The Ultimate Fighting Championship has had its share of entertaining fight cards in 2012, but “UFC on Fox 5” has the potential to top them all. The entire fight card is stacked from top to bottom, and I’m sure the fighters won’t disappoint. Here are my predictions for the entire UFC on Fox 5 fight card set for Dec 8, at the KeyArena in Seattle, Wash:
Benson Henderson vs. Nate Diaz
I still can’t believe the UFC actually put this fight on free TV, as it could easily be the headliner for a pay-per-view event. Henderson is the most successful WEC product in the UFC, and he remains undefeated in the promotion. Diaz on the other hand has been unstoppable ever since he rejoined the lightweight ranks after a rough stint as a welterweight, piling up wins against Takanori Gomi, Donald Cerrone and Jim Miller, and making it look easy.
Diaz is the better striker, but Henderson has been able to outwrestle everyone he’s faced in the UFC. However, Nate is also known for his slick submissions, and Henderson has tendency to get a bit careless with his limbs and neck on the ground.
Tough fight to call, but given the fact Henderson hasn’t finished an opponent in the UFC — which means their fight will probably go the distance — Nate should have enough time to lock in a submission.
Prediction: Diaz wins via submission.
Maurício “Shogun” Rua vs. Alexander Gustafsson
Gustafsson seems to be the next big thing in the UFC’s light-heavyweight division, and he’ll try to take a step closer to the 205-pound title when he faces Rua at UFC on Fox 5. Rua is 2-2 in his last four fights, but he still more than capable of derailing the Swede’s quest for the light-heavyweight strap. Shogun is a dangerous striker, and he’s arguably better than Gustafsson on the ground. I like Rua’s chances regardless of where the fight takes place, and I expect him to emerge victorious.
Prediction: Shogun wins via KO.
BJ Penn vs. Rory MacDonald
MacDonald is clearly one of the most promising rising stars in the UFC’s welterweight division, but he’ll be in for a serious test when he faces BJ at UFC on Fox 5. Even though Penn has lost three of his last five fights, he’s still a force to be reckoned with when he’s committed to fighting and in shape. Penn claims he’s fully focused on his fight against MacDonald, and for some weird reason I believe him, even though he’s said the same thing on multiple occasions when he clearly wasn’t in top form. Tough fight to call, but I’m going to let my bias get the best of me on this one.
Prediction: Penn wins via TKO.
Mike Swick vs. Matt Brown
Swick showed a lot of heart during his last outing against DaMarques Johnson, knocking out the latter during the second round after getting dominated in the first. It was the first time Mike stepped inside the Octagon in over two years, so I’ll attribute his poor first round performance to Octagon-rust. Brown on the other hand is currently on a three-fight win streak, and “The immortal” is always game come fight time. Very even matchup, but I’m leaning towards Swick.
Prediction: Swick wins via decision.
Michael Chiesa defeats Marcus LeVesseur
Mike Easton defeats Raphael Assunção
Dennis Siver defeats Nam Phan
Ramsey Nijem defeats Joe Proctor
Yves Edwards defeats Jeremy Stephens
Henry Martinez defeats Daron Cruickshank
Scott Jorgensen defeats John Albert
Tim Means defeats Abel Trujillo
Previous fight card (UFC 154) predictions record: 8-2