Last Saturday MMA fans were given an early Christmas present. UFC ON FOX 5 was live, free and stacked. After a fantastic undercard, we were treated to Mike Swick vs. Matt Brown, “The Prodigy” BJ Penn vs. Rory MacDonald, Maurico “Shogun” Rua vs. Alex Gustafsson and a duel for the Lightweight Championship Belt between Ben “Smooth” Henderson vs. Nate Diaz. It was a great night of action, and when combined with the highly anticipated Boxing match between Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez, it was probably the best night of combat sports in 2012.
I took many things out of that event, but what stuck out to me the most was the result of “Shogun” Rua vs. Gustafsson. In a three round classic, the young Swede took down one the all time greats in the sport. The win solidified Gustafsson as one of the top 5 fighters in the division. His reward? Surely a title shot with the current king of the 205’ers, Jon “Bones” Jones, no? Not exactly. Instead, his reward is a waiting game.