Article by Jesse Holland
I don’t think ratings will be an issue when ZUFFA returns to network television later this year.
That’s because Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has assembled a stacked fight card and line up for its next UFC on FOX 5 event on Dec. 8, 2012 at a location to be named, according to a report from USA Today.
While a technical knockout win over Brandon Vera didn’t get him the next shot at the light heavyweight title, former 205-pound kingpin Mauricio Rua is still in the discussion, but for how long, all depends on what he can do against top prospect Alexander Gustafsson in the UFC on FOX 5 co-main event.
“Shogun” (21-6) was aiming for a spot against the winner of Jon Jones vs. Dan Henderson, who will collide at the UFC 151 pay-per-view (PPV) on Sept. 1, which ultimately went to fellow Brazilian Lyoto Machida after “The Dragon” outperformed Rua at the UFC on FOX 4 event a few weeks back.
The former PRIDE phenom hasn’t won back-to-back fights since knocking out Mark Coleman and Chuck Liddell in consecutive bouts over three years ago.
Gustafsson (14-1) knows a thing or two about disposing of rugged Brazilians.
“The Mauler” was tasked with welcoming Thiago Silva back to the Octagon, which he did in earnest, with a unanimous decision win over the American Top Team bruiser in the UFC on FUEL TV 2 main event last April.
The win over Silva marked his fifth straight and outside of a submission loss to Phil Davis earlier in his career, the towering Swede has been perfect as a mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter, notching wins over Matt Hamill and Vladimir Matyushenko in the process. But is he championship material?
We’re about to find out.
UFC on FOX 5 will be headlined by a lightweight title fight pitting reigning division champion Ben Henderson against division number one contender Nate Diaz. In addition, Rory MacDonald will try to move to the head of the welterweight class when he tangles with former champion B.J. Penn.
Stay tuned to MMAmania.com for future updates to this still developing fight card.