Jon Jones speaks first, as he contends with a broken toe. Jones says he planned on Chael Sonnening Chael Sonnen, and he did just that. Sonnen, on the other hand, didn’t have a lot to say other than he thinks this was his last crack at UFC gold and hints at retirement. I doubt he’ll retire; he’ll put a few wins together and begin to call out GSP, Cain Velasquez, Ben Henderson, or his old buddy Anderson Silva.
Following his close decision victory over Gilbert Melendez, Ben Henderson took a moment to propose to his now fiance in the Octagon.
The emotion was evident on the face of Gilbert Melendez Saturday night after UFC on FOX 7, as the former Strikeforce lightweight champion was on the losing end of a split decision loss to Benson Henderson.
Melendez, who felt he won the fight by taking rounds one, two, and five, said he was “just heartbroken right now,” while appearing on the FUEL TV post-fight show.
“It was a tough fight. I thought I got rounds one and two, lost three and four, but did enough to win the fifth.”
Henderson had advantages in both total strikes and significant strikes, but Melendez did score the lone takedown.
“When I walked forward, I thought I did bigger attacks,” Melendez said. “I landed cleaner punches. I thought I came on strong in the fifth.”
Scoring appears to be all over the place for this contest, but the majority of what I’ve read had Melendez winning it. Personally, I saw Henderson, but it was a very, very close fight; and a rematch would not be looked down upon by me.
Last night on UFC on FOX 7, Benson Henderson took a split decision victory over Gilbert Melendez at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California. In my eyes, Henderson lost the fight. I scored the first two rounds for Melendez, rounds three and four for Henderson, and then I gave the final round to Melendez for a score of 48-47.
However, I am not up in arms about the decision. The margin of victory in the fight was razor thin. Melendez dominated in the boxing and grappling exchanges while Henderson landed more kicks. Lately, it seems as if this kick-based offensive strategy of Henderson has been very effective at gaining judges’ favor. As a result he has been on the winning end of a lot of close fights. I also scored the second bout with Frankie Edgar for Edgar and not Henderson, but I digress.
As it stands now Gilbert Melendez is 21-3 in his MMA career at age 31. Certainly, it hurts that he is going to have to climb his way back into another title shot even though in many peoples’ eyes he should be champion. But on the bright side, he performed extremely well in his UFC debut and most would have no problem seeing a rematch between Melendez and Henderson relatively soon. We know that the winner of TJ Grant and Gray Maynard will be getting a title shot next. After that, however, there are no clear cut contenders. The lightweight division is so competitive that it is difficult for fighters at the top to sustain winning streaks long enough to become contenders. As a result, if Melendez can pick up a win in the meantime against a guy like Jim Miller (who I think he matches up very well against), he might find himself back in a title fight very quickly.
However, the wild card is Jose Aldo. If he is able to defeat Anthony Pettis and decides he wants to try his hand at lightweight, he is going to take precedence over Melendez. But other than Aldo, there is no reason to think Melendez will not be back in a title shot extremely quickly. He needs to stay healthy though; lightweight is so volatile that he doesn’t want to be left behind for 8-10 months while he is on the shelf rehabbing an injury. And it is also important to note that Melendez has avenged all of his previous career losses, so he may come into the fight with Henderson hungrier and better prepared to take the championship belt.
UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson put the icing on the cake himself, proposing to his girlfriend Saturday night after defeating Gilbert Melendez.
Henderson asked his corner for a box, dropped to one knee, and expressed his love and devotion to his girlfriend. She accepted, despite the Melendez-pro crowd offering up some boos during the ceremony.
“There are a lot bigger things than fighting,” Henderson stated. “This was one of those things I had to take care of to make sure she’s in my life.”
Henderson (19-2) earned his third title defense victory – all of which have come via decision – but out-striking Melendez (21-3). He held significant advantages in terms of blows landed, but many still felt “El Nino” would be given the decision.
“This was a tough fight,” Henderson said. “We all know how tough Gilbert Melendez is. The entire Skrap Pack is tough and they bring it every single time.”
Henderson also found out his next contender will emerge from a May bout between Gray Maynard and TJ Grant.
SAN JOSE, CA. - From the HP Pavilion in San Jose, CA, in what many have billed as “UFC vs. Strikeforce”, is UFC on FOX 7. The card is headlined by the return of UFC lightweight champion Benson “Smooth” Henderson, as he defends his title against former Strikeforce lightweight champion and UFC newcomer, Gilbert “El Nino” Melendez. In the evenings co-main event is the Octagon debut of Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix winner, Daniel Cormier, who is welcomed by former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir in a thrilling heavyweight clash. In case you miss the action, MMAConvert was nice enough to provide live results for you:
Main Card on FOX
Lightweight Championship – Champion Ben Henderson vs. Gilbert Melendez
- Ben Henderson def. Gilbert Melendez by Decision (split), Retains UFC Lightweight Title
Heavyweight – Frank Mir vs. Daniel Cormier
- Daniel Cormier def. Frank Mir by Decision (unanimous)
Lightweight – Nate Diaz vs. Josh Thomson
- Josh Thomson def. Nate Diaz by TKO (head kick and punches) Rd. 2, 3:44
Welterweight – Matt Brown vs. Jordan Mein
- Matt Brown def. Jordan Mein by TKO (elbows to the body) Rd. 2, 1:00
Preliminary Card on FX
Featherweight – Chad Mendes vs. Darren Elkins
- Chad Mendes def. Darren Elkins by TKO (punches) Rd. 1, 1:08
Middleweight – Francis Carmont vs. Lorenz Larkin
- Francis Carmont def. Lorenz Larkin by Decision (unanimous)
Lightweight – Ramsey Nijem vs. Myles Jury
- Myles Jury def. Ramsey Nijem by KO (punch) Rd. 2, 1:02
Flyweight – Joseph Benavidez vs. Darren Uyenoyama
- Joseph Benavidez def. Darren Uyenoyama by TKO (punches to the body) Rd.2, 4:50
Lightweight – Tim Means vs. Jorge Masvidal
- Jorge Masvidal def. Tim Means by Decision (unanimous)
Bantamweight – T.J. Dillashaw vs. Hugo Viana
- T.J. Dillashaw def. Hugo Viana by TKO (punches) Rd. 1, 4:22
Preliminary Card on Facebook
Lightweight – Anthony Njokuani vs. Roger Bowling
- Anthony Njokuani def. Roger Bowling by KO (punch) Rd. 2, 2:52
Middleweight - Clifford Starks vs. Yoel Romero
- Yoel Romero def. Clifford Starks by KO (flying knee and punches) Rd. 1, 1:32
While Ben Henderson respects Gilbert Melendez, he doesn’t want any part of the Strikeforce championship. He simply just doesn’t have any interest in it.
UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson returns to the Octagon Saturday night, taking on ex-Strikeforce champion Gilbert Melendez.
The two will collide in the main event of UFC on FOX 7 from San Jose’s HP Pavilion.
In the co-main event Frank Mir welcomes Daniel Cormier to the UFC, while lightweights Nate Diaz and Josh Thomson also square off.
Weigh-ins took place earlier today, and complete results can be found below:
MAIN CARD (FOX)
UFC Lightweight Championship
Benson Henderson (155 lbs.) vs. Gilbert Melendez (154 lbs.) for Henderson’s title
Frank Mir (257 lbs.) vs. Daniel Cormier (235 lbs.)
Nate Diaz (156 lbs.) vs. Josh Thomson (155 lbs.)
Matt Brown (170 lbs.) vs. Jordan Mein (171 lbs.)
PRELIMINARY CARD (FX)
Chad Mendes (146 lbs.) vs. Darren Elkins (145 lbs.)
Francis Carmont (186 lbs.) vs. Lorenz Larkin (186 lbs.)
Ramsey Nijem (156 lbs.) vs. Myles Jury (156 lbs.)
Joseph Benavidez (125 lbs.) vs. Darren Uyenoyama (125 lbs.)
Tim Means (156 lbs.) vs. Jorge Masvidal (156 lbs.)
T.J. Dillashaw (136 lbs.) vs. Hugo Viana (135 lbs.)
PRELIMINARY CARD (FACEBOOK)
Anthony Njokuani (155 lbs.) vs. Roger Bowling (156 lbs.)
Clifford Starks (185.5 lbs.) vs. Yoel Romero (185 lbs.)
Gilbert Melendez ‘Pretty Good At Everything,’ Not ‘Awesome’ At Anything, Says Benson Henderson’s Trainer
Benson Henderson will put his UFC lightweight title on the line this Saturday night against Gilbert Melendez in the main event of UFC on FOX 7.
Melendez, the last Strikeforce 155-pound champion, will enter the contest on a lengthy win streak. However, while his resume is one of the best in the world, his skills are not atop the charts – according to Henderson’s trainer, John Crouch.
“Honestly, he’s pretty good at everything. I wouldn’t say he’s awesome at anything. And I don’t mean that as a diss. I mean that as a compliment because his real strength is his spirit and his, ‘I’m going to win this fight.’ His will to win,” Crouch said, during a recent appearance on The MMA Hour. “He’s just going to win, he’s going to do it no matter what it takes. I think that’s his real strength. That’s really hard to beat in somebody. If they feel they’re going to win, that’s a tough thing to deal with.”
Henderson has successfully defended his title against Frankie Edgar and Nate Diaz, the latter of which is a teammate of Melendez’ at Cesar Gracie’s gym in California.
The UFC will feature another stacked event on “free television” Saturday, as UFC on FOX: Henderson vs. Melendez takes place.
In the main event, Benson Henderson puts his UFC lightweight title on the line against Gilbert Melendez, who was the last man to hold the Strikeforce 155-pound title.
The card also boasts Frank Mir vs. Daniel Cormier, Josh Thomson vs. Nate Diaz, and Matt Brown vs. Jordan Mein.
Recently, T.J. Dillashaw and Hugo Viana were promoted to the FX-televised prelims, replacing a bout between Jon Tuck and Norman Parke that was scratched.
Fights begin at 4 p.m. ET on Facebook, shifting over to FX at 5 p.m. ET. The FOX main card starts at 8 p.m. ET.
MMAConvert will have coverage of the fights and complete results. Below is the current lineup:
MAIN CARD (FOX)
UFC Lightweight Championship
Benson Henderson (c) vs. Gilbert Melendez
Heavyweight: Frank Mir vs. Daniel Cormier
Lightweight: Nate Diaz vs. Josh Thomson
Welterweight: Jordan Mein vs. Matt Brown
PRELIMINARY CARD (FX)
Featherweight: Chad Mendes vs. Darren Elkins
Middleweight: Lorenz Larkin vs. Francis Carmont
Lightweight: Myles Jury vs. Ramsey Nijem
Flyweight: Joseph Benavidez vs. Darren Uyenoyama
Lightweight: Jorge Masvidal vs. Tim Means
Bantamweight: T.J. Dillashaw vs. Hugo Viana
PRELIMINARY CARD (FACEBOOK)
Lightweight: Anthony Njokuani vs. Roger Bowling
Middleweight: Clifford Starks vs. Yoel Romero