Las Vegas Sun

October 31, 2014

Currently: 83° — Complete forecast | Log in

UFC 125: Breakdown and Picks

UFC hopes to ring in the new year with a fight card to remember Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Although you won't find any of 2011's most anticipated matchups at UFC 125, it does feature a number of bouts with no clear-cut favorite. Check out a breakdown and prognostication attempts for all 12 fights from the Las Vegas Sun's Case Keefer, KSNV's Kevin West, Yahoo.com’s Kevin Iole and ESPN Radio’s Steve Cofield below.

Frankie Edgar

  • Age: 29
  • Height: 5’6''
  • Weight: 155
  • MMA record 13-1
  • Betting line: +115

Gray Maynard

  • Age: 31
  • Height: 5’8''
  • Weight: 155
  • MMA record 11-0
  • Betting line: -145

Lightweight Championship Bout

Main Event

Last fight: Unanimous decision win over B.J. Penn at UFC 118.

Punch list:Few thought Edgar could beat Penn to capture the championship belt, let alone do it twice. But Edgar was successful in earning unanimous decisions over Penn at both UFC 112 and UFC 118. Now, Edgar must face the only man to ever beat him in the octagon in Gray Maynard.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun and KSNV

Keefer: Edgar

West: Edgar

Last fight: Unanimous decision win over Kenny Florian at UFC 118.

Punch list: Maynard is receiving his first championship fight despite going undefeated in his MMA career and beating Edgar two-and-a-half years ago. Maynard says he's only improved since then but rarely finishes fights. His last seven bouts have all ended in him earning a decision.

Staff picks: Yahoo.com and ESPN Radio

Iole: Edgar

Cofield: Edgar

Chris Leben

  • Age: 30
  • Height: 5'11’'
  • Weight: 185
  • MMA record 21-6
  • Betting line: -170

Brian Stann

  • Age: 30
  • Height: 6'1''
  • Weight: 185
  • MMA record 9-3
  • Betting line: +140

Middleweight Bout

Co-Main Event

Last fight: Third round win over Yoshihiro Akiyama by submission at UFC 116.

Punch list: Leben wants to keep the fight standing, but believes he also holds an advantage on the ground over Stann. He's won three straight after dropping two in a row.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun and KSNV

Keefer: Leben

West: Leben

Last fight: Third round win over Mike Massenzio by submission at UFC Live: Jones vs. Matyushenko.

Punch list: Stann is making his second middleweight appearance after starting as a light heavyweight. He switched after dropping two of his first four UFC fights after beginning to train in MMA while part of the American military overseas.

Staff picks: Yahoo.com and ESPN Radio

Iole: Leben

Cofield: Leben

Brandon Vera

  • Age: 33
  • Height: 6’2’’
  • Weight: 205
  • MMA record 11-5
  • Betting line: +115

Thiago Silva

  • Age: 28
  • Height: 6’1’’
  • Weight: 205
  • MMA record 14-2
  • Betting line: -145

Light Heavyweight Bout

Last fight: First round loss by knockout to Jon Jones at UFC on Versus: Vera vs. Jones.

Punch list: Vera is trading in trash talk for intense focus this time around. He's lost his last two fights and says he fears for his job in the UFC after being dominated by Jones the last time out.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun and KSNV

Keefer: Silva

West: Silva

Last fight: Unanimous decision loss to Rashad Evans at UFC 108.

Punch list: Silva has faced tough competition recently — falling to Evans and Lyoto Machida while beating Keith Jardine. But he hasn't fought in more than a year because of serious back problems and octagon rust is a question.

Staff picks: Yahoo.com and ESPN Radio

Iole: Vera

Cofield: Silva

Nate Diaz

  • Age: 25
  • Height: 6’0''
  • Weight: 170
  • MMA record 13-5
  • Betting line: +100

Dong Hyun Kim

  • Age: 29
  • Height: 6'1''
  • Weight: 170
  • MMA record 13-0-1
  • Betting line: -130

Welterweight Bout

Last fight: Third round win by submission over Marcus Davis at UFC 118.

Punch list: Diaz is fighting as well as anyone in the welterweight division and hasn't lost since a split decision defeat to Gray Maynard last January. Many refer to him as a submission artist.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun and KSNV

Keefer: Kim

West: Kim

Last fight: Unanimous decision win over Amir Sadollah at UFC 114.

Punch list: Kim has looked great in five UFC fights since coming to America from South Korea. He lost one split decision to Karo Parisyan that was later overturned when Parisyan tested positive for a banned painkiller.

Staff picks: Yahoo.com and ESPN Radio

Iole: Diaz

Cofield: Diaz

Takanori Gomi

  • Age: 32
  • Height: 5'8’’
  • Weight: 155
  • MMA record 32-6
  • Betting line: +120

Clay Guida

  • Age: 29
  • Height: 5’7’’
  • Weight: 155
  • MMA record 27-8
  • Betting line: -150

Lightweight Bout

Last fight: First round win by knockout over Tyson Griffin at UFC Live: Jones vs. Matyushenko.

Punch list: Gomi knocked out Griffin faster than anyone ever has this summer. It was only his second UFC fight as Kenny Florian submitted him in his debut in early 2010.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun and KSNV

Keefer: Guida

West: Gomi

Last fight: Third round win by submission over Rafael dos Anjos at UFC 117.

Punch list: Guida is already talking about getting a title shot, but probably needs a few more impressive performances first. This is a good place to continue on his recent run that's included two straight submissions.

Staff picks: Yahoo.com and ESPN Radio

Iole: Guida

Cofield: Guida

Marcus Davis

  • Age: 37
  • Height: 5’10’’
  • Weight: 155
  • MMA record 22-8
  • Betting line: +190

Jeremy Stephens

  • Age: 24
  • Height: 5’9’’
  • Weight: 155
  • MMA record 18-6
  • Betting line: -250

Lightweight Bout

Last fight: Third round loss by submission to Nate Diaz at UFC 118.

Punch list: The Irish Hand Grenade's best days are likely behind him. He's lost three of four and hasn't looked like the fighter that won 13 out of 14 fights five years ago.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun and KSNV

Keefer: Stephens

West: Stephens

Last fight: Split decision loss to Melvin Gulliard at UFC 119.

Punch list: Stephens tough loss to Gulliard set him back a bit in his quest to move up the lightweight ranks. He was coming off an impressive victory against Sam Stout at UFC 113 prior to the loss.

Staff picks: Yahoo.com and ESPN Radio

Iole: Stephens

Cofield: Stephens

Josh Grispi

  • Age: 22
  • Height: 5’11’’
  • Weight: 145
  • MMA record 14-1
  • Betting line: -290

Dustin Poirier

  • Age: 21
  • Height: 5’9’’
  • Weight: 145
  • MMA record 8-1
  • Betting line: +230

Featherweight Bout

Last fight: First round win by submission over LC Davis at WEC 49.

Punch list: Grispi figured to be in the spotlight of this event with a bout against star Jose Aldo, who pulled out because of injury. Instead, Grispi goes to the undercard where he will be a major favorite in the UFC's first televised featherweight fight.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun and KSNV

Keefer: Grispi

West: Grispi

Last fight: First round win by knockout over Zachary Micklewright at WEC 52.

Punch list: No one benefits from Aldo's cancellation more than Poirier. Now, the 21-year old from Louisiana has a chance to fight someone ahead of him in the title race and could really make a name for himself with a victory here.

Staff picks:Yahoo.com and ESPN Radio

Iole: Grispi

Cofield: Grispi

Phil Baroni

  • Age: 34
  • Height: 5’9’’
  • Weight: 185
  • MMA record 13-12
  • Betting line: +160

Brad Tavares

  • Age: 23
  • Height: 6’1’’
  • Weight: 185
  • MMA record 5-1
  • Betting line: -200

Middleweight Bout

Last fight: Unanimous decision loss to Amir Sadollah at UFC 106.

Punch list: Baroni is only 3-6 all time in the UFC and hasn't fought in more than a year. His bout against Sadollah was his first back in the UFC since 2005.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun and KSNV

Keefer: Baroni

West: Tavares

Last fight: Unanimous decision win over Seth Baczynski at The Ultimate Fighter Season 11 Finale.

Punch list: The Hawaii native is adept in both Muay Thai and wrestling and has shown that off in his first six fights. Baroni may be his toughest challenge yet.

Staff picks: Yahoo.com and ESPN Radio

Iole: Tavares

Cofield: Tavares

Mike Brown

  • Age: 35
  • Height: 5'6’’
  • Weight: 145
  • MMA record 23-6
  • Betting line: -265

Diego Nunes

  • Age: 28
  • Height: 5’6”
  • Weight: 145
  • MMA record 15-1
  • Betting line: +205

Featherweight Bout

Last fight: First round win by knockout over Cole Province at WEC 51.

Punch list: The former featherweight champion has lost to both Manvel Gamburyan and Jose Aldo within the last 13 months. He's also shown he still has some left in the tank, however, with wins over Province and Anthony Morrison.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun and KSNV

Keefer: Nunes

West: Brown

Last fight: Unanimous decision win over Tyler Toner at WEC 51.

Punch list: His one loss came in 2009 in a unanimous decision against LC Davis. Nunes specializes in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and Muay Thai and hails from Brazil.

Staff picks: Yahoo.com and ESPN

Iole: Brown

Cofield: Brown

Daniel Roberts

  • Age: 30
  • Height: 5’10’’
  • Weight: 170
  • MMA record 11-1
  • Betting line: -105

Greg Soto

  • Age: 24
  • Height: 5'11’’
  • Weight: 170
  • MMA record 8-1
  • Betting line: -125

Welterweight Bout

Last fight: Unanimous decision win over Nick Osipzazc at UFC 118.

Punch list: The New York native's only loss came when he was disqualified at UFC 111, his UFC debut. He's a proficient striker with more uncertainity surrounding his ground game.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun and KSNV

Keefer: Soto

West: Roberts

Last fight: First round win by submission over Mike Guymon at UFC 116.

Punch list: Roberts will try to take Soto down to the mat where he feels more comfortable. Roberts was an NIAA All-American wrestler at Bacone College and has ended seven fights by submission.

Staff picks: Yahoo.com and ESPN Radio

Iole: Roberts

Cofield: Roberts

Jacob Volkmann

  • Age: 30
  • Height: 5’9’’
  • Weight: 155
  • MMA record 11-2
  • Betting line: +190

Antonio McKee

  • Age: 40
  • Height: 5'8’’
  • Weight: 155
  • MMA record 25-3-2
  • Betting line: -250

Lightweight Bout

Last fight: Unanimous decision win over Paul Kelly at UFC Live: Jones vs. Matyushenko.

Punch list: Volkmann is in his fifth UFC fight and has won two in a row. He lost the first two when he struggled to take down and force his style on Martin Kampmann and Paulo Thiago.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun and KSNV

Keefer: McKee

West: McKee

Last fight: First round win by knockout over Luciano Azevedo at MFC 26.

Punch list: McKee is a legend in his own mind, as he's referring to himself as "the Muhammad Ali of MMA" entering his first UFC bout. He is a veteran who has dominated less-competitive organizations throughout his career.

Staff picks: Yahoo.com and ESPN Radio

Iole: McKee

Cofield: McKee

Most Popular

  • Viewed
  • Discussed
  • E-mailed