Without further ado, here we go.

Preliminary card

* Lightweight bout:
United States – Jacob Volkmann vs. United States – Antonio McKee

Volkmann hasn’t lost in his last two fights, after a switch to Lightweight.  Antonio McKee hasn’t lost since February of 2003.  Volkmann is 30 years old, McKee is 40, and while they each have something in their favor, I’ll predict that there’s a reason McKee never made it to UFC until now.
Prediction: Jacob Volkmann
Winner: Jacob Volkmann by split decision
Not one of my stronger picks, but I did get it right.  With an outcome this close, you have to think that age played a part, and Volkmann should be feeling a bit wary about that.
[1 / 1]

* Welterweight bout:
United States – Daniel Roberts vs. United States – Greg Soto

They both only have 1 loss, but Daniel Roberts finishes most of his fights in the first round.
Prediction: Daniel Roberts
Winner: Daniel Roberts wins by submission in the first round.
Trend analysis gets me another one!  After a slow start in UFC (a first-round loss in his debut and a decision victory in his second bout), Daniel Roberts wins his third in a row and apparently wowed some people in UFC, as they took this preliminary fight and showed it on the PPV broadcast following the Edgar v Maynard fight.  With two straight submission wins, keep an eye out for Roberts.

* Featherweight bout:
United States – Mike Brown vs. Brazil – Diego Nunes

Each of Diego Nunes’ WEC fights ended in a judges’ decision.  Mike Brown finished 6 of his 10 fights over the past 3 years, winning two others by decision and losing the other two.
Prediction: Mike Brown
Winner: Diego Nunes by split decision
Whether this is more of Nunes being able to survive through the allotted time, or if it shows the continued decline of Mike Brown, or even if it shows both, I was wrong with my prediction.

Preliminary card

(lon TV/ESPN UK/Rogers Sportsnet)

* Middleweight bout:
United States – Phil Baroni vs. United States – Brad Tavares

Baroni has lost 7 of his last 12, and Tavares is still undefeated (with only one of those wins coming by decision).
Prediction: Brad Tavares
Winner: Tavares wins with a first round knockout
Another case of looking at the trends and finding an easy prediction.  Anyone who lost money on this one should be ashamed.

* Lightweight bout:
United States – Marcus Davis vs. United States – Jeremy Stephens

This is my pick for a potential fight of the night, or at least one of the superlatives, as both of them tend to collect those awards.  Stephens has lost 3 of his last 5, and while Marcus Davis doesn’t have a much better recent record, I do like the quality of opponents the “Irish Hand Grenade” has faced.
Prediction: Marcus Davis
Winner: Jeremy Stephens by third-round knockout
The outcome isn’t a surprise by any means.  This one was tough to predict.

* Featherweight bout:
United States – Josh Grispi vs. United States – Dustin Poirier

This fight should be over quickly, as both guys have a tendency to finish things in the first round.  They both have good records, but Josh Grispi has more well-known opponents on his resume like Micah Miller and Jens Pulver.
Prediction: Josh Grispi
Winner: Dustin Poirier by unanimous decision
Looks like I was totally wrong about finishing this one quickly.  I guess their previous fights spoke to the fact that their opponents weren’t good at taking a punch.  This fight shows that these guys are both good on the defensive.
I’m in “coin flipping” territory now.

Main card

* Lightweight bout:
United States – Clay Guida vs. Japan – Takanori Gomi

Guida is a very talented fighter who has won some superlatives, but there’s a reason why Gomi is such a big name in the weight class.
Prediction: Takanori Gomi
Winner: Clay Guida by submission in the second round
A well hyped guy from Japan turns out to be nothing more than above average.  Unfortunately for me, I had bought into the hype while simultaneously under-rating Clay Guida.

* Welterweight bout:
United States – Nate Diaz vs. South Korea – Dong Hyun Kim

Nate Diaz has a great record and tons of superlatives, but Dong Hyun Kim is undefeated as a professional with 6+ years experience, and that’s hard to predict against.
Prediction: Dong Hyun Kim
Winner: Dong Hyun Kim by unanimous decision.
At least I seem to have Kim pegged as an Asian fighter who is tough to defeat, as he finds a way to beat the VERY tough Nate Diaz.

* Light Heavyweight bout:
United States – Brandon Vera vs. Brazil – Thiago Silva

Both of these guys have been impressive, but here’s what I can tell you.  Brandon Vera looked great against Randy Couture in a fight which most people thought the judges scored incorrectly, and I don’t fault Vera (or anyone) for losing to Jon Jones.  Thiago Silva has done a great job in his fight, most recently losing to Rashad Evans after three full rounds – reportedly with three herniated disks in his back during that fight.  I’d have to think Silva’s back is healed, staying with this fight booking after backing out of a scheduled bout back in August.  Because I’d find it hard to believe Vera will lose three in a row, and because Silva might have some cage rust, I’ll predict Vera breaks his losing streak.
Prediction: Brandon Vera
Winner: Thiago Silva by unanimous decision.
A mixture of over-rating Brandon Vera based on one good fight against Randy Couture, and also being tricked by the fact that I thought Silva was still injured, and that’s a recipe to make a prediction mistake. Right after the fight, Brandon Vera’s nose looked like a mistake.

Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images/BloodyElbow.com

* Middleweight bout:
United States – Chris Leben vs. United States – Brian Stann

After losing two fights, Brian Stann has gone at least 3 minutes into the third round in his past four fights.  Chris Leben has won his last three, including a big win over heralded Yoshihiro Akiyama back in July.
Prediction: Chris Leben
Winner: Brian Stann by knockout
My prediction was clouded by the fact that Dana White was considering Chris Leben a Fight Of The Year candidate.  Brian Stann made the case that one should never underestimate a Lieutenant in the Marines.  I like Stann, so I’m not bothered by my failed prediction.

* Lightweight Championship bout:
United States – Frankie Edgar (c) vs. United States – Gray Maynard

This fight is so tough to predict.  Neither one of them are great at finishing fights, and neither one of them have lost a fight other than by decision.  Maynard is undefeated and Edgar’s only loss was by decision to Gray Maynard.  Two of Maynard’s last three fights were won by split decision, meaning he nearly didn’t get to have a title shot.  Frankie Edgar did the improbable TWICE by beating B.J. Penn, so I won’t bet against him now.
Prediction: Frankie Edgar
Winner: Split decision draw.
This fight was so close that Dana White has decided to book the rematch prior to unifying the UFC and WEC lightweight titles.  Many are considering this fight a strong contender for Fight Of The Year, but methinks that with a rematch on the way, this one won’t take the award.

At nearly all the UFC shows I can remember, cash purses are given out at the end of the night to reward fighters for three categories of exceptional work.  UFC 125 purses contained $60,000 each (totalling an additional $240k being shelled out), and went to the following:

Clay Guida (Submission of the Night)

Jeremy Stephens (Knockout Of The Night)

Both Gray Maynard and Frankie Edgar (Fight Of The Night)

While most people only predict the main card, I should just stick to predicting the preliminaries.  Seems the more knowledge we have of a fighter and his past opponents, the worse I do at predicting the outcomes.

What were the championship implications from these fights?  Aside from the Lightweight Championship needing a rematch, here’s how UFC 125 affects future contenderships:

Clay Guida defeats Gomi, but there’s still easily a half-dozen other guy she should probably have to leapfrog prior to getting a title shot, which is good for him considering the fact that he’ll have to wait at least one more cycle of fights for this rematch.  If he’s lucky, he’ll get a shot at (WEC Lightweight Champion) Anthony Pettis, but I wouldn’t hold my breath on that one.

Mike Brown losing to Diego Nunes should drop him out of position to claim the top contender spot, and the same can be said for the man who was supposed to challenge for the belt at UFC 125, Josh Grispi, after losing to Dustin Poirier.  I’m guessing the winner of the Omigawa / Mendes fight at UFC 126 will get the next shot at the Featherweight Championship.

Neither Chris Leben nor Brian Stann were close enough to the top of their division to make an impact on the title situation.

Thiago Silva is in the neighborhood for the Light Heavyweight contendership, but he’s going to have to beat someone else if he wants a legitimate shot at the belt.   He should probably be watching next week’s Fight For The Troops closely, as he’s likely to be fighting Jon Jones or Ryan Bader next, though I’d be surprised if that were a top contenders fight either.