It’s been a rough year for the UFC. Fights have seemingly been canceled every week. 8 out of 12 pay-per-view shows lost their original main events. We even had an entire card canceled. Luckily, the fight gods have looked down favorably upon this weekend’s excellent card. And it’s free! A lightweight title fight. Two young contenders facing two legends. And Matt Brown versus Mike Swick in a fight that should be two dudes just trying to knock each other out.
The main event is between lightweight champion Benson Henderson and Nate Diaz. This will amazingly be the first UFC lightweight title fight without Frankie Edgar since B.J. Penn beat Diego Sanchez at UFC 107. For perspective - that was 3 years ago next Wednesday. Instead of Edgar, we have Nate Diaz. (Cesar Gracie jiu jitsu whut!) Diaz has won three straight including two submission of the night bonuses and one fight of the night. All he has to do is submit a man who cannot be submitted to take the belt back to the 209. This has the potential to be one of the best fights of the year. Plus, Nate Diaz on FOX again.
In the light heavyweight division, Alexander Gustafsson, a.k.a, The White Swedish Jon Jones, takes on Shogun. Since Shogun got destroyed by Jon Jones early in 2011, he’s gone on to embarrass Forrest Griffin and then take part in two really entertaining fights. Sure, he lost to Dan Henderson, but it was one of the greatest fights of all-time. Now its Gustafsson’s turn to become a big name. Winner gets Jon Jones in 3-6
In the other legend versus upstart fight, we have B.J. Penn (1-3-1 in his last 5, motivated, in the best shape of his life, yada yada yada) against Rory MacDonald. Rory has won 3 straight since getting knocked out in the final minute of a fight he was winning against Carlos Condit. That is the only loss on MacDonald’s resume. He’s finished his opponent in 12 of his 13 victories with the one exception being Nate Diaz. The only problem for MacDonald is that friend, countryman, teammate and mentor, Georges St. Pierre is waiting on the other side of a dominating performance. Someone should steal Rory’s maple syrup and blame it on GSP. Luckily a fight against Johnny Hendricks would serve as enough of a buffer for GSP to move up to middleweight. Right? Hello?
Personally, I can’t wait for this card. Its a nice change of pace from the constant disappointment that we have faced all year.
MAIN CARD – FOX – 8pm
Benson Henderson vs. Nate Diaz
Alexander Gustafsson vs. Mauricio “Shogun” Rua
Rory MacDonald vs. B.J. Penn
Matt Brown vs. Mike Swick
PRELIMINARY CARD – FX – 5pm
Yves Edwards vs. Jeremy Stephens
Raphael Assuncao vs. Mike Easton
Ramsey Nijem vs. Joe Proctor
Daron Cruickshank vs. Henry Martinez
Tim Means vs. Abel Trujillo
Nam Phan vs. Dennis Siver
John Albert vs. Scott Jorgensen (Facebook @ 4:30 for some reason)