(Oh yeah, they’ll be plenty of this. And we definitely don’t mean the “thoughts” part.)
With a lineup that would challenge any UFC pay-per-view event in recent memory, UFC on FOX 5: Henderson vs. Diaz will come storming into your living rooms tomorrow night at 8 p.m. EST. You know what that means for tonight — some dudes are going to mean mug and possibly shove some other dudes that hopefully weigh-in at the same weight as the first dudes. Confused? Then join us after the jump and we’ll sort this all out for you, and make sure to swing by tomorrow at 8 p.m. to catch our liveblog of all the action!
UFC on Fox 5 is one of the most stacked cards of the entire year, and it’s free on network television. It contains a pseudo-grudge match between the only man in UFC history to hold the lightweight and welterweight titles, and a rising star who trains with his greatest rival. The co-main event sees a PRIDE legend and one-time UFC champ looking to reclaim his former glory in yet another epic war against a rising contender from a burgeoning MMA scene in Scandanavia. And in the main event, you have the two best lightweights in the world (besides Frankie Edgar) going head to head in the toughest division in the UFC. What more could you ask for?
Well, if the answer to that rhetorical question was “the most brilliant predictions/pre-fight analysis column ever,” then you are in luck, my friend! And because this card is so stacked, there will be not one, not two, not three, but…actually no, there will be three predictions. (Sorry Mike Swick and Matt Brown.) Logophobes, you’ve been warned.
The first of the big three fights on the card is the highly anticipated matchup between a returning BJ Penn and wunderkind Rory MacDonald. Penn’s seeking to reinforce his legacy as one of the best ever in the sport, and Rory’s been giving him even more motivation recently, claiming he’s coming to “hurt [Penn]” who he believes is “fighting for the wrong reasons.” Bold words, but MacDonald’s the type of fighter who’s capable of backing them up. He’s only lost once in his career — a TKO loss to Carlos Condit, in which he won the first two rounds before getting stopped in the waning seconds of the final round. But he holds wins over Nate Diaz and Mike Pyle, and aside from the former, all of MacDonald’s victories have come by stoppage.
It should be noted, though, that aside from Condit, Penn is a stronger fighter at this weight than any of the other fighters mentioned. He presents a greater knockout threat than any of them, has better wrestling, and has one of, if not the, best top games of any grappler in the UFC. However, Penn has historically been weak in the cardio department, particularly at welterweight. Even though he looks to be in excellent shape, he’s still carrying more weight than usual, and he’ll be forced to carry MacDonald’s weight as well. While Penn’s revamped his training camp, it’s unlikely he’ll have been able to fix a career-long deficiency, particularly after returning from “retirement.”
Can you guys imagine what the MMA landscape will be like if Nate Diaz is able to defeat Ben Henderson on Saturday, thus becoming the lightweight champion? For starters, this article will be the first and last time you ever see the word “thus” in a sentence where the subject is a Diaz, but on the grander scale, just try and imagine the ways a Diaz with a belt will throw a wrench into the UFC’s plans. Interviews snippets will be so short and incoherent that MMA writers will be forced to resort to rambling, ludicrous conspiracy theories just to pass the time. And as for the brand-promoting public appearances that have become the standard for a champion? You can forget about those; we’re talking about a man who once tried to fight a fictional Brazilian character at a Jiu-Jitsu expo for Christ’s sake. If one fan even mentions the Maynard fight around Diaz in public, the UFC will probably have a full-scale riot on their hands.
If you would, just picture Nate Diaz at an anti-bullying seminar for a moment. After showing up 3 hours late and being reluctantly called to the stage, Diaz will deliver a one minute diatribe aimed at America’s “faggoty yoots“ who should “just like, yeah, I dunno” before calling out “that bitch Georges,” his eyes never lifting from the linoleum floor. When he is informed that he is in fact the lightweight champion and can’t fight GSP right now, Diaz will declare that he’s “done with this shit” before slapping that stupid ass hat off the school’s gym teacher on his way out the door. Simply put, it will be glorious.
(Henderson, seen here making Shane Roller rapidly consider cutting to featherweight at WEC 40.)
No, we are not jumping on the Nate Diaz bandwagon. Not yet, at least.
In a recent interview with MMAJunkie, current UFC lightweight champion Ben Henderson resentfully admitted something that no athlete is ever quick to declare: He ain’t getting any younger. And because of this, it is getting harder and harder for a massive lightweight such as “Smooth” to make the required cut for each of his title defenses. How much weight does he cut? Henderson didn’t reveal the exact number, but several close sources claimed that the lightweight champ normally resides around the 180-pound mark often up to just a few days out from fight night. It’s a massive, draining cut for any athlete to undergo, and as we’ve seen in the past, can have devastating effects on the human body. Henderson is no different, and acknowledged that he has struggled to deal with the cut as he has gotten older:
When I was in college and wrestling, I would wrestle all day long and not get tired. I remember wrestling hard for five hours – literally five hours hard – and be just fine. I would eat friggin’ Taco Bell, be fine, and wrestle again.
I’m growing, but as far as maturing and getting thicker, I think I’m getting older right now, and it’s getting harder for me to lose the weight … and it’s harder for me to keep the weight off.
Henderson’s UFC on FOX 5 opponent, Nate Diaz, is no stranger to the difficulty of weight cutting, having moved up to welterweight to fight on several occasions but finding much less success there. The same could be argued for Henderson, who stands at a mere 5 foot 9 and would hold a distinct size disadvantage were he to move up in weight. But according to Henderson, it is only a matter of time until the choice is no longer an option.
Taking an in-depth look into the training and general fight philosophies of the UFC’s biggest stars, The NOC’s “Training Days” series is back, this time profiling UFC lightweight champion Ben Henderson as he prepares to prepare to defend his belt for the second time against Nate Diaz at UFC on FOX 5 in December. You read that correctly.
After scoring a pair of hotly contested wins over former champion Frankie Edgar at UFC 144 and 150, Henderson takes us through his daily training regimen at his gym in Glendale, Arizona. Not yet in full-on “training for Nate” mode, parts one and two give us a look at the intense shadow boxing sessions that Bendo begins each workout with. It’s not exactly the most thrilling routine in the world, but it does give you an idea at the amount of preparation that goes into the average training session of a UFC champion. Hell, you could even put these techniques to practice the next time you find yourself caught in a Taiwanese cage fight with a raged out Billy Blanks.
Part one is above. Check out part two after the jump.
Diaz has earned his shot at the belt with three consecutive wins over Takanori Gomi (first-round armbar), Donald Cerrone (gangsterish unanimous decision), and Jim Miller (second-round guillotine choke). Meanwhile, Henderson is a perfect 5-0 in the UFC, and just beat Frankie Edgar for the second time last weekend at UFC 150. Will Diaz be the one to stop Bendo’s juggernaut-like momentum?
The 150th UFC PPV takes place at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado, which means tonight’s drinking game will lead you to the ER with liver poisoning as Joe and Goldie talk about the altitude. Headlining the card is the rematch to end all rematches when former WEC standout and current UFC lightweight champion, Benson Henderson squares off against Frankie “The Answer” Edgar.
Also on the broadcast is the front-runner to win Fight of the Night honors when Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone locks horns with Melvin Guillard. I’m told that Jake Shields and Yushin Okami are scheduled to fight Ed Hermann and Buddy Roberts respectively, and that’s totally cool, But you’re only buying this card for one reason: to see if the gold changes hands at the end of the night.
“Live” (emphasis on the quotation marks) round-by-round results from the Henderson – Edgar 2 pay-per-view main card will be piling up after the jump beginning at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT, courtesy of Jason Moles. Refresh the page every few minutes hours for all the latest, and please toss in your own inebriated thoughts in the comments section.
Fresh off a stellar UFC on FOX last week, the UFC will be looking to build on some much needed momentum heading into this weekend’s UFC 150 card, where Ben Henderson will look to defend his lightweight strap against the man he took it from, Frankie Edgar. Will Colorado’s ridiculously high altitude continue to plague fighter’s cardio as it did at UFC 135 and Fight Night: Florian vs. Lauzon? Possibly, but it’s going to take more than a shortness of breath to stop the Gambling Enabler from paying out, as we’ve landed in the money on our past two events. So join us for a fight-by-fight dissection of UFC 150 and an inside look at how to come away with a significantly fatter wallet. All odds, per usual, are courtesy of BestFightOdds.
Perez is a submissions specialist as is 1-0 in the UFC with a submission via armbar. Ken “Keith” Stone has more UFC experience and has lost two tough bouts to Eddie Wineland and Scott Jorgensen but has since won two straight fights. He has yet to be submitted in his MMA career, so I believe Stone will have enough to fend off Perez’s submissions game and win this fight on the cards.
In all honesty, Edgar/Bendo II is perhaps the perfect main event to follow up UFC on FOX 4, as it will surely continue to deliver on the action-packed slugfests that its preceding event provided. And while we’re on the subject of UFC on FOX 4, check out a behind-the-scenes look at the event provided by the almighty Danavlog. It’s got everything: Damarques Johnson asking “What the hell happened?”, Ryan Bader asking “What the hell happened?”, and even Brandon Vera asking “What the hell happened?” Valentine McKee would’ve been proud.
So give that a gander if you would be so kind, and if you’re looking to get properly amped for this weekend’s events, down your first 5-hour energy of the day and check out the full Countdown to UFC 150 videos detailing the Bendo/Edgar, Cerrone/Guillard, and Ed Herman/Jake Shields fights after the jump.
Frankie Edgar is the UFC’s official king of fighting the same guy back-to-back. He did it in 2010 with BJ Penn, in 2011 with Gray Maynard, and now he’s heading into fight #2 against Ben Henderson, the Philippians-quoting WEC standout who bullrushed the UFC and out-pointed four consecutive opponents to win the lightweight belt. (In case anybody cares, Randy Couture is at #2 on the immediate rematch leaderboard thanks to his rivalries with Pedro Rizzo and Vitor Belfort; then there’s a handful of guys who have had one immediate rematch, and that’s it. It’s a pretty short list.)
What makes the rematch at UFC 150 different for Edgar, of course, is that he won’t be a defending champion this time. Though he fought his ass off against Bendo at UFC 144, the numbers simply weren’t on his side. (Plus, he ate that face-shattering upkick at a moment when he really needed to maintain his momentum.) Ben Henderson is just as iron-chinned, aggressive, and hard-working as Edgar, so maybe the biggest advantage in the matchup is the fact that Henderson is a large lightweight, and Edgar isn’t. Will this be the fight that finally convinces Frankie to seek his fortune at featherweight? Or will he reclaim his belt with another unbelievable display of heart?