Ultimate Fighting Championship’s lightweight title will be defended on network television for the first time. This will be the second time a UFC title is defended is defended on Fox. This will be the most stacked card on live television.
USA TODAY Sports and MMAJunkie confirmed with UFC officials that current lightweight champion Benson “Smooth” Henderson (17-2 MMA, 5-0 UFC) will face Nate Diaz (16-7, 11-5) at UFC on FOX 5, which takes place Dec. 8 at a host site to be announced.
A light-heavyweight matchup between former champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua (21-6, 5-4) and Alexander “The Mauler” Gustafsson (14-1, 6-1) serves as the night’s co-feature, and a B.J. “The Prodigy” Penn (16-8-2, 12-7-2) vs. Rory MacDonald (13-1, 4-1) fight also has been rebooked for the card.
Dana White already said before that the winner of lightweight rematch between Henderson and Edgar, would be facing the number one contender in Nate Diaz. Diaz earned his shot after his impressive win and finish over Jim Miller. Diaz then went on to say that he didn’t want another fight and would hold out for the winner of Henderson/Edgar.
Watch below to witness the moment Dana White made the Nate Diaz title shot official.
VIDEO COURTESY OF MMAFIGHTING, FOX, AND THE UFC..
Diaz just resigned a huge deal with the UFC and told Dana if the winner was healthy enough, that he wanted a December fight with the champ. Well, after the dust has settled, Henderson is still the champ and Diaz will get his wish. Diaz has said that the title doesn’t matter as much as beating the top guy in the division and claims it will be a war and a true test in the lightweight division.
Gustafsson has been on the side line for awhile waiting for a top level opponent and has got it in Shogun. Shogun is coming off a sloppy win over Brandon Vera, but a finish is a finish in my books.
Critics claim that Gustafsson should of been next in line for the title shot, but hasn’t done anything to really deserve it, especially when he still has a loss to Phil Davis floating over his head. This will be the biggest test for Gustafsson, and could rise his stock in a stacked division.
Fans were really bummed when they found out that the highly anticipated fight between B.J. Penn and Rory MacDonald was going to be pushed back due to an injury MacDonald suffered in training camp. Well if this wasn’t a blessing in disguise.
Now, instead of having to buy this fight, which could be Penn’s last, fans will get to witness it on live broadcasting on Fox. I am personally really excited to see this fight on live television, not too mention, the co-main event and main event are stacked as well.
This card is stacking up fast and a fourth Fox fight is still on it’s way. This card is awhile away and I’m already excited. I just hope the “injury bug” doesn’t follow it’s way to UFC on Fox 5.