The Ultimate Fighting Championship revealed three blockbuster bouts for their fifth event on FOX television including a lightweight championship fight. The news was initially reported by USA Today and later confirmed by the UFC.
UFC on FOX 5 will be headlined by lightweight champion Ben Henderson defending his title against number one contender Nate Diaz. Fast rising light heavyweight Alexander Gustafsson will take on former champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and former two-division champion BJ Penn will square off against Rory MacDonald in a welterweight bout.
Henderson is fresh off a successful title defense against former champion Frankie Edgar at UFC 150. Since entering the UFC, Henderson has won all fight of his fights including capturing the title by defeated Edgar at UFC 144. Diaz enters the title fight on the strength of three consecutive impressive performances. He submitted Takanori Gomi and Jim Miller, and earned a decision against Donald Cerrone.
Penn comes out of his year-plus hiatus following his loss to Nick Diaz at UFC 137 in Oct. 2011. Penn, who has just one win in his last six fights, has openly contemplated retirement since his draw with Jon Fitch at UFC 127. MacDonald has won his last three fights with wins over Nate Diaz, Mike Pyle and Che Mills. The lone loss of his career was to current interim welterweight champion Carlos Condit.
The Rua and Gustafsson clash will move the winner a step up the light heavyweight ladder. Rua is coming off a “Fight of the Night” performance in his technical knockout win of Brandon Vera at UFC on FOX 4. Gustafsson has won six of his seven fights inside the octagon while facing increasingly tougher competition. He most recently defeated Thiago Silva by unanimous decision at UFC on FUEL TV 2 in April.
UFC on FOX 5 will take place on December 8th. The city and venue have yet to be announced. In addition, a fourth main card fight is expected to be announced in the near future.
UFC on Fox 5 features Henderson-Diaz, Penn-MacDonald, Rua-Gustafsson is a post from: MMA Interplay UFC News