The UFC’s December 8th card is coming together. The company is not sure where the event will be as a live event, but the event will air as ‘UFC on FOX 5′ and will feature a main event for the lightweight title between Benson Henderson and Nate Diaz. The full card has not been announced, but the main broadcast will also feature a lightheavyweight tilt between Alexander Gustafsson and Mauricio “Shogun” Rua as well as the postponed war between up and comer Rory MacDonald and stalwart B.J. Penn.
Henderson and Diaz is going to be a hard fight to set the odds on. I’m going to guess that it will be a near pick em fight. Henderson is coming off a flat performance, one that many people thought he lost, and is unlikely to get any love from the oddsmakers.
Henderson is going to have to fight a completely different fight against Nate Diaz, or he will lose the decision. On the feet, Diaz is not the methodical, pick his spots and stay active on being elusive striker that Edgar is, Diaz is a high volume attacker who throws combinations to your entire body. Rather than settle into a rhythm like against Edgar, Henderson will likely be facing an opponent with increasing aggression if he chooses to box Diaz.
Henderson has a reputation for avoiding subs, but ground fighting Nate is a tough proposition for anyone. Henderson is going to have to mount an offense somewhere. On the ground, avoiding submissions is a very good talent to have, but it usually means you are losing the fight.
I see Diaz as winning the fight. With their surly public demeanor at times it is hard to tell the Diaz brothers apart, but Nate has been with the UFC for a long time, throughout most of his transition to adulthood and responsibility, and he has seemed more focused than his older brother on his career.
Come fight time, Henderson is going to be faced with a guy with a totally different body type, skill package and mindset than he has faced before. He is going to be forced to adapt and add to his bag of tricks, and he is going to have to be aggressive. Can henderson make this happen? Nothing in his last 10 rounds of fighting says ‘yes’.