UFC president Dana White doesn’t fail to let his Twitter followers know that Fight Week is here. That is correct; UFC on FOX: Henderson vs. Diaz will air Live tomorrow night on your local FOX network channel, broadcast beginning at 8pm and most likely ending around 10pm—maybe 11 but hopefully not; some of us got church on Sunday morning.
If you check out the official UFC website, you will notice that there are a lot of FX preliminary fights going on tomorrow night. I wish I could spend hours dissecting each and every one of those fights; however, I will only focus my picks on the main card which will air on FOX.
Welterweight: Mike Swick vs. Matt Brown
I’m calling this one for Matt Brown by submission. I totally respect Mike Swick; however, Matt’s ground game (jiu-jitsu and judo) will have Mike on the ground by the second round.
Welterweight: BJ Penn vs. Rory MacDonald
Rory MacDonald by TKO…or maybe decision?…nah, TKO. A lot of BJ Penn fans may get upset at me, but the truth is that as tough as BJ still is, Rory is the future of the welterweight class in UFC. I had the honor of watching Rory knock the crap out of Che Mills at UFC 145 when I made my trip south to attend the fight in Atlanta. Rory MacDonald is the real deal and has been training out of Tristar Gym in Montreal, sparring with guys like GSP. A have a lot of respect for BJ Penn, but after seeing what happened to him against Nick Diaz, I have to go with MacDonald, a tough and excellent fighter who is just a powerful and fast as Nick Diaz.
Light Heavyweight: Mauricio “Shogun” Rua vs. Alexander Gustafsson
Something has gone missing in Shogun Rua since he lost to Jon Jones at UFC 128 in 2011. Honestly, I feel like Rua no longer walks into the Octagon with the confidence and swagger that used to overwhelm his opponents with. Yes, he did knock out Forrest Griffin, but he followed that with a decision loss to Dan Henderson. Rua comes into this fight with a win over Brandon Vera but Gustafsson is on a 5-fight win streak. This is going to be a good fight between a kick-boxer and a classic boxer, even though they both have jiu-jitsu backgrounds.
I’m calling it for Gustafsson by TKO. If for some reason Shogun wins, my opinion of Rua may begin to redeem itself.
Lightweight Title Fight: Benson Henderson vs. Nate Diaz
It’s easy to fall in love with Benson Henderson, as a fighter that is. But it’s also easy to doubt whether he is the man to beat Nate Diaz. Benson is the current UFC Lightweight Champion and defended his title against the man he took it from, Frankie Edgar, four months ago. He has also scored decisions over Clay Guida, Mayhem Miller, and Mark Bocek in a 5-fight win streak. However, Nate Diaz is one of the craziest and most intimidating fighters in the planet (but not crazier than his brother Nick).
Nate Diaz may be the favorite going into this fight, but I have faith in Benson. I call this one for Henderson in a decision. I think Henderson has the technique and speed to take care of Diaz; however, I wish I could trust his ability to finish fights a bit more.
Have a great weekend and enjoy UFC on Fox!