The UFC will hold their fifth fight card on FOX tomorrow night from KeyArena in Seattle, which is the best card the organization has put on free television.
The preliminary card will begin at 4:30 p.m. ET/1:30 p.m. PT on the UFC Facebook page with one fight and the other six preliminary card fights will be shown on FX starting at 5 p.m. ET/2 p.m. PT.
Finally, the main card will begin at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT with four fights and be headlined by Benson Henderson defending the UFC lightweight title against Nate Diaz.
Also on the main card will be a number one contenders bout in the light heavyweight division as former champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua faces Alexander Gustafsson.
Benson Henderson (16-2) vs. Nate Diaz (16-7)
This will be the second title defense for Henderson as he successfully defended the title earlier this year at UFC 150 against Frankie Edgar. He won the fight by split decision and many people believe that he did not win the fight. During his time in the UFC, Henderson has gone 5-0 and all of his fights have gone to a decision and it seems that he does not get the respect that other champions get.
After a failed attempt as a welterweight, Diaz moved back down to the lightweight division and has won three straight fights to get this title shot. He is coming off a submission win over Jim Miller at UFC on FOX 3, which many people believe that Miller is a fighter that could not be submitted. Two of his last three wins are by submission and if he wins by submission tomorrow night, he would become only the second guy to submit the champion.
During his training camp for this fight, Henderson has had his training partners talk trash to him to prepare for Diaz. Outside of the mental part of the fight, Henderson knows on of Diaz’s biggest strengths is his submission game. Diaz will have a size disadvantage tomorrow night as Henderson is one of the biggest lightweights in the UFC. If Henderson struggles in the striking aspect of the fight, he may look to take the fight to the ground and use his size advantage.
Prediction: Nate Diaz by decision
Mauricio Rua (21-6) vs. Alexander Gustafsson (14-1)
UFC President Dana White said yesterday that this fight will be a number one contenders bout in the light heavyweight division and Shogun will be looking for back to back victories for the first time since 2009. He has gone 3-3 in his last six and is coming off a TKO victory against Brandon Vera at UFC on FOX 4.
Gustafsson is seen as the guy who could defeat Jon Jones because of his size and will be looking for his six straight win. His only defeat in the UFC came against Phil Davis in his second UFC bout, which was a submission lost. He is coming off a decision victory over Thiago Silva, which was the first time he headlined a UFC fight card.
Shogun has hinted this week that he may be looking for a submission, which that is how Gustafsson lost in his only career defeat. Gustafsson will want to keep this fight standing and stay away from the jiu-jitsu of Shogun. The longer the fight go, it could be an advantage of Gustafsson since cardio has appeared to be an issue for the former champion.
Prediction: Mauricio Rua by submission in third round
BJ Penn (16-8-2) vs. Rory MacDonald (13-1)
This may be the most anticipated fight of the card because of what MacDonald has said leading up to the fight. At yesterday’s press conference, Penn told him that it’s time to back up what he said and that he better be ready. This will be the first time that Penn has stepped into the octagon in over a year and he has gone 1-1-1 since moving back up to the welterweight division.
MacDonald is seen as a future UFC champion and he has won four of his five fights in the UFC. His only lost in the UFC came against Carlos Condit, where he was defeated in the final moments of the third round and if the fight would have gone to the judges, he would have won by split decision. He is currently on a three fight winning streak, with his most recent win coming at UFC 145 against Che Mills.
MacDonald will have a noticeable size advantage in the fight and may end up looking to take the fight to the ground to use that advantage. Because of what he has said, MacDonald has motivated Penn and the former lightweight and welterweight champion appears to be in the best shape of his career.
Prediction: Rory MacDonald by decision
Mike Swick (15-4) vs. Matt Brown (15-11)
This fight will lead off the main card on FOX and this will be Swick’s second straight time leading off a FOX card. He returned at UFC on FOX 4 after two years away from the octagon and scored a knockout victory over DeMarques Johnson.
After losing four of five fights, Brown is currently on a three fight winning streak and two of those victories were by TKO. He is coming off a TKO victory at UFC on FX 4 against Luis Ramos and will be looking for his first four fight win streak in the UFC.
Both of these fighters like to finish fights as Swick has 11 victories by stoppage and Brown has 13 victories by stoppage. Brown’s last four defeats are by submission and has never been defeated by knockout. Swick is primarily known for knocking his opponents out, but could look for a submission if he is unable to get his striking going.