Yes, MMA fans are going to be spending plenty of time in front of the good ol’ telly this December, as the UFC has added yet another compelling fight to its line-up. Recently the promotion announced that Nate Diaz will face Michael Johnson at UFC on FOX 17, which will go down in Orlando, Florida. So yes, 2015 isn’t going to end without seeing Diaz throw down (in a cage).
Diaz (17-10) hasn’t fought since December, 2014, when he dropped a one sided, decision loss to now champion, Rafael dos Anjos. That fight marked the first time Diaz had competed since November, 2013, when he quickly took out Gray Maynard. Prior to that, in April, 2013, Diaz was stopped by Josh Thomson. The outspoken fighter hasn’t been active due to a lengthy squabble with the UFC over his contract, and his insistence that he fight top tier talent. In the case of Johnson, once again, Diaz has got his wish.
Mr. Diaz is currently ranked #14 in the UFC’s lightweight division.
Johnson (16-9) is coming off a widely panned and controversial split decision loss to Beneil Dariush. Since most people thought “The Menace” actually won the fight, Johnson remains the #5 ranked 155ér in the UFC. Prior to the defeat, Johnson had scored consecutive wins over Edson Barboza, Melvin Guillard, Gleison Tibau, and Joe Lauzon.
So, this is an interesting fight from a stylistic perspective, as well as what’s on the line. Sure, Johnson doesn’t have much to gain rankings wise, but Diaz is a big name who has defeated some notable contenders over the years (like Donald Cerrone). For Diaz, of course, it presents him an opportunity to get back in the mix, as he could jump into the top ten if he takes out Johnson.
UFC on FOX 17 will feature dos Anjos taking on Cerrone in the main event, and other bouts that have been booked for the card include Nate Marquardt vs. CB Dollaway and Tamdan McCrory vs. Josh Samman.
And, in terms of December, other can’t miss bouts currently scheduled include Jose Aldo-Conor McGregor, Chris Weidman-Luke Rockhold, and Yoel Romero vs. “Jacare” Souza, which are all set for December 12th.