UFC on FOX 5: December 8, 2012 Seattle, Washington UFC Lightweight Champion Benson Henderson (-150) Profile: The former WEC lightweight champion and the man to dethrone Frankie Edgar from his 155-pound UFC title, Benson “Smooth” Henderson (17-2) has done nothing but impress in his six-year MMA career. He has a complete fighting game, from a devastating wrestling base to a submission game to make anyone think twice (eight submission wins and a standing guillotine to fear) along with solid stand-up and ring intelligence that is off the charts. The 28-year-old Henderson is the future of the sport. The only real blemish on his record came when he lost his WEC lightweight title to Anthony Pettis at WEC 53, but not many people could have won that battle. Henderson’s exciting style and well-rounded skills have transformed him into the reigning champ and should make the lightweight division very interesting to watch for years to come. UFC #1 Lightweight Contender Nate Diaz (+120) Profile: TUF 5 winner and one of the most exciting fighters in the UFC, Nate Diaz (16-7) is no longer in his older brother Nick’s shadow. Finally, after years in the UFC and an overall of 10-5 record inside the Octagon, Diaz decided to stop his welterweight experiment and seriously make a run in the lightweight division. Since going back down to 155, Diaz has looked nearly unstoppable. He has beat up Takanori Gomi, Donald Cerrone and Jim Miller with relative ease and is primed to be the greatest challenge yet for UFC lightweight champion Henderson. Opening UFC on FOX 5 Odds Analysis: MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas made the champ Henderson a slight -150 favorite (bet $150 to win $100) while the challenger Diaz opened as a +120 underdog (bet $100 to win $120) according to the MMA odds. Unlike his brother, Diaz is actually a true #1 contender at lightweight and could pose some serious problems for Henderson due to his size and striking ability. Diaz proved himself in a dominant win over Cerrone a year ago, and those two could be set for a rematch with the title belt on the line if they each win win their next fights. Henderson’s controversial split-decision win over Edgar in their rematch has not made bettors second-guess him and his chances to defend his championship against Diaz though, as they seem to be backing him so far in early wagering. He will need to be better prepared against Diaz, who has earned two Submission of the Night bonuses and one Fight of the Night bonus in his three bouts since returning to lightweight. The champ has won 15 of his last 16, beating a wide variety of opponents during that stretch. The key to victory for him will be not allowing Diaz to dictate the style and tempo of the fight. Otherwise, Henderson could end up falling for the first time since he lost the WEC belt to Pettis two years ago.