MENU
#Conor McGregor #Dynasty of Heroes #Fight One #UFC 211 #Ramsey Nijem #Julian Lane #Justin Buchholz #Nate Diaz #Ben Askren #Jon Jones #Angela Lee #Duane Ludwig #Diaz vs. McGregor 2 #Shinya Aoki #Cat Zingano


benson-henderson-36.jpg(This story appeared in today’s print edition of USA TODAY.)

Ten minutes into Saturday’s five-round main event, UFC President Dana White already knew what was coming.

That is to say, he had no idea how it would end up, but he knew one way or another someone would go to bed feeling cheated.

“Literally, going into the third round, I said, ‘This fight’s going to be controversial,’” White said of the lightweight title bout between champion Benson Henderson (19-2 MMA, 7-0 UFC) and challenger Gilbert Melendez (21-3 MMA, 0-1 UFC) at UFC on FOX 7 at HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif. “I gave the second round to Ben – I had it 1-1. I’m like, ‘Here we go again.’”?

Sure enough, there we went. For 25 minutes, Henderson and Melendez struggled back and forth in a fight so close the judges might as well have flipped a coin to determine the winner. In the end, Henderson retained his title by the slimmest of margins, winning his second split decision in three outings as the UFC’s 155-pound champion and leaving fans to wonder whether this is just part of the bargain when they sit down to watch the Arizona-based lightweight work.

As White said when shrugging off the immediate debate over the wide-ranging tallies on the judges’ scorecards, “It’s a Ben Henderson fight.”

It didn’t sound like a compliment.

Of the champions who manage to hang on to their titles long enough to do more than enjoy a cup of coffee with the belt, there seem to be two distinct varieties: the champions who beat their opponents, and the champions who beat them up.

Henderson is among the former. He squeaks by challengers. With a slightly less favorable outlook from the judges, he easily could have lost three of his past four, just as he could have easily dropped his title to Melendez if one judge had scored one round differently.

Then it would be his turn to bite down on his fist at the postfight news conference, as Melendez did, before shaking his head and saying, “I’m just heartbroken.”

That’s different from what we’re used to hearing from those who have tried and failed to take titles away from dominant UFC champions such as Anderson Silva or Jon Jones, who have a way of breaking their opponents’ faces along with their hearts.

Jones, the light heavyweight champion who Saturday takes on former middleweight contender Chael Sonnen at UFC 159 (10 p.m. ET, pay- per-view), is a perfect example of a champion with a knack for erasing all doubt by the time the last blow has landed.

He and Henderson both wear gold belts emblazoned with the same company logo, but there’s a clear difference between them.

One clings to his title by gradually persuading judges to lean his way.

The other makes the outcome so clear they can’t possibly miss it.

For complete coverage of UFC on FOX 7, stay tuned to the UFC Events section of the site.

(Pictured: Benson Henderson)

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

Related News

Dana White Would Have Signed a 55-Year Deal as UFC President | MMAWeekly.com

  • 27 days ago
  • 83 views

When UFC was sold in July 2016 to WME-IMG for a staggering $4.2 billion, longtime president Dana White inked a five-year deal to remain with the fight company. read news >>

Dana White Admits to Giving Conor McGregor 'Longer Leash' Than Others | MMAWeekly.com

  • 27 days ago
  • 25 views

UFC president Dana White admits that he gives Conor McGregor more leeway than he does other fighters on the fight promotion's roster. read news >>

Matt Hamill Wins First Fight in 5 Years in Devastating Fashion (video) | MMAWeekly.com

  • 27 days ago
  • 81 views

UFC veteran Matt Hamill won his first fight in nearly five years this weekend, and he did so in devastating fashion. read news >>

Watch MMAjunkie Radio here (1 p.m. ET) with UFC welterweight Jake Ellenberger

  • 26 days ago
  • 2 views

MMAjunkie Radio kicks off today at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) with guest Jake Ellenberger.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

Dana White, Forrest Griffin take CNN on tour of new UFC headquarters

  • 25 days ago
  • 50 views

While the full campus isn’t quite open just yet, UFC employees recently made the move into the company’s impressive new headquarters in Las Vegas, and CNN cameras were invited in for a sneak peek of read news >>

Longtime UFC veteran Nik Lentz announces departure from American Top Team, figuring out future plans

  • 24 days ago
  • 6 views

Nik Lentz today announced he’s no longer a part of American Top Team in Coconut Creek, Fla., ending a five-year relationship with the famed MMA training center.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

Dana White says UFC women's flyweight division not finalized, despite announcement

  • 23 days ago
  • 11 views

Hours after the announcement, UFC President Dana White said nothing is official regarding a new women’s 125-pound weight class.Filed under: Featured, News, UFC read news >>

Nate Diaz Could Be Done Fighting in UFC, Dana White Says

  • 23 days ago
  • 123 views

UFC President Dana White isn't sure if Nate Diaz will ever fight again. "If they want to fight next week or if they never want to fight again, that's up to them," he said when talking about Diaz and read news >>

Dana White Not Sure If Nick and Nate Diaz Will Ever Fight Again | MMAWeekly.com

  • 23 days ago
  • 49 views

UFC president Dana White said that he's not sure if we'll ever see the Diaz Brothers, Nate and Nick, ever fight again. read news >>

UFC Announces Huge Summer Kickoff Press Conference | MMAWeekly.com

  • 21 days ago
  • 12 views

Dana White will host a Summer Kickoff press conference with some of the athletes from UFC 212 through UFC 214. read news >>