If you are a fan of fighting, Saturday is a good day for you, the UFC is putting on a stacked card and there is a huge boxing fight in Las Vegas.
- Can Nate Diaz step out of Nick’s shadow and win gold? Since his time on the Ultimate Fighter Season 5 Nate Diaz has gone from strength to strength, with a number of impressive victories, combining his relentless boxing with deadly jiu-jitsu. He has struggled against fighters who can smother him with wrestling and the champion Ben Henderson has so far been impossible to submit in the WEC and UFC, and employs a high paced well rounded striking attack.. In their Zuffa careers between them they have delivered 6 submissions of the night, 9 fight of the nights, and 2 fight sf the year.
- Is Rory MacDonald the future of Welterweight? At 23 MacDonald is already 13-1 in MMA, with his only loss coming against Carlos Condit in a fight he dominated for almost the entirety, until Condit stormed back and got the TKO win with 7 seconds to go. His other 13 fights have seen him dominate every opponent, finishing 12 of them. This weekend he faces a fighter like no other “The Prodigy” BJ Penn. Penn has had a long career and is destined to be a UFC hall of famer. Nobody questions Penn’s skills and talent, but his drive and training has been questioned, pictures and videos coming out of his camp show him in shape, and training with dominate wrestlers, Bellators Ben Askren and Strikeforce’s Tyrone Woodley, who are two of the best welterweight wrestlers in MMA, a focused and motivated BJ Penn can be unstoppable if MacDonald can win, he will be a lot closer to a title shot, a loss and he could fall a short way down the ladder.
- Can Shogun get back in the title hunt? Mauricio “Shogun” Rua has not won back to back fights since 2009 when he defeated 2 Hall of famers. On the last UFC on Fox Card he stopped Brandon Vera in the 4th round, however after being crushed by Jon Jones and having one of the most brutal bouts in history against Dan Henderson (probably my favourite fight ever) countless surgeries and the wear and tear of over a decade long fight career how much more does Shogun have left in the tank? Alexander “The Mauler” Gustafsson is part of the new guard looking to add the most high profile name to his win column. The 25 year old stands 6ft 5in and uses his length and boxing to batter foes on the feet, will his boxing be able to see off Shogun’s, Muay Thai skills which he has honed under Master Rafael Cordiero over the years and establish himself as one of the top contenders at 205lbs.
- Are you a fan of MMA striking? With Mike Swick vs. Matt Brown, Dennis Siver vs. Revgear sponsored Nam Phan, and Yves Edwards vs. Jeremy Stephens there should be a fair amount of back and forth striking hopefully ending in some KO’s, the UFC has clearly stacked the card to be entertaining start to finish, and I see this as being one of the most entertaining cards of the year.
- Can Pac-man blow Dinamita away? MMA striking not your thing? Well look no further than one of the biggest boxing fights of the year! For the 4th time Manny Pacquiao will take on Juan Manuel Marquez, Pacquiao holds 2 wins and a draw so far, but each fight has been extremely close and controversial always meaning a chance for another rematch. Can Pacquiao finally get a decisive win? Or will Marquez and his fans get the win they crave. No matter what the result, people are expecting another close fought exciting fight from 2 of the best of this generation. You can view the first three fights here, here and here.
For UK fans:
UFC On Fox: Henderson vs. Diaz is live from the Key Arena in Seattle on Saturday 8 December
- Facebook fights start at 8.35PM
- Prelims start at 10pm on ufc.tv and youtube
- Main card coverage starts at 1am on ESPN (Sky channel 410)
Pacquiao vs Marquez 4 is live from the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday 8 December on pay-per-view sports channel Primetime (Sky Channel 498). Coverage starts at 2am. (You should be able to watch all of the UFC before tuning into the main event)