An overview of Saturday night at the IZOD Center.
What: UFC on Fox 3: Miller vs. Diaz
Where: IZOD Center, East Rutherford, N.J.
When: Fight card starts with two dark matches at 4 p.m. ET, the six-fight Fuel card starts at 5 and the four-fight televised card starts at 8 on FOX.
What's at stake
Nate Diaz (15-7, 10-5 UFC): A win earns him a title shot at either current champion Ben Henderson or Frankie Edgar.
Jim Miller (21-3, 10-2 UFC): Because he was defeated by Henderson last August, Miller needs victories over Diaz and another top contender before getting his shot. However, he's 9-1 in his past 10 fights and very relevant in the 155-pound title picture. A big win over a fighter off two of his best performances (Takanori Gomi, Donald Cerrone) reinforces his standing.
Josh Koscheck (17-5 MMA, 15-5 UFC): The former top welterweight contender lashed out at reporters during Tuesday’s open workouts regarding doubts that he remains viable at age 34. "A lot of you people write all these stories," he said. "'Youth versus age.' Bull [expletive]. You guys are all [expletive] retards. Retards." A win over young rising star Johny Hendricks won’t earn Koscheck another title shot, but it will silence any doubters.
Johny Hendricks (12-1 MMA, 7-1 UFC): Like Diaz, Hendricks becomes a No. 1 contender with a victory.
Rousimar Palhares (14–3, 7-2 UFC): A chance to become part of the new blood of middleweights (Chris Weidman, Mark Munoz) poised to reign in the post Anderson Silva era, whenever it ends.
Alan Belcher (17-6, 8-4 UFC): A win over the dangerous Palhares in just his second fight post eye surgery will open a ton of eyes and maybe move "The Talent" atop the middleweight list.
Pat Barry (7-4 MMA, 4-4 UFC): A move into the upper echelon ranks at heavyweight. "HD" snapped a two-fight losing streak by smashing Christian Morecraft in January.
Lavar Johnson (16-5 MMA, 1-0 UFC): Dana White disassembled the Strikeforce heavyweight division. Johnson is one carryover looking to prove he has what it takes to compete for Zuffa.
The local fighters
Miller (Sparta, NJ)
Louis Gaudinot (Hoboken, NJ)
Dennis Bermudez (Lindenhurst, NY)
Mike Massenzio (Paterson, NJ)
3 p.m. EST Doors Open to the Public
4 p.m. EST First Bout (Approximately)
8 p.m. EST Fox goes on the air
10:30 p.m. EST (approx) Post Fight Press Conference
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