Benson HendersonGilbert Melendez has long been considered one of the top light fighters on the planet. Fighting outside the UFC, however, he never had the opportunity to try and prove he was thee best lightweight.

The outgoing Strikeforce champion, Melendez was granted that opportunity at UFC on Fox 7 on Saturday night at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif., when he challenged UFC champion Benson Henderson.

Unfortunately for Melendez, he came about as close as a fighter could get to the title without taking it.

Neither man dominated the fight, but Melendez started off strong early, often dictating the pace, fending off Henderson’s kicks, and frequently beating the champ to the punch.

Melendez kept pressing into round two, Henderson seemingly unable to ratchet his tempo up to its usual frenetic pace.

Once he caught on that Melendez was catching many of his body kicks, Henderson shifted gears midway through the fight, starting to go Melendez’s legs more frequently, and kicking them out from under the challenger on a couple of occasions.

While Melendez kept pressing, trying to move the fight where he wanted it, and firing off his punch combinations, Henderson varied his tactics as the fight wore on. In particular, he started employing some harsh elbows that kept Melendez from going inside the champ’s punching range as much.

Midway through the fourth round, the fight seemed to shift quite a bit. Henderson looked much more in command, while Melendez seemed to slow if ever so slightly.

Benson Henderson vs. Gilbert Melendez scorecard

(Click to enlarge)

In the end, the fight couldn’t have been much closer, Henderson eking out a split decision victory, two judges scoring it 48-47 in his favor, one with the same score in Melendez’s favor.

Henderson took advantage of his good fortune and looked to add to it after the fight, calling his girlfriend into the Octagon and dropping to one knee.

“I’m not perfect, I never have been, but you make me happier every single day, more than any man has the right to be,” said Henderson before taking one last swing. “I love you. Will you marry me?”

This decision didn’t sound near as razor-thin as the fight’s decision, as his girlfriend immediately answered, “Yes, I will.”

“It was a tough fight. We all know how tough Gilbert Melendez is,” said Henderson in his post-fight interview following his post-fight proposal, but added, “There’s a lot bigger things than fighting. I had to take care of one of those things just now to make sure she’s in my life for the rest of my life.”

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

Related News

UFC on FOX 23 results: Raphael Assuncao outpaces Aljamain Sterling for close split decision

  • 27 days ago
  • 1 views

DENVER – Raphael Assuncao edged out Aljamain Sterling by the slimmest of margins after three painfully close rounds. Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

UFC on FOX 23 results: Sam Alvey stretches streak to 4, takes decision from Nate Marquardt

  • 27 days ago
  • 2 views

DENVER – It may not have been the most exciting fight of his career, but Sam Alvey got what is no doubt the biggest win of his career.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

Raphael Assuncao Wins Split Decision Over Aljamain Sterling (UFC Denver Results) | MMAWeekly.com

  • 27 days ago
  • 1 views

Two bantamweight contenders fought on the UFC Denver preliminary card with one advancing closer to a title shot and the other moving further away. read news >>

UFC on FOX 23 results: Jason Knight chokes out Alex Caceres in second round

  • 27 days ago
  • 1 views

DENVER – Jason Knight put the pressure on Alex Caceres right away and kept it on, even when things weren’t going his way. Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

Twitter reacts to Francis Ngannou's KO of ex-champ Andrei Arlovski at UFC on FOX 23

  • 27 days ago
  • 36 views

A new contender was born in the UFC heavyweight division on Saturday when Francis Ngannou defeated Andrei Arlovski at UFC on FOX 23.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

UFC on FOX 23 results: Newcomer Jordan Johnson wrestles way to sweep of Luis Henrique da Silva

  • 27 days ago
  • 7 views

DENVER – Against Jordan Johnson, Luis Henrique da Silva began his night standing up, and thanks only to the practice of official post-fight announcements, he got to end it there too.Filed under: News read news >>

UFC on FOX 23 results: Li Jingliang takes out Bobby Nash with second-round knockout

  • 27 days ago
  • 13 views

DENVER – Li Jingliang wasn’t finding himself entirely unsuccessful against Bobby Nash, but he certainly was letting Nash have his moments. Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

Watch the UFC on Fox 23 Post-Fight Press Conference Live Following the Event | MMAWeekly.com

  • 27 days ago
  • 19 views

Watch the UFC Fight Night 23 post-fight press conference streaming live from the Pepsi Center in Denver following the the event. read news >>

Twitter reacts to Valentina Shevchenko’s submission of Pena, confrontation with Nunes at UFC on FOX 23

  • 27 days ago
  • 7 views

Valentina Shevchenko continued to thrive in the UFC women’s bantamweight division when she earned her second consecutive FOX-televised main event victory on Saturday at UFC on FOX 23.Filed under: Fea read news >>

UFC on Fox 23 Results: Winners, Scorecards for Shevchenko vs. Pena Card

  • 27 days ago
  • 8 views

UFC on Fox 23 unfolded Saturday evening at Pepsi Center in Denver, and Valentina Shevchenko stole the show in the main event with a second-round victory via submission over a fiery Julianna Pena. The read news >>