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?
Henderson: W - Frankie Edgar (SD) | W - Frankie Edgar (UD) | W - Clay Guida (UD)
Diaz: W - Jim Miller (Sub) | W - Donald Cerrone (UD) | W - Takanori Gomi (Sub)
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.
More UFC on Fox 5 preview content from Bloody Elbow:
UFC on Fox 5 staff picks and predictions - Tim Burke
Dissection: B.J. Penn vs. Rory MacDonald - Dallas Winston
Dissection: Matt Brown vs. Mike Swick - Dallas Winston
Dissection: FX prelims - Dallas Winston
Dissection: Scott Jorgensen vs. John Albert Facebook prelim - Dallas Winston
Tim Means out of Fox card after falling in sauna - Mookie Alexander
Dana White: Shogun vs. Gustafsson for #1 contender - Chris Hall
Video: UFC on Fox 5 pre-fight press conference - Tim Burke
Video: A Portrait of B.J. Penn mini-documentary - Anton Tabuena
Video: MMA Tete-A-Tete Nate & Eugene talk BJ, Shogun, Rory, Gus, more - Nate Wilcox
Edgar picks Diaz to win against Henderson - Anton Tabuena
Culinary Union asks Fox to pull Stephens - Chris Hall
UFC on Fox 5 betting lines - Tim Burke
Will Penn and Shogun Fall at UFC on Fox 5? - Fraser Coffeen
Video: Dallas and Nate preview UFC on Fox 5 - Nate Wilcox
Video: Rory MacDonald wants to 'annihilate' B.J. Penn - Chris Hall
Video: UFC on Fox 5 Road to the Octagon full video - Mookie Alexander
Will Nate Diaz face the spotlight? - Nate Wilcox