("Whaddya mean we got four more rounds? I thought this fight was supposed to be a boring wrestlefest.")
Well, UFC 125 is in the books and to say fans got a few surprises from the card that many had written off as being an inevitable snoozefest would be an understatement.
The main event lightweight championship bout between champ Frankie Edgar and apt challenger Gray Maynard, which ended in a hotly debated split draw, delivered the goods earning well-deserved Fight of the Night honors.
According to UFC president Dana White, because the fight, which he admitted could have been stopped in the opening frame, was so close and because so many fans want to see the rubber match, he reversed the announcement made by UFC vice president Craig Borsari at the post-fight press conference that Anthony Pettis is next in line for a shot at Edgar’s crown and says he will instead be slotting in Edgar-Maynard III for some time in early 2011.
(Video courtesy YouTube/MMAFighting)
Brandon Vera, Marcus Davis and Phil Baroni — a trio of veterans who looked to be en route to wins early on in their respective bouts, withered under the pressure of needing wins to keep their jobs and now they will all likely receive phone calls from Joe Silva, informing them that they will need to rack up some wins outside the Octagon if they ever want to fight inside of it again.
0-3 in his last three UFC bouts, Vera will need to take some time off to allow his rearranged nose to heal and to contemplate his next move following the beating he took from Thiago Silva.
Davis, who is 37 and is 1-4 in his past five outings has talked about retirement recently, perhaps setting up an announcement in the near future in the event that he lost Saturday night to Jeremy Stevens.
Although it might be time for him to start considering retirement, an emotional Baroni, who will celebrate his 35th birthday in April and is 0-2 in his most recent UFC stint told Ariel Helwani backstage last night that he expects to be fired by the Vegas-based promotion. He says that he will continue to compete, because this is what he does and he doesn’t know anything else. The WWE would be lucky to have a character like "The New York Badass," and Baroni’s wife would be lucky to not see her husband take any more head trauma.
(Video courtesy YouTube/MMAFighting)
A pair of underdogs stepped up out of the shadows and into the spotlight following impressive wins over impressive opponents.
Dustin Poirier made highly-touted featherweight Josh Grispi thank his lucky stars that he wasn’t facing Jose Aldo last night. The 21-year-old 9-1 WEC veteran who was making his featherweight debut controlled the 22-year-old from bell to bell, making Grispi’s nickname, "The Fluke" seem a lot less ironic in the process.
Arguably the biggest story of the night was former WEC light heavyweight champion Brian Stann who stuck it to oddsmakers by duplicating a feat which only UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva has been able to achieve, by putting hydrant-headed Chris Leben on queer street before finishing "The Crippler" with strikes. With the win, Stann leapfrogs the middle of the pack middleweights to a bigger name opponent like Wanderlei Silva or Michael Bisping.
And finally, news of two main card bouts for UFC 129 April 30 in Toronto emerged during the show last night. Two former UFC light heavyweight champions, Lyoto Machida and retirement reneger Randy Couture will lock horns, possibly in the co-main event of the night, while welterweight kingpin Georges St-Pierre will defend his strap against former Strikeforce middleweight champ Jake Shields at Rogers Centre at the inaugural Ontario event this spring.
UFC 125 Award Winners
Fight of the Night
Frankie Edgar vs. Gray Maynard ($60,000 each)
Knockout of the Night
Jeremy Stevens on Marcus Davis ($60,000)