Friday night The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada played host to the fifth annual Fighters Only MMA Awards. The awards focused on the best the world of mixed martial arts had to offer during the entire 2012 calendar year, with the 21 categories honoring fighters, media organizations, apparel companies, technical equipment, and much more. The winners though were determined by fan votes. Check out the full list of 2012 World MMA Awards below, and tune in to Fox Sports Net on January 20 to catch the ceremony broadcast.
As has been the case every time the UFC has hit the network airwaves, UFC on FOX 5 delivered in a fairly big way. While the discussion of who benefited more, FOX or the UFC, has been a bone of contention as of late, the fans remain a clear winner when the world’s premier MMA organization hits the biggest stage in all of sports. This time, the UFC delivered a card with the kind of depth that is reminiscent of the days when they held six to ten cards a year. “Quick” Mike Swick (15-5) opened the card against “The Immortal” Matt Brown (16-11) but was quickly found to be the less prepared fighter as Brown controlled the ground battle in the first and scored the KO in the second. “Ares” Rory MacDonald (14-1) stepped off in “The Prodigy” BJ Penn’s (16-9-2) butt though he may have stepped in it so to speak with his less than sportsmanlike behavior. “The Mauler” Alexander Gustafsson (15-1) was the clear winner over “Shogun” Mauricio Rua (21-7), showing new depth in his skill set with a handful of clean takedowns, and in the main event, “Smooth” Benson Henderson (18-2) left little doubt as to who reigns over the lightweight division by utterly dominating Nate Diaz (16-8) for five rounds. However, not every winner wins and not every loser loses in the big scheme of things so The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly is here to sort it out.
—MAIN CARD (on FOX @ 8:00pm ET)—
Benson Henderson vs. Nate Diaz: Henderson via Unanimous Decision (50-43, 50-45, 50-45), Round 5, 5:00
Mauricio Rua vs. Alexander Gustafsson: Gustafsson via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26), Round 3, 5:00
BJ Penn vs. Rory MacDonald: MacDonald via Unanimous Decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-27), Round 3, 5:00
Mike Swick vs. Matt Brown: Brown via KO (Punches), Round 2, 2:31
The world’s premier mixed martial arts organization will hit the biggest stage in MMA history, the FOX broadcast network, for a fifth time as UFC on FOX 5 hits the airwaves on December 8. The main card action begins with a welterweight contest between TUF original “Quick” Mike Swick (15-4) and hard-nosed TUF 7 alum “The Immortal” Matt Brown (15-11). Second in the rotation is the return of mercurial lightweight superstar “The Prodigy” BJ Penn (16-8-2) as he steps back up to 170lbs. to face fast-rising welterweight star “Ares” Rory MacDonald (13-1). The co-main pits fallen former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion “Shogun” Mauricio Rua (21-6) against highly touted title contention prospect “The Mauler” Alexander Gustafsson (14-1). In the main event, two lightweights of tremendous talent collide for the 155lbs. title. “Smooth” Benson Henderson (17-2) rules the UFC lightweight division with an iron fist, undefeated since coming to the UFC and 10-1 under the Zuffa umbrella. Nate Diaz (16-7) is 11-5 in the UFC and has long been a figure in the lightweight title picture.
December 8 the UFC will set the stage for a lightweight title showdown between “Smooth” Benson Henderson (17-2) and Nate Diaz (16-7) at the Key Arena in Seattle, Washington. Before the lightweights face off, UFC on FOX 5 has several high quality matches to offer including an opening bout between “Quick” Mike Swick (15-4) and “The Immortal” Matt Brown (15-11). A welterweight showdown between “Ares” Rory MacDonald (13-1) and “The Prodigy” BJ Penn (16-8-2) anchors the card and the co-main will feature rising light heavyweight star “The Mauler” Alexander Gustafsson (14-1) against former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion “Shogun” Mauricio Rua (21-6). The 205lbs. match-up is one that holds major career implications, especially for the young Swede, and could be a “Fight of the Night” contender for fans of fast-paced kickboxing exchanges.
Seattle, Washington’s Key Arena plays hosts to mixed martial arts action as the UFC returns to deliver its latest installment: UFC on FOX 5. The night’s main card kicks off with welterweight action as “Quick” Mike Swick (15-4) and “The Immortal” Matt Brown (15-11) face off. In the co-main event a fighter of the Old Guard, “Shogun” Mauricio Rua (21-6) is pitted against an up-and-coming light heavyweight in “The Mauler” Alexander Gustafsson (14-1). Lightweight champion “Smooth” Ben Henderson (17-2) and Nate Diaz (16-7) get five rounds in the night’s main even to stake their claim to the lightweight title. The card’s anchor is worthy of the headliner as well as “Ares” Rory MacDonald (13-1) meets veteran of the sport “The Prodigy” BJ Penn (16-8-2). MacDonald has become a force to be reckoned with at 170lbs. and has yet to hit his prime, but Penn has fought the best the sport can offer from lightweight, welterweight, and even light heavyweight. Now with two fighters of two different times colliding, will it be youth that prevails or will experience prove to trump all?
The fifth offering in the UFC’s major television deal with FOX is set to hit the airwaves from Seattle, Washington on December 8 as “Smooth” Benson Henderson (17-2) defends his lightweight crown against Nate Diaz (16-7). The night is packed with big names from MMA’s previous era as former PRIDE superstar “Shogun” Mauricio Rua (21-6) meets “The Mauler” Alexander Gustafsson (14-1) and former lightweight wrecking machine “The Prodigy” BJ Penn (16-8-2) has emerged from his apathetic semi-retirement to meet “Ares” Rory MacDonald (13-1). Also conjuring up images of the time during and just after the PRIDE merger is the thirteenth UFC appearance of original TUF cast member “Quick” Mike Swick (15-4). Against him in the main card’s opening bout is one of the most dangerous, if inconsistent, members of the welterweight ranks, TUF 7 cast member “The Immortal” Matt Brown (15-11).
After an injury-laden, fight-swapping, month-long roller coaster ride for the UFC, the world’s premier mixed martial arts promotion returns Saturday night with UFC 152: Jones vs. Belfort. The Air Canada Centre in Ontario, Toronto, Canada plays host to the five-fight main card on Pay-Per-View which features some of the best the promotion has to offer, including returning veterans, title hopefuls, and current and former champions. Starting things off is a featherweight match-up between WEC alum Cub Swanson (17-5) and submission expert “Do Bronx” Charles Oliveira (16-2). “The Hammer” Matt Hamill (10-4) returns from a 13-month-long retirement to face Canadian 205er “The Hulk” Roger Hollett (13-3). The card-anchoring bout features British slugger “The Count” Michael Bisping (22-4) and war hero “All-American” Brian Stann (12-4) with both men looking to make a statement as to their deservingness of middleweight title contention. Co-main event honors go to former WEC bantamweights Joseph Benavidez (16-2) and “Mighty Mouse” Demetrious Johnson (15-2-1), who will be duking it out to earn the inaugural UFC Flyweight Championship. MMA prodigy and reigning 205lbs. champion “Bones” Jon Jones (16-1) is slated to make his highly anticipated fourth title defense against the UFC’s youngest tournament champion, “The Phenom” Vitor Belfort (21-9), in a match-up that pits the new breed of mixed martial arts versus the Old Guard.
Zuffa’s flagship promotion, the UFC, returned to network TV last night on the heels of a highly disappointing UFC 149 Pay-Per-View card to present UFC on FOX 4: Shogun vs. Vera. The UFC needed a big hit to make up for the debacle at 149 and they got one with their fourth effort on the major network. The opening bout between “Quick” Mike Swick (15-4) and “Darkness” Damarques Johnson (15-11) was a fast paced battle that culminated in a brutal come-from-behind KO courtesy of a “Quick” right hand. Next out, “J-Lau” Joe Lauzon (22-7) set the UFC record for bonuses when he ended a “Fight of the Night” performance against “C-4″ Jamie Varner (20-7-1) with a “Submission of the Night” winning third-round Triangle Choke. In the co-main event, “The Dragon” Lyoto Machida (18-3) earned a shot at the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship with a picture perfect knockout of “Darth” Ryan Bader (14-3), and in the night’s main event, “Shogun” Mauricio Rua (21-6) fought, and won, a war against returning prodigal son “The Truth” Brandon Vera (12-6). The overall card was a phenomenal success and definitely left some smiles on the faces of more than a few network executives, but not everyone can be a winner. For that, MMA Gospel has The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.