After a short hiatus, we’re back with a preview of the greatest network fight card in the history of the world. A title fight, two legends, two young guns, and two absolute warriors come together to make one of the most anticipated cards of the year. Benson Henderson defends his lightweight championship against Nate Diaz. Shogun takes on Alexander Gustafsson in a light heavyweight title eliminator, with the winner very likely getting a shot at Jones with a win. BJ Penn climbs back into the cage, defending his legacy and cardio against Rory Macdonald, the next great thing in the welterweight division. Finally Matt Brown and Mike Swick will enter the octagon with hopes of a fight of the night performance. The undercard on facebook and FX is packed with so much talent; I recommend you and all your friends get together for this one.
The main card starts at 8 p.m. EST on Fox.
Ben Henderson vs. Nate Diaz, lightweight
Alexander Gustafsson vs. Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua, light heavyweight
Matt Brown vs. Mike Swick, welterweight
Rory MacDonald vs. B.J. Penn, welterweight
Preliminary Card on FX
The Preliminary card starts at 5 p.m. EST on FX.
Yves Edwards vs. Jeremy Stephens, lightweight
Raphael Assuncao vs. Mike Easton, bantamweight
Ramsey Nijem vs. Joe Proctor, lightweight
Daron Cruickshank vs. Henry Martinez, lightweight
Tim Means vs. Abel Trujillo, lightweight
Nam Phan vs. Dennis Siver, featherweight
Preliminary Card on Facebook
Facebook preliminary card can be seen at 4:30 p.m EST
John Albert vs. Scott Jorgensen, bantamweight
Main Card Preview
First up on fox are Mike Swick and Matt Brown. Swick had a very long layoff before knocking out DeMarques Johnson a few months ago. He brings lighting fast hands with tremendous knockout power along with a very well rounded grappling and submission game. Matt the Immortal is one of the toughest dudes in MMA. This man can take a beating, but he also has the ability to dish it out. This fight will be action packed and is my prediction for fight of the night.
The next fight is the one I am most excited for. BJ Penn is my favorite fighter of all time. The consummate champion, he fought from 155-205. He’s been fighting for the UFC since 2001 and has fought everyone from GSP to Lyoto Machida. Rory MacDonald is a young gun fighting out of Canada’s famed Tri-Star gym, home to GSP. BJ has a bone to pick with Tri-Star losing the two matchups against GSP. He won the first fight in my opinion and the second was the greasing incident but that’s another article for another day. Rory is the prototypical mixed martial artist. He is great at nothing but good at everything and is the much larger fighter in this matchup. If BJ comes in with the fire and cardio he showed against Diego Sanchez, it’s going to be a long night for Rory. If the BJ who fought uninspired against Nick Diaz or Edgar the second time shows up, it might be the end of the era.
The third fight is another living legend, Mauricio Shogun Rua, taking on a dynamic light heavyweight fighting out of Sweden, Alexander Gustafsson. Shogun is a dynamic kick boxer with good jiu jitsu, but he’s getting a little old and is showing after a plethora of wars inside the ring. Gustafsson is young and hungry and has only been the judges’ scorecards once. Shogun could gut this one out and win but it will be a ridiculously tough task. Gustafsson could attempt to stand on the outside and pick him apart a la Bones Jones, but Shogun’s aggression and counter striking might be the difference.
Finally, the moment we have all been waiting for. Ben Henderson and Nate Diaz showdown for the 155-pound belt. Henderson is a huge 155er cutting from well over 170 pounds to make weight. Diaz is a triathlete with cardio for days. Diaz has the awkward boxing of his brother and the black belt in jiu jitsu too. Henderson has the greatest submission escapability I have ever seen, don’t believe me? Just watch his fight with Cowboy Cerrone in the WEC. Henderson is a great wrestler with some awkward karate strikes and a capable jiu jitsu game. This fight will very likely go the distance and I give the slight edge to Henderson. He has the ability to win on the judges’ cards by doing just enough to steal the round. One thing is for sure, this card will be all you could ask for from a pay per view and it’s free on basic cable. I know what I’m doing December 8th and I hope you all do the same.
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