Here is another edition of Buzzfeed, where we round up all the news and notes from UFC on FOX 9: "Johnson vs. Benavidez 2," which takes place at the Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento, Calif., later this evening (Sat., Dec. 14, 2013).
It was once another promising Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) primetime mixed martial arts (MMA) event; however, injuries have ravaged the main card since its initial formulation. Nonetheless, it still features several key battles.
Here we go:
Who: Demetrious Johnson vs. Joseph Benavidez
What: UFC on FOX 9
When: Saturday, Dec. 14, 2013
Where: Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento, California
Why It Matters: The second bout between UFC Flyweight Champion Demetrious Johnson and Joseph Benavidez has not exactly been a long time coming, yet it brings additional attention and interest to a division that is still blossoming. In their first bout at UFC 152, Johnson edged Benavidez by split decision in the 125-pound tournament final to become the division's inaugural champion.
What's Hot: Apart from the main event rematch and the possibility of the first trilogy to take place in the 125-pound division with a Benavidez win, the main card of this event focuses on fighters who are in lighter weight classes (Flyweight to Lightweight). In fact, the heaviest weight class taking part on the card is at Welterweight.
Surely, you can bet it will be action-packed.
Also, the co-main event will be one hell of a barnburner, as former World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) superstar and perennial contender Urijah Faber looks to bank another title shot in UFC when he takes on Michael McDonald in a fight that could be a main event in itself.
What's Not: Sadly, this card was decimated by injuries. And although it recovered quite nicely, the magnitude of the fights that were canceled was simply too large to ignore (more on this below in our "Original Card vs. Actual Card" section).
Also, will this improve UFC's ratings on FOX? Only time will tell. There is not necessarily a sense of urgency, however numbers do not lie.
New Blood: Just two fighters will make their promotional debuts, as newly crowned Resurrection Fighting Alliance (RFA) Flyweight champion Zach Makovsky makes his promotional debut just weeks after winning a championship in a smaller organization. Makovsky has competed for Bellator, M-1, Deep and Elite Xtreme Combat.
Meanwhile, Alp Ozkilic steps inside the Octagon for the first time against Darren Uyenoyama on the "Prelims," too, coming off a stoppage victory over Antonio Banuelos and improving his record to 8-1.
Original Card vs. Actual Card: Get comfortable -- this one is going to take a while.
The plan was to have the Lightweight champion Anthony Pettis compete against T.J. Grant in the main event. After news broke that Grant was still not fit to take part in the bout, Josh Thomson stepped up to the plate.
Shortly after, Pettis had to withdraw with another knee injury.
Thomson was then moved to the UFC on FOX 10 card, where he meets Ben Henderson in the main event. That is how we got our main event.
Carlos Condit and Matt Brown were supposed to have somewhat of an unofficial title eliminator bout (or at least it was widely presumed to be), duking it out in a 170-pound showdown teeming with "Fight of the Night" potential. However, "The Immortal" suffered an injury in training just a few days ago, and the bout has been scrapped.
To add to the list of bummers, Ian McCall was supposed to welcome Scott Jorgensen to the Flyweight division, however, he sustained an injury and was replaced by former championship contender John Dodson. Shortly afterward, Dodson suffered a knee injury and he was forced off the card, making way for Zach Makovsky.
Bobby Green stepped in for Jamie Varner against Pat Healy, after the former WEC Lightweight champion pulled out of the bout with an injury.
Kelvin Gastelum also suffered an injury and the bout between two TUF winners with Court McGee serving as his opposite will not materialize. Instead, McGee now faces Ryan LaFlare.
Finally, John Moraga was going to battle Darren Uyenoyama, however he pulled out of the bout with an undisclosed injury and has been replaced by promotional newcomer Alp Ozkilic.
So, it is safe to say that although this card looks pretty good, we were robbed from having a number of stellar fights.
How do the "Prelims" look: Capping off a year of solid fights that flew under the radar, UFC on FOX 9's "Prelims" could be the best set of fights assembled of the entire year.
The main event features The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 11 winner, McGee, against LaFlare, and the "Prelims" co-main event is a must-watch bout between Danny Castillo and the explosive Edson Barboza.
Also on the "Prelims" is the much anticipated rematch between Abel Trujillo and Roger Bowling, who fought to a "No Contest" at UFC Fight Night 27 after Trujillo landed an illegal knee to a downed Bowling. Call it controversial, since the knee seemed legal to some, however, the two 155-pound up-and-comers will settle the score once and for all later this evening.
Other amazing fights on paper include Bobby Green vs. Pat Healy, Scott Jorgensen vs. Zach Makovsky, Canadian slugger Sam Stout against fan favorite Cody McKenzie, and kicking off the action will be another Flyweight contest that involves Uyenoyama against Ozkilic.
Who needs a win badly: All eyes are on Joe Lauzon and Mac Danzig, who are both coming off two straight losses. Given their history with post-fight bonuses and the fact that Danzig is a TUF winner, a cut would depend on how this fight goes for each of them.
You have to think that Lauzon is in slightly better positioning, though.
Pat Healy is not exactly in the worst of positions, but after a failed drug test in which he lost his bonus money against Jim Miller at UFC 159 and being outmuscled by Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 165, a loss could be costly against Green.
Jorgensen is 1-3 in his last four, and to cement his place in his new weight class, he needs to bring home a victory against Makovsky on the "Prelims."
Stout is an entertaining fighter, but he has not strung together two wins since his knockout over Yves Edwards in summer 2011, so obviously, a victory would be best for him in that regard.
Trujillo is coming off a "No Contest" and a loss, and Bowling is in similar position, yet he has not tasted victory yet in UFC, having one "No Contest" along with two losses in his last three.
Is this a potential "loser leaves town" grudge match?
Interest Level: 8.5/10
If you ignore the potential match ups we were supposed to get, this card is definitely worth watching for free, and we are getting a title fight, along with a great co-main event.
We could live with that.
There has been a lot of criticism aimed at UFC for its watered-down cards, overpopulated roster and certain debuting fighters who have looked unimpressive in the Octagon, but after UFC Fight Night 33's conclusion, who are we to judge anymore?
This event features a handful of Lightweight and Flyweight fights sure to impress, along with notable fighters who always bring it such as Lauzon, Barboza and Stout to name a few out of the pack.
Here is the full UFC on FOX 9: "Johnson vs. Benavidez 2" fight card:
FOX Main Card (8 p.m. ET):
135 lbs.: Urijah Faber vs. Michael McDonald
145 lbs.: Nik Lentz vs. Chad Mendes
155 lbs.: Mac Danzig vs. Joe Lauzon
FOX Sports 1 "Prelims" (5 p.m. ET):
170 lbs.: Court McGee vs. Ryan LaFlare
155 lbs.: Edson Barboza vs. Danny Castillo
155 lbs.: Bobby Green vs. Pat Healy
125 lbs.: Scott Jorgensen vs. Zach Makovsky
155 lbs.: Abel Trujillo vs. Roger Bowling
Facebook "Prelims" (3:30 p.m. ET):
155 lbs.: Cody McKenzie vs. Sam Stout
125 lbs.: Alp Ozkilic vs. Darren Uyenoyama
For more news and notes on UFC on FOX 9 be sure to check out our complete event archive right here.