Benson Henderson vs. Gilbert Melendez now official for UFC on Fox 7
Yesterday we brought news that it was rumoured that the lightweight chapion of the now defunct Strikeforce Gilbert Melendez was being targeted for an immediate title shot at UFC on Fox 7 against UFC lightweight chamion Benson Henderson. We can now confirm that the fight is official and Melendez will challenge Henderson this April.
This past Saturday saw Strikeforce close its doors for the final time and as a result many of its talent has been signed by the UFC. One of these is Gilbert Melendez, the Strikeforce Lightweight Champion, who now looks set to walk straight into a title shot as the promotion is reportedly targeting UFC on Fox 7 to stage Melendez vs. Benson Henderson for the UFC lightweight title.
Currently undefeated in the UFC, Benson Henderson (18-2-0) is in a superb run and has lost only once in his last seventeen fights. A former champion of the WEC, Henderson took just ten months in the UFC to take the championship from Frankie Edgar. That fight was close so a rematch was sanctioned and he defended successfully in another close fight. He is a strong all around and is happy to take the fight to his opponents wherever it is happening. Henderson was last seen last month when he dominated Nate Diaz in his second title defence. He has finished ten opponents with two coming by (T)KO and eight by submission.
Coming to the UFC following the closure of Strikeforce, Gilbert Melendez (21-2-0) looks to walk straight into the world’s biggest promotion and immediately claim the title for his own. As well as being the Strikeforce lightweight champion, Melendez was also the first ever lightweight champion in the WEC, a title which he gave up. Prior to this weekend’s final Strikeforce fight Melendez was very vocal about wanting a fight with Henderson so that he could avenge his stable mate Nate Diaz. Melendez is a strong wrestler with knockout power and like Henderson possesses an excellent gas tank.
UFC on Fox 7 is will take place 20th April from the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California, an arena which Melendez will be more than familiar with following his seven Strikeforce bouts he has in the arena.
For more on UFC on Fox 7 be sure to check out The Fight Lounge for all the latest news as it happens.
By Nathan Court (@nathancourt)
Deputy Editor and 3-2-0 professional fighter sponsored by
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