Esther Lin, MMA Fighting
Bloody Elbow presents their UFC on Fox 5 fight card primer, previewing all the action at UFC on Fox 5 this Saturday. Here, we look at the main event: Ben Henderson vs. Nate Diaz for the UFC Lightweight title.
The main event of UFC on Fox 5 sees the Lightweight title being defended as champion Ben Henderson (17-2 MMA; 5-0 UFC) faces challenger Nate Diaz (16-7 MMA; 11-5 UFC). This five round fight is the last of four main card bouts on the Fox broadcast. UFC on Fox 5 airs this Saturday night, December 8 at 8:00 p.m. ET / 5:00 p.m. PT.
This is a very fun fight that I am glad is getting main event status on Fox. There are plenty of ways this could play out, and questions that need to be answered. Will Nate Diaz be able to keep the fight standing, where he can use his high volume punching? Or will Bendo use his wrestling to take down the jiu jitsu artist Diaz? If it does go to the mat, can Henderson's incredible submission defense save him against the Cesar Gracie black belt? All superb questions, and hopefully, we'll get answers to all of them on Saturday.
How do these two stack up?
Henderson: 29 years old | 5'9" | 70" reach
Diaz: 27 years old | 6'0" | 76" reach
What have these two done recently?
How did these two get here?
Ben Henderson (or, for some reason, Benson Henderson now) is the former WEC Lightweight champion. He's undefeated in his UFC run, and is now looking to make his second defense of the belt after a mildly controversial split decision win over Edgar. Bendo has looked incredible during his UFC tenure, tearing through talents like Jim Miller and Clay Guida en route to the belt. That said, he still feels like an underdog out there, and it will be interesting to see if this fight changes that perception at all.
Nate Diaz is, in some ways, an unlikely challenger. After winning TUF years ago, he had a decent, not great 6-3 run at Lightweight before moving up to Welterweight. There, he went 2-2 and dropped back. And suddenly, he was on fire, with extremely impressive victories over Cerrone and Miller in particular. Right now, Diaz has everything working for him - the unique boxing style, the submissions, the cardio - all of it. He's a real threat to Henderson, make no mistake.
Why should you care?
I truly don't know how this one will play out, but I do know that both men consistently deliver classics. This could be a tremendous fight.
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