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UFC Officially Announces Six Big Bouts For “UFC 125: Resolution”

As noted last week, the UFC officially announced the headlining bouts for their New Years card. Frankie “The Answer” Edgar, coming off back-to-back wins over BJ Penn, defends his title in a rematch against undefeated No. 1 contender Gray “The Bully” Maynard, heavyweight contender Shane Carwin faces seasoned veteran and The Ultimate Fighter winner Roy “Big Country” Nelson in the co-main event and Clay “The Carpenter” Guida will look to impose his frenetic pace on former PRIDE lightweight champion Takanori Gomi, the relentless Chris Leben faces decorated Marine turned mixed martial artist Brian Stann, submission specialist Nate Diaz takes on the undefeated judo black belt Dong Hyun Kim and the versatile Brandon Vera takes on the dangerous Thiago Silva at UFC 125: Resolution, live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Saturday, January 1, 2011.

“We always put a huge card together in Vegas to kick off the New Year,” said UFC President Dana White. “As the main event for UFC 125, defending UFC Champion Frankie Edgar is going to take on Gray Maynard who is the only fighter ever to beat him. In the co-main event it’s a heavyweight war with Shane Carwin vs. Roy Nelson, plus Clay Guida vs. Takanori Gomi and Chris Leben vs. Brian Stann – this is going to be a killer start to 2011.”

After shocking many people in the mixed martial arts world twice in a row, Frankie Edgar (13-1) has proven without a doubt that he is the best lightweight in the world. Winner of five consecutive fights and eight out of his last nine in the UFC, including his decisive title defense over BJ Penn at UFC 118, the Summit, New Jersey native looks to avenge his only professional loss, a unanimous decision in 2008 to Gray Maynard. A former college wrestler at Clarion University, the 28-year-old has exponentially improved his boxing and has seamlessly transitioned into a complete mixed martial artist.

“I’m very excited to be fighting New Year’s Day against a fighter that has a win over me,” Edgar said. “I’m looking forward to putting on a great show and avenging my one loss. There are still a lot of people that are doubting me and that’s fine. I’ve learned a lot since our last fight and I plan on successfully defending my title.”

A three-time NCAA Division I All-American wrestler turned mixed martial artist, Gray Maynard (11-0, 1 NC) is unbeaten in nine UFC fights, imposing his will against top tier fighters such as Edgar, Kenny Florian, Jim Miller and Nate Diaz. His unanimous decision victory over Florian at UFC 118 cemented his No. 1 contender status and the decorated wrestler with heavy hands looks to realize his dream of becoming a UFC champion when he takes on Edgar at UFC 125.

“I’m excited and honored to be fighting Frank Edgar in a lightweight title bout for the UFC,” Maynard said. “Edgar is a great opponent; I’m looking forward to an exciting and tough fight with him. After years of hard work and sacrifice, this brings me one step closer to my goal of winning the belt.”

Coming off a near win against UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar at UFC 116, Shane Carwin (12-1) realizes just how close he was to becoming the undisputed heavyweight title holder. After ripping through his first four UFC opponents in less than one round, including stoppage wins against Frank Mir, Gabriel Gonzaga, Neil Wain and Christian Wellisch, the former NCAA Division II national champion looked moments away from defeating Lesnar until a dramatic second-round comeback by the champ. Now Carwin knows what he needs to do to return to the title picture and that starts with an impressive performance against Roy “Big Country” Nelson.

A fighter with a wealth of experience, The Ultimate Fighter Season 10 winner Roy Nelson (16-5) delivered first-round knockout wins over Brendan Schaub and Stefan Struve before going toe-to-toe with heavyweight force Junior Dos Santos in a memorable three rounder at UFC 117. The Renzo Gracie Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt is dangerous wherever the fight goes and isn’t afraid to stand and trade with anyone. Nelson is aware that a win over Carwin could propel him straight up the UFC heavyweight ladder.

Clay Guida (27-8) has built a fan base on the fact that his bout will be a candidate for Fight of the Night each time he steps into the Octagon. Full of energy and always ready for a three-round war, the charismatic 28-year-old is coming off two straight submission wins over Shannon Gugerty and Rafael Dos Anjos, respectively. With UFC wins over Nate Diaz and Mac Danzig as well, “The Carpenter” is looking to make a run at UFC title contention.

With a reputation for exciting fights and a nickname like “The Fireball Kid,” Takanori Gomi (32-6, 1 NC) and Guida are sure to put on a bout to remember. Coming off a devastating first-round knockout over lightweight contender Tyson Griffin, Gomi has definitely acclimated to the Octagon and now the former PRIDE lightweight champion looks to put himself in the UFC title picture.

If the opponents of Chris Leben (21-6) have learned one thing, it’s that you cannot count “The Crippler” out. On the verge of losing a fight more than one time, the 30-year-old veteran of 16 UFC fights has had a few brilliant comebacks. The feared striker with a limitless chin has won three in a row, including a decision victory over Jay Silva, a comeback KO victory against Aaron Simpson and an inspiring submission victory late in the third round against Japanese star Yoshihiro Akiyama.

Brian Stann (9-3) will need to put on his best performance ever if he wants to dent the granite chin of Chris Leben. But the retired Marine, who won a Silver Star for gallantry in action has proved he is able to handle high pressure situations. The 30-year-old former World Extreme Cagefighting® (WEC®) light heavyweight champion has developed his entire game since becoming a Greg Jackson disciple, exemplified with his submission victory over Mike Massenzio in his last fight.

A confident fighter that is sometimes considered cocky, Nate Diaz (fighting out of Stockton, Calif. / 12-5) has the tools and the drive to back up any of his pre-fight talk. The 25-year-old winner of the fifth season of The Ultimate Fighter and newbie to the welterweight division has won two in a row, including a first-round TKO over Rory Markham and a third-round submission against veteran Marcus Davis at UFC 118.

Dong Hyun Kim (13-0-1, 1 NC) will prove to be a true test for Nate Diaz. A fourth-degree judo black belt and solid striker, Kim is comfortable wherever the fight goes. Undefeated in four UFC fights, including one no contest the 28-year-old used effective grappling and striking to earn a unanimous decision win against Amir Sadollah in his last fight at UFC 114.

A decorated grappler and Muay Thai national champion, Brandon Vera (11-5) can end a fight anywhere in the Octagon. Vera holds wins in both the light heavyweight and heavyweight divisions and has been in there with some of the best fighters. Now the Norfolk, Virginia native looks to take on one of his most dangerous opponents to date when he mixes it up with Thiago Silva.

A black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and a devastating striker, Thiago Silva (14-2) has ended all five of his UFC wins by knockout or submission. A true finisher, the 27-year-old light heavyweight challenger has become a fan favorite because of his aggressive fighting style and is sure to be a true test for the versatile Vera.