Though Gilbert Melendez came out on the favorable end of a split decision in his final Strikeforce title defense, the same could not be said in his first bid for UFC gold.

In spite of an excellent effort Saturday night at UFC on Fox 7, “El Nino” could not wrest the UFC lightweight belt from around the waist of Benson Henderson, who walked away from HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif., with his third successful title defense.

While the razor-thin nature of the decision quickly inspired talk of a rematch within the media, Melendez made no such demand following his difficult defeat.

“I’m not going to say that [I deserve an immediate rematch] right now. I’m just happy to be a part of the UFC, and I’m just heartbroken right now,” Melendez told Fox Sports. “I really thought [the judges would score the fight for me]. He walked forward, and I walked forward, but when I walked forward, I thought I [scored with] bigger attacks. I thought I landed the cleaner punches. He hit me, but it was all on the forehead. I left him pretty bloody, I think.”

Indeed, Melendez did bloody the nose of Henderson, as the former Strikeforce king tried to unload with power shots while the reigning champion scored with leg kicks and counter strikes. “El Nino” competed with Henderson on equal footing in both the standup and the clinch, stuffing each of Henderson’s four takedown attempts throughout the course of the bout. Nevertheless, upon reflection, Melendez still wishes he had done more to earn the judges’ approval.

“It was my chance to kind of take it more, and I didn’t. I just felt like I had the first two rounds, and I felt like I kind of kept it in the bank for the fifth. That was kind of my game plan,” said Melendez. “I knew I lost [rounds] three and four, and I really saved it for the fifth. I think I looked tired in the fourth. I thought I looked a lot more energetic in the fifth, and I thought he looked a lot more tired, but Benson is a stud. He’s very tough to hit.”

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

Video: Anthony Johnson vs. Alexander Gustafsson free fight

  • 22 days ago
  • 4 views

The UFC have uploaded a free video of Anthony Johnson's clash with Alexander Gustafsson at UFC on FOX 14. In an effort to ramp up hype for UFC 187's main event between Anthony Johnson and Alexander G read news >>

MMAjunkie's 'Fight of the Month' for April: That grueling UFC on FOX 15 bout

  • 23 days ago
  • 16 views

With another action-packed month of MMA in the books, MMAjunkie takes a look at the best fights from April. Here are the five nominees, listed in chronological order, and winner of MMAjunkie’s “Fight read news >>

Jessica Penne: Championship Opportunity Knocks at UFC Berlin

  • 24 days ago
  • 1 views

Opportunities arise in the strangest places in mixed martial arts, but Jessica Penne was ready when the biggest moment of her career came to call. The former atomweight turned UFC women's strawweight read news >>

Dana White: Luke Rockhold ‘probably’ next for UFC middleweight title

  • 25 days ago
  • 20 views

Luke Rockhold and Ronaldo Souza impressed at UFC on FOX 15, but it looks like Rockhold might be the next in line for a shot at the UFC middleweight title. "Jacare" made quick work of Chris Camozzi on read news >>

UFC on FOX 16: Tom Lawlor returns, fights Gian Villante on July 25 in Chicago

  • 25 days ago
  • 1 views

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight Tom Lawlor will move back up to the light heavyweight division when he collides with the streaking Gian Villante at the upcoming UFC on FOX 16: "Dill read news >>

Gian Villante vs. Tom Lawlor added to UFC on FOX 16

  • 25 days ago
  • 1 views

UFC on FOX 16 just got a little filthy. "Filthy" Tom Lawlor returns to the Octagon after a two-year absence on July 25th, where he'll meet Gian Villante in a light heavyweight bout. The fight was ann read news >>

Gian Villante meets Tom Lawlor at UFC on FOX 16 in Chicago

  • 25 days ago
  • 1 views

Gian Villante said he wanted another fight booked as soon as possible following his recent victory over Corey Anderson. He got his wish and will face Tom Lawlor at UFC on FOX 16 in July.Filed under: read news >>

Daniel Cormier's Opportunity of a Lifetime - Part Two

  • 26 days ago
  • 1 views

As one of the top light heavyweights in the world, Daniel Cormier knew he would get another shot at a UFC title. He just didn’t know it would be less than five months after the first one. read news >>

Johny Hendricks: I see myself as UFC's No. 1 welterweight contender

  • 27 days ago
  • 3 views

Former UFC welterweight champion Johny Hendricks gave up an opportunity to get his title back when he elected to fight at UFC 185 rather than wait for a rubber match with champ Robbie Lawler.Filed un read news >>