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Three Big Fights For UFC On Fox 5: Ben Henderson Vs Nate Diaz, Rory MacDonald Vs B.J. Penn, And Shogun Vs Gustafsson

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August 11, 2012; Denver, CO, USA; Benson Henderson fights Frankie Edgar (not pictured) during UFC 150 at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-US PRESSWIRE
August 11, 2012; Denver, CO, USA; Benson Henderson fights Frankie Edgar (not pictured) during UFC 150 at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-US PRESSWIRE

In the wake of their network premier event, the UFC has taken a lot of criticism for the quality and relevancy of their events on Fox. The promotion opened up with a huge debut featuring a single bout between Junior Dos Santos and Cain Velasquez for the Heavyweight title. Since then, the free fight cards have shown decreasingly relevant headliners and supporters. It would seem the UFC has responded to this criticism.

MMA Junkie reports that the UFC has added three big fights to December's UFC On Fox 5 card:

Ben Henderson (17-2) Vs. Nate Diaz (16-7)
Rory MacDonald (13-2) Vs. B.J. Penn (16-8-2)
Mauricio Rua (21-6) Vs. Alexander Gustafsson (14-1)

Without a doubt this would be the biggest event on the Fox network since the Heavyweight title bout. Ben Henderson just defended his title in a somewhat controversial rematch against Frankie Edgar at UFC 150. Diaz poses huge problems for him, however, with a relentless striking style and extremely threatening submission game. Rory MacDonald and B.J. Penn have combined to add extra drama to their bout by submitting to VADA sponsored drug testing. Even without the supplementary testing Penn will be the most difficult test the young Rory Macdonald has faced so far. To cap it off, the potential contenders match between Rua and Gustafsson is a huge announcement. Rua displayed his immense skill with a 4th round KO of Brandon Vera on UFC On Fox 4 in an effort to win his way back to a title shot. Rising prospect Gustafsson stands in his path, who has only ever faltered to dominant wrestler Phil Davis.

All three of these are potentially exciting and very relevant fights to put on a free card. UFC On Fox 5 does not yet have an official venue or location, but it's expected to take place on December 8th.