Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun
Sunday, Jan. 2, 2011 | 2:13 a.m.
Clay Guida took a major step in getting closer to a lightweight title shot at UFC 125 with a second round submission of Takanori Gomi.
Guida was also able to watch one of the two men he would likely have to beat to become a champion in Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard. Color Guida impressed with the card’s Main Event, which ended in a draw.
“It was amazing,” Guida said. “It just shows you two warriors going at it. It shows you how amazing Frankie Edgar’s chin is.”
Guida said he’d like to have a chance at the lightweight belt around the end of 2011. He probably needs to win at least one more fight to become the division’s top contender.
Guida forced his style upon Gomi, bringing the fight to the ground and ending it with a guillotine choke. He was happy to not leave his fight in the hands of the judges but didn’t have a problem with a draw in the Main Event.
“It was a very, very close fight,” Guida said. “I think everyone saw that. It could have gone either way. Gray Maynard is an unbelievable competitor.”
“And to see someone battle back like Frankie, you’ve got to give him a round of applause.”
Brian Stann, who knocked out Chris Leben in the first round of the co-Main Event, also praised Edgar and Maynard.
But Stann, never afraid to speak his mind, also had a criticism.
“Neither of those guys wanted to end in a draw,” Stann said. “They would have preferred to lose justifiably than to end in a draw. I’d like to see something where there could be one final round down to declare a winner and an undisputed champ.”
Stann asked to fight Leben before UFC 125 and UFC President Dana White granted his request.
Now, the ex-Marine has another big name in mind for his next matchup.
“I think I’d like to fight Wanderlei (Silva) next,” Stann said. “He’s a guy I’ve watched for years, before I ever put a glove on. He’s amazing. He’s as tough as they come as good as they come, a multiple-weight champion. I think I’d like to fight him next.”
Most fighters aren’t as forthcoming as Stann with whom they’d like to face off against. For example, Thiago Silva, who beat Brandon Vera in a light heavyweight fight, would not give any names after his victory.
Dong Hyun Kim, nicknamed “The Stun Gun,” mentioned Georges St. Pierre seconds after he won a unanimous decision over Nate Diaz in a welterweight fight. Kim improved to 14-0 Saturday by dominating Diaz in the first two rounds and said his only goal in the UFC is to fight St. Pierre.
“I don’t know when I’m going to fight GSP,” Kim said through a translator. “But a lot of fighters try to stand with him, but I will try to take him down for ground and pound.”
Four fighters earned $60,000 extra at UFC 125 for taking home awards.
Guida earned submission of the night for his choke against Gomi. Lightweight Jeremy Stephens, who fought in the final undercard bout, won knockout of the night.
Stephens threw a powerful right hook into the face of Marcus Davis, who fell straight to the mat and didn’t get up for a few minutes until after he received treatment.
Edgar and Maynard, of course, won Fight of the Night. But neither said that offered any consolation after their bout ended in a draw.
“It’s not about the money,” Maynard said. “I’ve been doing this since I was 3. It’s about being on top.”
More preliminary card results
Before Jeremy Stephens’ knockout victory, Brad Tavares also won via knockout over Phil Baroni in the first round of a middleweight bout.
Dustin Poirier beat Josh Grispi by unanimous decision in a featherweight fight, while Diego Nunes battled through a swollen-shut left eye to beat Mike Brown by unanimous decision in the same division.
Daniel Roberts and Jacob Volkmann won the first two fights of the night. They beat Greg Soto and Antonio McKee, respectively.