*If the judges couldn't decide, why should Cagewriter? Even with the unsatisfying ending, UFC 125 delivered with knockouts, submissions and the derailment of a hype train. Who were the best?
No. 1 star(s) -- Gray Maynard and Frankie Edgar: From Maynard's overwhelming first round to Edgar's comeback, both fighters came to their bout in the best shape of their lives, and left it all in the cage. There aren't enough sports cliches to sum up each of their performances, and how unsatisfying -- if correct -- the draw was. They'll both get another shot at each other, but with how evenly they were matched on Saturday, will it matter?
No. 2 star -- Brian Stann: The "All-American" has found his home at middleweight, much to Leben's dismay. Stann earned his first-round TKO by staying calm and composed as he used an array of strikes to knock Leben out.
No. 3 star -- Dustin Poirier: Heading into this bout, Josh Grispi was on a hot streak. He hadn't lost since 2006, was undefeated in the WEC and had earned a title shot against Jose Aldo. Poirier was supposed to be a place holder. Apparently, no one told Poirier that, because he dominated the stand-up game on the way to a unanimous decision win. He'll need to work on his ground game, but Poirier is clearly one to watch.
Honorable mention -- Greg Jackson: The well-respected coach was recently criticized by UFC president Dana White for teaching his fighters a boring style. How did his fighters on UFC 125 respond? Stann won by TKO, and Clay Guida won with a submission. Jackson's strategy for Guida took his two biggest strengths -- wrestling and cardio endurance -- and married them for a style that confused and frustrated Takanori Gomi.
Dishonorable mention -- Thiago Silva: His antics during his win over Brandon Vera caught the eye of another UFC light heavyweight. "Wow that slapping was so disrespectful.. I'd love to give him a slap in the face," Jon Jones tweeted. Currently, Jones is training for a February fight with Ryan Bader, but if he really wants a chance to slap Silva, then it should be given to him.
- Brian Stann
- Frankie Edgar
- Gray Maynard