Edgar-Maynard, Carwin-Nelson Set For UFC 125Two headlining bouts are official for the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s New Year’s Day event on January 1, 2011. Frankie “The Answer” Edgar will defend the UFC Lightweight Championship in a rematch with unbeaten top contender Gray “The Bully” Maynard in the night’s main event.

Also announced today was a heavyweight bout between former UFC Interim Heavyweight Champion Shane Carwin and final IFL Heavyweight Champion Roy “Big Country” Nelson. The two fights join a lightweight clash between Takanori “Fireball Kid” Gomi and Clay “The Carpenter” Guida.

Edgar (13-1-0) has put together five impressive victories since suffering his lone career loss on April 2, 2008. That defeat came at the hands of Maynard, who outwrestled Edgar to a Unanimous Decision that served as a turning point in Edgar’s career. The New Jersey native’s all-around game has improved greatly in the past two and a half years, but his boxing and defensive wrestling have been particularly impressive. Edgar captured the UFC Lightweight Championship by upsetting BJ Penn at UFC 112, then repeated the feat at UFC 118. Now regarded as one of the top boxers in the lightweight division, Edgar’s key to success could be in keeping the fight on the feet.

Maynard (10-0-0, 1 NC) has yet to taste defeat in his MMA career, but he has drawn the ire of fans for a string of less than inspiring decision victories. He has only finished two opponents to date, but the fact remains that Maynard’s style of takedowns and top control is an effective one. Short of a No Contest with Rob Emerson in 2007 when Maynard knocked himself out with a slam, his UFC career remains impeccable. Should the Vegas-based Xtreme Couture wrestler manage to defeat Edgar for a second time, he will finally capture the UFC Lightweight Championship that he has pursued since his time on Season Five of The Ultimate Fighter reality show. However, Edgar has improved greatly since the pair’s first meeting and Maynard will not have an easy fight.


Carwin (12-1-0) won his first twelve fights, all by first-round stoppage, and captured the UFC Interim Heavyweight Championship by knocking out Frank Mir at UFC 111 in March. He seemed well on his way to becoming undisputed champion as he battered Brock Lesnar badly enough to earn a 10-8 first round in their UFC 116 title bout, but tired out in round two and succumbed to an arm-triangle choke. The loss, as well as a steroid scandal from years passed which surfaced after the fight, served as a significant setback for Carwin, but he can get right back into the title picture with a convincing win at UFC 125. In Nelson, he will face an opponent who is equally aggressive.

Nelson (15-5-0), despite having a physique that may suggest otherwise, is one of the most talented heavyweights in the UFC. The heavy-handed former IFL Heavyweight Champion has won all but two of his fights by stoppage and won Season Ten of The Ultimate Fighter by knocking out Brendan “The Hybrid” Schaub with a single punch. Aside from a highly controversial bout with Andrei “The Pitbull” Arlovski in EliteXC, Nelson has never been finished in his career and, like Carwin, is often a quick starter. However, unlike Carwin, Nelson has proven that his cardio will hold up in longer fights and he should have a decided advantage if he can survive the early barrage from his opponent.

UFC 125 takes place on January 1, 2011 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. The event also features a lightweight bout between final PRIDE Lightweight Champion Takanori “Fireball Kid” Gomi and one-time Strikeforce champ Clay “The Carpenter” Guida.


UFC 125 Fight Card (to date; subject to change):

– Frankie “The Answer” Edgar vs Gray “The Bully” Maynard (UFC Lightweight Championship)
– Shane Carwin vs Roy “Big Country” Nelson
– Takanori “Fireball Kid” Gomi vs Clay “The Carpenter” Guida
– Chris “The Crippler” Leben vs “The All-American” Brian Stann [*]
– Nate Diaz vs Dong Hyun “Stun Gun” Kim [*]

– Thiago Silva vs Brandon “The Truth” Vera [*]
– “The New York Bad Ass” Phil Baroni vs Brad Tavares [*]
– Antonio “Mandingo” McKee vs Jacob “Christmas” Volkmann [*]

*Not yet officially announced



(Photo Credit: Sherdog.com)