Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) makes an overdue return to the Pacific Northwest with arguably the most stacked mixed martial arts (MMA) card of the year. UFC on FOX 5: "Henderson vs. Diaz" is certainly the most stacked card ever featured on network television.
The main event will see UFC lightweight champion Ben Henderson put his 155-pound belt on the line against Nate Diaz, while the undercard features two legends of the sport taking on two rising stars as Mauricio Rua meets Alexander Gustafsson and B.J. Penn collides with Rory MacDonald.
With the event just days away and anticipation growing with every passing second, let's take a few minutes to review some fun event-related facts about UFC on FOX 5: "Henderson vs. Diaz:"
- UFC on FOX 5 is the organization's second event in the city of Seattle, the first being UFC Fight Night 24 in March 2011.
- Four of the eight main card fighters have fought on a UFC on FOX card in the past (Henderson, Nate Diaz, "Shogun" Rua and Mike Swick).
- Diaz is the fifth winner of the The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) reality show to fight for a UFC championship (excluding season four).
- Mauricio Rua will attempt to win two fights in a row for the first time since January-April 2009.
- At 6'5," Alexander Gustafsson is the third tallest opponent Mauricio "Shogun" Rua has ever faced. Rua is 3-1 when facing opponents taller than 6'2."
- B.J. Penn fights for the first time since a unanimous decision loss to Nick Diaz at UFC 137 on Oct. 29, 2011.
- The Ben Henderson vs. Nate Diaz lightweight championship fight marks just the fourth time in UFC history a title fight has been featured on free television.
- Tim Means enters UFC on FOX 5 riding an 11-fight unbeaten streak.
- UFC on FOX 5 marks the first time Penn has fought outside of the main or co-main event since UFC 41 on Feb. 28, 2003.
- Henderson has gone to a decision in six-straight fights, five of which have taken place under the UFC banner.
- Matt Brown has the opportunity to become the only UFC fighter to go 4-0 in 2012 with a win over Swick.
- Diaz will be the first fighter outside of Henderson, Frankie Edgar, Gray Maynard and Penn to fight for the UFC lightweight championship since Diego Sanchez in Dec. 2009.
- Brown has never won four fights in a row in his 26-fight professional career. He is currently on a three-fight win-streak.
- Gustafsson fights a former world champion for the first time in his career when he meets Rua.
- Mike Easton has been scheduled to face three different opponents on the card. He now meets Raphael Assuncao on the "Prelims" portion of the card.
- Jeremy Stephens and Yves Edwards meet in a lightweight bout that was originally scheduled to take place last October at UFC on FX 5 before "Lil Heathen" was arrested on the day of the fight.
- Brown has never lost via (technical) knockout in his 26-fight career as a professional.
- Diaz makes his seventeenth Octagon appearance at UFC on FOX 5. That ties him with Sanchez and Michael Bisping for the most UFC fights by a TUF winner.
That's a wrap for this set of fun UFC facts.
Did you learn anything new/interesting? Do any of the facts change your perspective on Saturday's fights?
Let us know below!
Remember, too, that MMAmania.com will provide LIVE blow-by-blow, round-by-round coverage of UFC on FOX 5: "Henderson vs. Diaz," beginning with the "Prelims" bouts on Facebook scheduled for around 3:45 p.m. ET. In addition, we will also provide LIVE, real-time results of the main card action as it happens throughout the evening this upcoming Saturday, starting promptly at 8 p.m. ET.