According to a Wednesday morning report from MMAJunkie.com, the Ultimate Fighting Championship is in the midst of organizing an incredible show for UFC on Fox 5 on Dec. 8.
Three marquee bouts are expected to be on the card. Rising welterweight star Rory MacDonald will take on the legendary B.J. Penn in what could be the Hawaiian’s last career appearance in the Octagon.
Also, Benson ‘Smooth’ Henderson will defend his lightweight belt against No. 1 contender Nate Diaz, while former light heavyweight champ Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua will face 205-pound contender Alexander Gustafsson.
This will be just the second time the organization has put a title fight on ‘Big Fox,’ the network that televised Junior dos Santos’s win over Cain Velasquez for the heavyweight crown in its initial UFC telecast.
Henderson won a controversial split decision over Frankie Edgar this past Saturday to successfully defend his 155-pound belt. However, I’m expecting Diaz to be a short favorite against the champ.
MacDonald and Penn were slated to meet at UFC 152, but a cut to MacDonald’s forehead that required 40 stitches put the fight on hold. The Canadian was originally favored in the minus-250 range over Penn, the lone UFC fighter to ever hold belts in multiple divisions (lightweight and welterweight).
The city and venue for UFC on Fox 5 has yet to be determined.
In other UFC news, the future of Chael Sonnen has now come into focus. The former No. 1 middleweight contender is moving up to light heavyweight and will face former champ Forrest Griffin on Dec. 29.
The UFC hasn’t confirmed this match yet, but Sonnen announced it on UFC Tonight on FUEL TV last night. These fighters met under the IFL banner in 2003 with Griffin winning by triangle choke midway through the first round.
Sonnen-Griffin might serve as the co-main event on the card that’ll be highlighted by the JDS-Velasquez rematch for the heavyweight strap. Most books are currently listing Dos Santos as a minus-140 ‘chalk.’
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