August 11, 2012; Denver, CO, USA; Benson Henderson (left) reacts after defeating Frankie Edgar (right) during UFC 150 at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

UFC on Fox 5 Preview

August 11, 2012; Denver, CO, USA; A general view title belt of Benson Henderson

The UFC heads to Seattle Saturday for UFC on Fox 5. This is one of the most stacked free cards in UFC history and by far the biggest since the Fox deal. Ben Henderson will be taking on Nate Diaz for the lightweight title, Shogun Rua challenges Alexander Gustaffson and the return of BJ Penn against talented up and comer Rory MacDonald.

Benson Henderson vs. Nate Diaz

Diaz had a little trouble making weight during the weigh ins, but the third time was a charm. He didn’t look drawn out during the weigh in, so I don’t think it was a difficult weight cut. For Diaz to win this fight he needs to suck Henderson into his fight. Diaz needs to work his technical boxing and make this a dirty fight.

Henderson will need to utilize his superior athleticism in this fight. Take a page out of MacDonald’s book and use the wrestling. The athleticism of Henderson is second to none and it causes opponents to worry about another weapon. Look for that to be the deciding factor in this fight.

Shogun Rua vs. Alexander Gustafsson

We’ve seen Shogun have difficulty with rangy fighters before and he’s been somewhat of a slow starter in his last few fights. Can he get inside the range of Gustafsson or will this look similar to the Jones-Rua fight when Shogun lost his belt? He looks in better shape that normal, missing the belly fat that tends to be there, but does Rua have anything left or did all those Pride battles finally do him in?

Rory MacDonald vs. BJ Penn

Penn looks to be in outstanding shape for this fight, but he’s at a severe size disadvantage and has always had issues at welterweight. MacDonald looks like a soon to be title contender, but this is by far the biggest fight of his career. Can Penn show that experience beats hype and how will he fare after a year off? Is MacDonald for real? Will Penn provide a worthy challenger or is he just another stepping stone for MacDonald’s path to a title shot?

UFC on Fox 5 card fills out as such:

Fox Card:

Benson Henderson vs. Nate Diaz

Shogun Rua vs. Alexander Gustafsson

Rory MacDonald vs. BJ Penn

Mike Swick vs. Matt Brown

FX Card:

Yves Edwards vs. Jeremy Stephens

Raphael Assuncao vs. Mike Easton

Ramsey Nijem vs. Joe Proctor

Daron Cruickshank vs. Henry Martinez

Marcus LeVesseur vs. Abel Trujillo

Dennis Siver vs. Nam Phan

Facebook Prelims:

Scott Jorgenson vs. John Albert

Tags: Ben Henderson Nate Diaz Ufc On Fox

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