Former WEC and current UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson will defend his title tonight against top contender Nate Diaz in a UFC on FOX event at the Key Arena in Seattle (8:00pm ET start time, FOX). The latest UFC Odds and Fight Predictions have Henderson listed as a -140 moneyline favorite ($140 wins $100) while Diaz is drawing +110 odds ($100 wins $100) to take the championship strap. Also on this evening’s card are meetings between light heavyweights Mauricio Rua and Alexander Gustafsson, and welterweights Rory MacDonald and BJ Penn. Rua, the former 205lbs. champ, is a +170 underdog while Penn, the former welterweight and lightweight title holder, is drawing +240 odds in a dog role.
Benson Henderson is one of the most well-rounded, polished MMA fighters in the business and his record speaks to this fact. The Colorado native, who fights out of Glendale, Arizona, is 17-2 as a professional and he owns a 10-1 record under the UFC umbrella. Henderson, a two-time NAIA All-American wrestler, also owns three successful lightweight title defenses.
Henderson is no stranger to difficult opponents either. The 29 year old has squared off against a who’s who list of lightweights, including Frankie Edgar, Clay Guida, Jim Miller, Anthony Pettis, and Donald Cerrone.
Nate Diaz represents a unique challenge, though, despite his seven career losses. The Cesar Gracie fighter possesses exceptional standup skills (three career knockouts) and his ground skills are off the charts (11 of his 16 career wins came via submission).
Diaz, like Henderson, is seasoned fighter as well, having faced a host of top shelf brawlers, such as Clay Guida, Gray Maynard, Dong Hyun Kim, Rory MacDonald, Takanori Gomi, Donald Cerrone, Melvin Guillard, and Jim Miller.
Free Pick: Take Henderson -140. There is no doubt Diaz is a major threat to Henderson’s strap, but the California native has failed against big name fighters often enough that it is difficult to back him here. Conversely, Henderson has taken out almost all comers, defeating wrestlers, strikers, jiu-jitsu specialists, etc.
UFC on FOX: Henderson vs. Diaz Fight Odds -
Benson Henderson -140 vs. Nate Diaz +110
Rory MacDonald -300 vs. BJ Penn +240
Alexander Gustafsson -220 vs. Mauricio Rua +170
Mike Swick -160 vs. Matt Brown +130
Jeremy Stephens -200 vs. Yves Edwards +160
Mike Easton -260 vs. Raphael Assuncao +200
Ramsey Nijem -170 vs. Joe Proctor +140
Daron Cruickshank -145 vs. Henry Martinez +115
Dennis Siver -340 vs. Nam Phan +260
Tim Means -340 vs. Abel Trujillo +260
Scott Jorgensen -260 vs. John Albert +200
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