By: Chris Taylor
It was announced today that the UFC lightweight championship will be defended live on network television, as Benson Henderson (17-2 MMA, 5-0 UFC) will defend his title against Nate Diaz (16-7 MMA, 11-5 UFC) at UFC on Fox 5 on December 8th.
Henderson headlined this past weekend’s UFC 150 event and successfully defended his title against former champ Frankie Edgar. Despite the win being close and controversial, UFC President Dana White immediately made it clear that Diaz, who was promised a title shot following a May win over Jim Miller, would get the next shot at the belt.
A light-heavyweight showdown between former champ Mauricio “Shogun” Rua (21-6 MMA, 5-4 UFC) and Alexander Gustafsson (14-1 MMA, 6-1 UFC) will serve as the co-main event of the evening December the 8th.
Rua is coming off a TKO victory over Brandon Vera earlier this month at UFC on FOX 4. The 2005 Pride Grand Prix winner had an opportunity to earn a title shot against the winner of next month’s UFC 151 Jon Jones vs. Dan Henderson event, but fellow challenger and former champ, Lyoto Machida, leapfrogged “Shogun” with an impressive KO of Ryan Bader.
Rua now faces Gustafsson, who has been on the sidelines since an April win over Thiago Silva in his native Sweden. “The Mauler” is one of the light-heavyweight divisions top prospects and is currently riding a five-fight win streak. A win over the former champ “Shogun” would serve as good means for title shot consideration.
Also featured on the card will be a welterweight battle between Rory MacDonald (13-1 MMA, 4-1 UFC) and B.J. Penn (16-8-2 MMA, 12-7-2 UFC). Initially the two were slated to fight at next months UFC 152 event in Toronto. However, MacDonald suffered a cut in training that required 38 stitches, causing the bout to be postponed.
Penn, who is a former two-division champ and future UFC Hall of Famer, has not fought since announcing his retirement following a loss to Nick Diaz at UFC 137. Penn will be looking to take out the highly touted Canadian, Rory MacDonald, who most recently posted a dominant TKO victory over Che Mills at UFC 145 in April, which marked his third victory in a row.
A venue for UFC on Fox 5 has yet to be announced. Who do you have winning these three marquee fights Penn Nation?Tags: "bj Penn", Alexander Gustafsson, benson henderson, nate diaz, Rory MacDonald, Shogun Rua, ufc news, UFC on FOX, ufc on fox 5