(Maynard cracks Edgar in the main event. Eric Jamison/AP Photo)
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UFC 125 was a busy night for lightweights. The UFC Lightweight Championship belt was on the line on Saturday night in Las Vegas and three other fights took place at 155 with top 25 implications. In a roller coaster main event that many expected to be a snoozer, reigning champion Frankie Edgar fought to a draw with Gray Maynard, who now accounts for the only blemishes on Edgar’s otherwise pristine record. Edgar retains his #1 position in the Lightweight Rankings while Maynard slides up from #5 to #2, which might as well be #1A because Edgar and Maynard now have identical rankings values (6.14). While everyone wants a definitive end to a fight, the result sets up a blockbuster rematch and possible quadrilogy depending on the outcome of Edgar vs. Maynard III. At the bottom of the main card, fan favorite Clay Guida held tight at #7 with his submission win over Takanori Gomi. The “Fireball Kid” appeared to be surging with a KO win over Tyson Griffin, but the loss sends him crashing from #18 to #31. New lightweight Marcus Davis got starched by Jeremy Stephens on the televised undercard, falling from #44 to #63, while Stephens climbs from #32 to #15. In the evening’s opening bout, former MFC Lightweight Champion Antonio McKee failed to live up to his own hype, losing a split decision to Jacob Volkmann. The two trade places, with Volkmann moving from #42 to #25 and McKee dropping from #25 to #42.
In the night’s co-main event, Brian Stann beat Chris Leben at his own game, finishing the brawler in the first round and vaulting from #54 to #26 in the Middleweight Rankings. Leben falls from #8 to #25; if you’re wondering how Leben can still be ranked higher than Stann after losing to him via TKO, remember that FIGHT!’s ranking system is not relative (ie; the rankings are a result of numeric values, not a comparison of X fighter vs. Y fighter) and that due to Leben’s superior strength of competition, his cumulative value is still higher than Stann’s. The only other middleweight bout on the card pitted Phil Baroni against Brad Tavares, with the unranked Tavares stopping Baroni via first-round TKO. Baroni falls from #100 to #122 in the polls with the loss.
At welterweight, Nate Diaz entered his fight with Dong Hyun Kim with designs on contendership and ended the night having taken a few steps backwards in that regard. Kim took a decision from Diaz, jumping from #17 to #9 in the Welterweight Rankings, while Diaz drops from #10 to #24. In the only other fight contested at 170, Daniel Roberts climbed from #41 to #22 after submitting Greg Soto, who enters the rankings at #72.
Two important featherweight fights took place on the undercard, as former WEC Featherweight Champion Mike Thomas Brown took on Diego Nunes and hot prospect Josh Grispi squared off with Dustin Poirier. Brown dropped a split decision to Nunes, falling from #18 to #20 in the Featherweight Rankings. Nunes edged his way into the top ten, moving from #13 to #10 with the win. Grispi seemed to be en route to a title shot before his UFC debut but his trajectory was diverted by Poirier. Poirier enters the Featherweight Rankings at #13, while Grispi falls from #5 to #13.