Upon the arrival of a new calendar year, it is customary for people to proclaim New Year’s resolutions. We all at some point in our lives have participated in this act of declaration. Some have followed through on their promises, while others have fallen short.

The opening night of 2011 will be one that allows a group of fighters to immediately act out their declarations, courtesy of UFC 125:Resolution. The MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas is the stage where these resolutions will be displayed. Here’s my take on whose will come to past:

UFC Lightweight Championship

Gray “The Bully” Maynard (Challenger) vs. Frankie “The Answer” Edgar (Champion)

No one will ever have the satisfaction of questioning Edgar’s heart. Going into this title defense, Edgar will take part in his third fight in nine months, which includes two consecutive wins over MMA legend BJ Penn, where he won and retained the UFC Lightweight Championship, in that order. This unprecedented fete could also serve as the champion’s downfall. Maynard had more time to rest and train than his foe in a three fight span (two prior to UFC 125). Not to mention Maynard already has a win over Edgar, dating back to April 2008’s UFC Fight Night. Maynard has the speed to keep up with Edgar. Couple that with his takedown/wrestling game and “The Bully” has the formula needed to dethrone “The Answer” a second time, moving forward into championship glory.

Chris “The Crippler” Leben vs. Brian “The All American” Stann

When it comes to appearances, you couldn’t pair two more polar opposites than these middleweights. Stann is a decorated Marine Captain who’ss as clean as a whistle. Leben, on the other hand, has the look only a mother could, and even she might second guess it. Of course, this is the Ultimate Fighting Championship where appearance is meaningless, unless it revolves around fighting styles. Six of Stann’s nine wins have come by way of knockout (regular and technical). Stann has never squared off with a fighter of Leben’s caliber. “The Crippler” has his own fixation with banging and owns a granite chin.  Surprisingly, Leben has a ground game that proves to be formidable. I’ll take Leben to force Stann into a not so “All American” outing.

Brandon “The Truth” Vera vs. Thiago Silva

Both Vera and Silva go into UFC 125, hoping to redeem themselves after losses in their last bouts. Both are looking to climb further up the ladder of UFC’s most stacked class, the Light Heavyweight division. Given Vera’s two-fight losing streak versus Silva’s one, I’m drinking the desperation flavored Kool-Aid, trusting “The Truth” will prevail January 1st.

Clay “The Carpenter” Guida vs. Takanori Gomi

Fan favorite Guida rides the wave of a two-fight win streak into the “City That Never Sleeps”. Gomi has the punching power and wrestling skills to calm Guida’s storm, but will it be enough? Like Leben, Guida brings a rock solid chin to the octagon that can take some stiff punches. Also, he possesses a mean wrestling game and has endurance and flexibility to match. The Carpenter’s first renovation project of the new year will be Gomi’s face.

It’s fight night and New Year’s all bundled into one package. With that said, please be safe and smart on this action packed night. I’m expecting my fight fans to make it into 2011 safely. We at TNP enjoy your readership and look forward to its continued growth. We’ve only just begun!

By Antoine Hoffman


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