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

Here's the latest lineup for Saturday's 'UFC on FOX 23: Shevchenko vs. Pena'

  • 29 days ago
  • 29 views

The UFC is off this weekend but returns Saturday. Check out the latest fight card for “UFC on FOX 23: Shevchenko vs. Pena.”Filed under: Featured Videos, News, UFC, Videos read news >>

Video: 'Road to the Octagon' full episode with UFC on FOX 23's Shevchenko-Pena, Cerrone-Masvidal, Arlovski-Ngannou

  • 28 days ago
  • 35 views

Check out the full “UFC Road to the Octagon” segment for Saturday’s UFC on FOX 23 event.Filed under: News, UFC, Videos read news >>

UFC on Fox 23 Joe Rogan Preview: Julianna Pena vs. Valentina Shevchenko | MMAWeekly.com

  • 28 days ago
  • 8 views

UFC commentator Joe Rogan previews the main event for UFC on FOX 23, featuring bantamweight contenders Valentina Shevchenko and Julianna Pena. read news >>

UFC on FOX 23 Road to the Octagon: Andrei Arlovski vs. Francis Ngannou | MMAWeekly.com

  • 28 days ago
  • 91 views

Heavyweights collide at UFC on FOX 23, as former champ Andrei Arlovski faces the division’s fastest rising prospect Francis Ngannou. read news >>

UFC on FOX 23 Road to the Octagon: Valentina Shevchenko vs. Julianna Pena | MMAWeekly.com

  • 28 days ago
  • 124 views

No. 1-ranked women's bantamweight Valentina Shevchenko looks to continue her ascent by knocking off No. 2 ranked Julianna Pena in the UFC on FOX 23 main event. read news >>

UFC on FOX 23 Road to the Octagon: Donald Cerrone vs. Jorge Masvidal | MMAWeekly.com

  • 28 days ago
  • 85 views

In the co-main event at UFC on FOX 23, Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone is seeking a fifth straight victory in a showdown with Jorge “Gamebred” Masvidal. read news >>

MMAjunkie reader predictions: Make your picks for UFC on FOX 23 in Denver

  • 28 days ago
  • 18 views

We want your predictions for the upcoming UFC on FOX 23 event in Denver.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

Gilbert Melendez wants 'one last run' at UFC title – and at featherweight

  • 28 days ago
  • 12 views

With three consecutive losses on his record, Gilbert Melendez is looking to make a significant change as he heads down the final stretch of a nearly 15-year career.Filed under: Featured Videos, News, read news >>

UFC on FOX 23's Julianna Pena wants to be the next Ronda Rousey – but different

  • 28 days ago
  • 6 views

UFC women’s bantamweight contender Julianna Pena wants not only to become the champion, but take over the leading role former champ Ronda Rousey once played in the sport. Filed under: Featured, News, read news >>

UFC on FOX 23 broadcast lineup set, Alex Caceres vs. Jason Knight kicks off main card

  • 27 days ago
  • 8 views

The lineup is set for Saturday’s UFC on FOX 23 lineup is complete, and a featherweight matchup kicks off the evening’s four-bout main card.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>