The UFC is poised to end the year in style after news surfaced today surrounding the main card for UFC on FOX 5. While other shows on the network have been solid, none compare to the lineup the organization has planned in December including three fights that could easily headline a PPV.
The evening’s main event will feature a lightweight title-fight between defending champion Benson Henderson (17-2) and #1 contender Nate Diaz (16-7). Henderson is coming off of his controversial UFC 150 Split Decision win over Frankie Edgar, while Diaz headlined UFC on FOX 3 where he finished Jim Miller.
Also announced, Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua (21-6) and rising star Alexander Gustafsson (14-1) will meet in what is likely a bout where the winner of the fight will get a crack at the light heavyweight belt. Rua is coming off of a TKO win over Brandon Vera at UFC On FOX 4 and would have already received a title-shot were it not for Lyoto Machida‘s exception knockout of Ryan Bader. Meanwhile, Gustafsson is coming off of a win over Thiago Silva. The young Swede is riding a five-fight winning streak and is 6-1 in the UFC.
Were those bouts not enough, the December 8 show will also feature the return of B.J. Penn (16-8-2) who will take on Rory MacDonald (13-1) in a fight that was originally supposed to take place at UFC 152. The match-up was scrapped when it was announced that MacDonald had suffered a severe cut in training and would not be healed in time for the fight. The tilt has also garnered a lot of attention because both Penn and MacDonald have agreed to be drug tested by VADA (Volunteer Anti-Doping Association) before meeting in the Octagon. This will be the first UFC meeting in history to have fighters tested outside of the testing sometimes required by the athletic commissions.
USA Today was first to report all of the match-ups.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC