By: Chris Taylor
MMA Bookmaker has set the opening betting lines for the three bouts scheduled to take place at UFC on FOX 5, December 8th.
Current lightweight champion Benson “Smooth” Henderson opens as the favorite over challenger Nate Diaz.
Henderson at -150 and Diaz at +120
Henderson headlined month’s UFC 150 event and successfully defended his title against former champ Frankie Edgar, winning the bout via a very controversial split-decision. Diaz has reeled off three straight victories, his most recent being a submission win over top contender Jim Miller at UFC on Fox 3 .
MMA Bookmaker has also opened betting lines for the UFC on FOX 5’s other two marquee matchups.
Alexander Gustafsson at -210 and Mauricio “Shogun” Rua at +170
Bookmaker gives slight favortism to Gustafsson (14-1 MMA, 6-1 UFC) who has won six straight, over Rua (21-6 MMA, 5-4 UFC) who has alternated between wins and losses over his past six fights.
The 2005 Pride Grand Prix winner, Rua, is coming off a fourth-round TKO victory of Brandon Vera at UFC on FOX 4. His opponent, Alexander “The Mauler” Gustafsson, is coming off an April victory over Thiago Silva in his home country of Sweeden.
As for the rebooked match-up between B.J. Penn and Rory MacDonald, Bookmaker has listed the young Canadian as a big favorite over the former two-division champ.
Rory MacDonald at -250 and B.J. Penn at +200
The future UFC Hall of Famer, Penn, will be returning to the octagon for the first time since a loss to Nick Diaz in October of 2011. 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.
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