Glendale's Benson "Smooth" Henderson returns to the Octagon tonight to battle Nate Diaz in the second defense of his UFC lightweight title. The bout serves as the main event for the UFC on FOX 5, airing live on network television.
"I have not been this excited for a fight in a long time," said UFC President Dana White at the pre-fight press conference. "This is the baddest fight ever on network television."
Henderson is looking to cap off a year that saw him win the belt from Frankie Edgar in February in Japan and defend it by defeating Edgar again in August. Henderson won both fights by unanimous decision, both controversially.
"I don't think he's had his due yet," said White about Henderson. "This is the fight for him, Nate Diaz is mean and nasty, if Ben Henderson wins this fight, he should finally start getting the respect he is due."
Henderson is currently riding a five fight winning streak, with victories over Clay Guida, Jim Miller, Mark Bocek and Frankie Edgar (twice). He is the former WEC lightweight champion and has not lost since 2010.
In steps Nate Diaz, the Ultimate Fighter season five winner is on a three fight win streak and has not lost since he returned to lightweight in 2011. Diaz has been awarded "Fight of the Night" and "Submission of the Night" five times apiece in his UFC career, and is a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.