PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

December 1, 2012

David Estrada column: UFC on Fox gears for fifth installment

David Estrada
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

Koshcheck.

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

DavidEstrada@DavidEstrada.com