TODAY'S PAPER
35° Good Morning
35° Good Morning
SportsMixed Martial Arts

UFC 125 pre-5

Light-heavyweights Keith Jardine, left, poses with Thiago Silva

Light-heavyweights Keith Jardine, left, poses with Thiago Silva at the UFC 102 pre-fight news conference in Portland, Ore. (Aug. 27, 2009) Credit: AP

How it will play it out New Year's Day inside the MGM Grand Garden Arena is anyone's guess, as is any sport. But for now, here's our look at the five fights at UFC 125 that intrique us the most.

5) Phil Baroni vs. Brad Tavares

A Twitter-bomb went off on Dana White's handheld device and up sprang thousands of Baroni fans. Seems that even though he hasn't won a fight in the UFC since 2002, Baroni (13-12) is still a fan favorite. Who doesn't love a good comeback story (except for those Michael Vick haters out there)? And Baroni is quite a character. He's from Long Island, too, so we have a geographic stake in his bout against "TUF 11" semifinalist Tavares. Watch the Baroni-Tavares prelim on Ion.

4) Clay Guida vs. Takanori Gomi

Basic principle: If Clay Guida is fighting, I'm going to want to watch that. The opponent doesn't even matter. He'll likely never put it all together for a lightweight title run, but he's all energy, all hair and always a good bet to get cut, bleed everywhere and keep going full-steam. What else can you ask for?

3) Frankie Edgar vs. Gray Maynard

Yes, this is for the lightweight title, and it's the main event. But on its surface, it's not that intriguing. Partially because Maynard is a dull fighter. Good and effective, but dull nonetheless. Edgar gets another chance to show everyone that he's the real deal, not just BJ Penn's kryptonite. Edgar (12-1) is motivated as well by the fact that his only professional loss came against Maynard three years ago.

2) Marcus Davis vs. Jeremy Stephens

Davis fights at lightweight now, and this one has "action" written all over it. Stand-up, knock-down action. Expect a bloody war. Set your DVRs to Ion for this televised prelim.

1) Brandon Vera vs. Thiago Silva

It seems like Vera is always in one of these "the winner is back on track, the loser is in trouble" fights at light heavyweight. Jon Jones beat up Vera rather easily his last time out. Silva lost a decision to Rashad Evans last January. And lookee here, a win puts Vera back on track, a loss would be his third straight against elevated competition (Jones, Randy Couture)

For your reading pleasure, here's the entire UFC 125 fight card.

New York Sports