MMAFrenzy’s live coverage of UFC on FOX 7’s main card concludes with our recap of tonight’s main event between UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson taking on former Strikeforce champion Gilbert Melendez. It was a thrilling five round fight that went back-and-forth throughout all five rounds, but in the end, “Bendo” would retain his belt via a narrow split decision.
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Henderson Edges Melendez, Proposes to Girlfriend
UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson would go toe-to-toe with former Strikeforce champion Gilbert Melendez in a complete nail-biter of a fight. Melendez would control the majority of the technical boxing in the fight, but “Bendo” would outland Melendez over the course of the fight. Henderson would have to work hard for the fight however, as Melendez was clearly ready for the big stage.
In the end, Henderson would pick up the split decision in a bout where scores were tight all throughout the media and clearly the ringside officials. With no clear winner tonight, an instant rematch could become a reality after tonight’s fight.
Following the victory, Henderson would take advantage of his stage to propose to his long-time girlfriend and she would happily accept with a chorus of Melendez fans booing in the background.
Rd 1- “Big” McCarthy is our referee tonight. Touch of gloves and we’re off. Legkick by Bendo and Gilbert lands one of his own. Wicked straight right by Bendo staggers Melendez early. Hard kick by Bendo is caught and Gil catches it for a takedown. Bendo escapes but eats a knee on the exit. Another big kick by Bendo but Gil catches it again, flying knee attempt by Bendo and it allows him to escape and control the clinch. Gil with a left hook on the break but it’s blocked. A big chopping kick to the thigh by Bendo. Nice combo by Gil. Body kick by Bendo is caught again and Gil with a flying knee on the rush that is just barely illegal. Another kick to the thigh by Bendo and it’s caught again as the round ends. Tough round. MMAFrenzy has it 10-9 Melendez.
Rd 2- Rights by Melendez to open the round. Combo by Bendo but Gil answers. Big knee by Bendo lands on Gil. Another knee to the body by Bendo. Gil shrugs off the clinch. Jab to the thigh by Bendo. Right by Bendo lands. Legkick by Bendo lands and a headkick barely misses. Big combo by Gil. Nice combos in the center of the Octagon. Bendo getting the better of the exchanges but it’s close. Better round for the champ, but it is still close. MMAFrenzy has it 10-9 Henderson (19-19).
Rd 3- Nice combo by Bendo to start the round but Gilbert with a nice counter at the end. Gil is pressuring now but not landing much so far. Huge legkick by Bendo drops Gil. Nice combo by Bendo. Nice rights by Gil. Bendo is faking the takedown and finally goes for it. Gil works up but eats some big knees to the body. Punche by both fighters on the exit. Bruising on Melendez’s leg is really showing. Bendo tries to duck a punch for a takedown but great D by Melendez stops it. Body shot by Bendo. Huge leg kick by Bendo drops both fighters. Bendo on top and lands some nice shots and both throw punches after the round ends. MMAFrenzy has it 10-9 Bendo (29-28).
Rd 4- Big body shot by Bendo. Big John warns both men for head butts. Inside legkick by Bendo. Gil shrugs off Bendo’s takedown attempt. Gil catches another kick but Bendo works out. Legkick by Bendo. Takedown stuffed by Gil but he eats some strikes on the way up. Combo by Bendo is answered by Gil but Bendo ducks away. Side kicks to the thigh by Bendo. Big leg kick by Bendo takes down Gil but Gil works up. Lazy left hook lands by Gil but he seems to be slowing here. More combos by Bendo. Nice right by Gil. Punches by Bendo. MMAFrenzy has it 10-9 Bendo (39-34).
Rd 5- Body kick by Bendo, Joe is pointing out a process on Gil’s shoulder. Bendo with a combo. Gil is swinging wildly now. Legkick by Bendo lands flush, another lead elbow follows it. Another big lead elbow by Bendo. Combo by Bendo lands. Outside legkick by Bendo. Melendez connects of a caught kick with 90-ticks left. Knee by Gil lands nicely. Big wild punches by both fighters miss. Jab by Gil with :11 left. Horn blows and the fight is over MMAFrenzy has it 10-9 Melendez but the fight for Benson Henderson (48-47).
Benson Henderson def. Gilbert Melendez via split decision (48-47,47-48,48-47)