwhelming Gomi at times. If Gomi doesn’t get him out there in two rounds, I think Guida takes the decision.

Gray Maynard vs. Frankie Edgar

Duan: Maynard by decision
Alan: Edgar by decision
Stevie J: Maynard by decision
JP: Maynard by decision
GG: Edgar by decision

Duan says:

I really see this beng the same as the first fight. I don’t think either guy is a particularly different fighter from when they first met. Yes, Edgar had two fantstic performances over BJ Penn, but that was a match up which stylistically suited him. He will still have the same problems he’s always had with Maynard. It’s just a matter of whether Gray can maintain that for the championship distance. There is not that suggests he won’t be able to. The bully takes an uneventful five round decision. Watch Dynamite!! instead.

Alan says:

This is such a hard fight to call for me. I think Edgar has progressed since the first fight, with the main difference being that he’s now a much more confident fighter. He feels he’s the best bar none, and oftentimes that can be the ingredient a fighter needs to really become a great champion. The only thing is, I think Maynard with his recent big wins, is also more confident and feels that this is his time now. With all that in mind, I think this could come down to which guy can hurt the other’s confidence first. If Edgar can avoid some early takedowns (which pretty much never happens against Gray) that might make Maynard worried, but similarly if Gray starts well and is imposing his will, then Frankie might start to second guess himself. So basically the first round is huge here in my opinion. It will set the tone for the fight.

The only thing I’m sure of is that this goes five rounds. I’m going to very gingerly pick Frankie to pull it off, 3 rounds to 2.

Stevie J says:

I was a Frankie doubter in the last two fights. The first time he fought Penn I didn’t believe he actually won, the second time I thought Penn was going to prove it was a fluke. Well color me wrong both times, but I’m tempted to actually count Edgar out a third time – Gray Maynard already owns the only loss on his record. Sure I believe that Edgar is a better fighter when the two fought in 2008, but I believe Maynard is too and that he’s got enough striking that he doesn’t have to rely on the takedown alone. Fortunately for him if he does, he’s got one of the best in the business today, and if people don’t like the way he dominates fights they should come up with a way to beat him. Nobody has. Whether or not you like it Gray Maynard takes this one by a unanimous (50-45 and 49-46 x2) decision unless Edgar finds a way to quite literally beat him to the punch.

JP says:

Edgar just enjoyed a storybook 2010 but unfortunately I do not see his new year getting off to a great start. Maynard is not going to stand in the pocket and absorb damage like B.J. Penn did. Look for takedowns for five rounds as Gray grinds out a decision win to become champion.

GG says:

I truly believe that Frankie Edgar has created the style to win fights against top competition. It’s a style that Dominick Cruz has perfected as well. Don’t box with a normal rhythm. Box with your rhythm, and throw of the timing of the other guy. It’s kind of the opposite of the sweet science. He has a quickness advantage and if he uses it like he did with BJ Penn, I think he’ll score points here at will. Gray won’t be able to bully him if he can’t get to him in his natural rhythm in the cage.

Now, this is not to say Edgar wins easily. I think it’s going to be a grind out victory because Maynard is too good to simply stand there and be hit. He’ll definitely take some blows to shoot in for multiple takedowns. I think Edgar’s timing and quickness will look better to judges than Maynard’s clinch and takedown game. I think it’s a very close decision win for Edgar.

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