It seems the initial speculation was correct, UFC on Fox will be home to Benson Henderson’s next UFC lightweight title defense as he meets Nate Diaz on December 8. As if that weren’t enough to appease the masses, the UFC has decided to overcompensate for their recent Fox woes by also adding a light heavyweight title eliminator between former champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and Alexander Gustafsson, as well as former welterweight champion B.J. Penn’s returns to the Octagon to face off with rising star Rory MacDonald.
Henderson (17-2) is coming off of a contentious split decision victory over the man he wrested the title from earlier this year, Frankie Edgar, at this past weekend’s UFC 150. Diaz (14-3-1) won his number-one contender’s seat after blitzing Jim Miller at UFC on Fox 3, the Cesar Gracie product is currently undefeated since returning to the 155 lb. weight class.
Rua (21-6) knocked out Brandon Vera last week in an instant classic in the main event of the promotion’s fourth Fox offering. His opponent, Gustafsson (14-1), is currently on a five-fight run and most recently outpointed Thiago Silva in April. “The Mauler” now looks to notch his belt with a win over the former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion in the legendary “Shogun.”
Penn (16-8-2) is returning from a yearlong layoff after retiring behind a beating at the hands of Nick Diaz last October. The former two-division champion returns to face surging prospect Rory MacDonald (13-1). Macdonald is undefeated since losing to current interim UFC Welterweight Champion Carlos Condit. The Tristar product is coming off the absolute decimation of Che Mills at UFC 145. The two were originally slated to meet at next month’s UFC 152, but a nasty gash suffered by MacDonald put the kibosh on that. “The Prodigy” opted to wait until Rory was healthy enough to make his return and will now look to prove he still has what it takes to be amongst the welterweight elite.