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UFC on FOX 5 Predictions


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Benson Henderson vs. Nate Diaz Prediction
What Benson Henderson brings to the table: Ben Henderson is a very big, powerful, and athletically explosive lightweight fighter. His striking skills are technically solid, and he can hit from every angle and with a diverse skill set (we're talking about a Tae Kwon Do black belt here- so his kicks are also good).

Henderson is also a strong wrestler, with solid submission capabilities. Oh yeah, and he comes to fight in shape. In other words, the champ is just a well-rounded fighter who isn't exactly weak at any one thing.

What Nate Diaz brings to the table: Diaz has some of the best pure boxing skills in MMA. He is definitively one of the best submission artists in the division as well, particularly from his back. But perhaps his most pronounced skills can best be defined as toughness and cardio. The guy doesn't throw very hard punches, but he keeps the pressure on with those pitter-patter strikes until such time as opponents fatigue. The way the Diaz's fight- Nate's brother Nick fights similarly- has got to be one of the most intimidating things to go up against.

In terms of weaknesses, Diaz, although solid in terms of judo and wrestling skills, is not a very powerful guy. Hence, he can be taken down and overpowered. Of course, taking him down puts practitioners in danger of being submitted. So it's a pick your poison kind of thing.

Benson Henderson vs. Nate Diaz Prediction: Here's the thing- Henderson can probably dictate, to an extent, where this fight plays out. But the question is, where does it play out better for him? Taking the top position with Diaz on the ground is an extremely dangerous idea. Standing with him may be the smarter move. That said, as good as Henderson's cardio is, will he be able to withstand the Diaz onslaught? Will he be able to take that kind of pressure?

Henderson is very, very good. But I'm not sure that his power will overcome here. Expect Diaz to keep moving forward until Henderson begins to be broken down in round four. By round five, Diaz may pull out the upset.

Nate Diaz defeats Benson Henderson by fifth round submission (after strikes put him on the ground).

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