The Port Arthur News
PORT ARTHUR —
The UFC will be returning to free TV Saturday night, Dec. 8 with the
fifth installment of UFC on Fox.
The UFC has toyed with the formula of what types of events to bring to its Fox
airings. The first UFC on Fox featured one bout — a heavyweight championship
tilt between Cain Velasquez and Junior Dos Santos.
Their second event on Fox featured more bouts, including two that were
contender-determining bouts. Rashad Evans was pitted against Phil Davis for the
light heavyweight contender spot and Chael Sonnen went up against Michael
Bisping for the middleweight spot.
These challenger fights were important to
the sport, but style-wise they were not entertaining to fans. Evans versus
Davis was a wrestler against wrestler matchup and Sonnen versus Bisping was a
wrestler against someone who had poor wrestling defense. They did not translate
well to television.
The UFC and Fox seemed to wise up with UFC on Fox 3 which hung its hat on
exciting style matchups. Kickboxer Pat Berry kicked off the card with a bout
against Lavar Johnson. The ever-exciting Alan "The Talent" Belcher took on the
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Rousimar "Tree Stump" Palhares and knockout
artist Johny Hendricks went head on with one of the UFC's greatest heels in Josh
In the main event BJJ expert Nate Diaz, half of the much maligned
Diaz Brothers, locked horns with superb all around fighter Jim Miller.
UFC on Fox 4 followed the same mold as the preceding event with exciting
fighters and matchups of its own, such as Joe Lauzon versus Jamie Varner and
Shogun Rua versus Brandon Vera.
UFC on Fox 5 will mixe and create a recipe from the previous Fox
events. It's got a championship bout, a title contender bout, and of course,
fan-pleasing exciting matchups.
The main card on Fox will quick off with Houston native Mike "Quick" Swick
taking on Matt Brown. The two welterweights are similarly sized and both have a
penchant for explosive leather-throwing bouts. This first bout is the
proverbial bait for the national audience.
It's followed-up by an equally
captivating bout. Longtime UFC legend BJ Penn will be taking on fast-rising
Canadian star Rory MacDonald. This could be a passing of the torch bout as Penn
nears retirement as he faces the 23-year-old.
Eyes will be glued to the contender-deciding bout of the night when Swede
Alexander Gustafsson fights Shogun Rua in a light heavyweight bout. Rua, the
former UFC light heavyweight champion, will be fighting to get a second shot at
Jon Bones Jones. Jones took the title away from him in 2011. Gustafsson will be
fighting for that contender spot to face Jones himself.
Lastly, the championship main event is expected to be a barn-burner. Defending
UFC lightweight champion Ben "Smooth" Henderson will fight to defend his title
against Nate Diaz. The two are both steamrolling through competition and at the
absolute peak of their abilities now. Viewers will surely be captivated.
For fans it's been quite interesting viewing the UFC on Fox. It's been like
watching it grow up in the one year it's been on the network.
David Estrada Jr. is a Mixed Martial Arts columnist for the Port Arthur News. He can be e-mailed at