Special to theadvocate.com
This Saturday, Dec. 8, the Ultimate Fighting Championships (UFC) Lightweight belt will be on the line in Seattle. Kicking off at 7 p.m. Central Time, this will be one of the best cards ever shown live at no charge on network cable television.
The main event will be a lightweight showdown between Benson Henderson and Nate Diaz. The co-main event will be a potential No. 1 contender match between former light heavyweight champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and Alexander “The Mauler” Gustafsson.
Main Event: Lightweight title fight
Live on Fox
Benson “Smooth” Henderson vs. Nate Diaz
Benson Henderson, Colorado Springs, Colo., 5-9, 155 pounds, 16-2-0 (Lightweight champion)
Nate Diaz, Stockton, Calif., 6-0, 155 pounds, 16-7-0
The lightweight championship belt will be up for grabs in what on paper looks like the best matchup of the year. Through the years, mixed martial artists have evolved into complete fighters, and this bout will be a perfect example of that. Nate Diaz and Benson Henderson are flawless in their fight games, and they have zero weaknesses.
This will be Diaz’s first title fight in the UFC, while it will be Henderson’s seventh. That will be a big advantage for Henderson’s corner. However, Diaz has a huge reach that could work in his favor. This fight should last three rounds or more so prepare for some textbook mixed martial arts (MMA) filled with blood, sweat and fists.
Diaz by Split Decision
Mauricio “Shogun” Rua vs. Alexander “The Mauler” Gustafsson
Mauricio Rua, Curitiba, Brazil, 6-1, 205 pounds, 21-6-0 (former Light Heavyweight champion)
Alexander Gustafsson, Arboga, Sweden, 6-5, 205 pounds, 14-1-0
The co-main event could possibly be a No. 1 contender bout for Alexander Gustafsson, a young up and comer who has had a very impressive start, achieving a 7-1 record with only one fight going to a decision. If Gustafsson can get past Mauricio Rua, he is one of the few in the light heavyweight division who has the size to match up with the champion, Jon “Bones” Jones. Rua is looking at maybe the last title run of his career. A loss Saturday night could be devastating and may force him to contemplate retirement. Rua is still the best in the business, but the time is now as the clock is definitely ticking.
Gustafsson by TKO (Strikes)
B.J. “The Prodigy” Penn vs. Rory “Ares” MacDonald
B.J. Penn, Kailua, Hawaii, 5-9, 170 pounds, 16-8-2 (former Lightweight and Welterweight champion)
Rory MacDonald, Quesnel, British Columbia, 6-0, 170 pounds, 13-1-0
The old versus the new will be on display in this non-title matchup when Rory MacDonald faces the old man, B.J. Penn. MacDonald is one of the best and brightest in the welterweight division. He should be -- he is--the protégé of Georges St-Pierre. MacDonald’s 4-1 record in the UFC doesn’t impress Penn though. Penn is not in his prime anymore, but his jiu-jitsu is still second to none. We will see if the future hall of famer still has some left in the tank.
Penn by Submission (Rear Naked Choke)
Mike “Quick” Swick vs. Matt “The Immortal” Brown
Mike Swick, Houston, 6-1, 170 pounds, 15-4-0
Matt Brown, Xenia, Ohio, 6-0, 170 pounds, 17-11-0
Swick by Unanimous Decision
Live on FX
Yves Edwards vs. Jeremy “Lil Heathen” Stephens
Yves Edwards, Nassau, Bahamas, 5-9, 155 pounds, 41-18-1
Jeremy Stephens, Des Moines, Iowa., 5-9, 155 pounds, 20-8-0
Stephens by Unanimous Decision
Raphael Assucao vs. Mike “The Hulk” Easton
Easton by Unanimous Decision
Ramsey Nijem vs. Joe Proctor
Nijem by Unanimous Decision
Daron “Detroit Superstar” Cruickshank vs. Henry “Sicario” Martinez
Martinez by TKO (Strikes)
Live on facebook.com/ufc
Dennis Siver vs. Nam Phan
Siver by Split Decision
Scott “Young Guns” Jorgensen vs. John “Prince” Albert
Jorgensen by Unanimous Decision
Tim “The Dirty Bird” Means vs. Abel “Killa” Trujillo
Means by TKO (Strikes)