For the second time in the network’s history FOX will feature a UFC title-defense on their airwaves after news recently surfaced revealing lightweight champion Benson Henderson was scheduled to put his gold up for grabs against top contender Nate Diaz at UFC on FOX 5.
Were that not enough, the December 8 show will also feature first-ballot Hall of Fame fighter BJ Penn’s return to the ring after a year-long layoff where he’ll see action against Canadian phenom Rory MacDonald, as well as a bout between light heavyweights Alexander Gustafsson-Mauricio Rua who will face off for a future title-shot.
USA Today was first to report the rumbles.
The 17-2 Henderson is coming off a narrow outpointing of Frankie Edgar at UFC 150 to improve his unbeaten streak in the Octagon to five. He has also taken out the likes of Jim Miller and Clay Guida. Comparably, Diaz holds an overall record of 16-7 and has come out with his hand raised in three consecutive tilts including those against Miller and Donald Cerrone.
Penn, a former double-divisional champ, has been sidelined since October after deciding to retire. However, with the itch to fight again, “The Prodigy” will put his reputation on the line against the 13-1 MacDonald who also happens to be a teammate of Penn rival Georges St-Pierre.
Last but certainly not least, Rua’s go at Gustafsson will also pit old school against new, as “Shogun” is one of MMA’s legitimate legends due to his success in PRIDE (as well as the UFC) while “The Mauler” is relatively new to the scene but has looked fantastic in while racking up wins in his last five bouts.
PHOTO CREDIT – WEC