Report: Henderson to defend against Strikeforce Champion Melendez


After negotiating a new eight-fight extension, Benson Henderson appears poised to accept his next marching orders in the form of a highly anticipated champion vs. champion matchup.

According to sources with knowledge of the situation, the UFC has its sights set on April 20's UFC on FOX 7 event to pair UFC lightweight titleholder Henderson against Strikeforce's last reigning divisional champion, Gilbert Melendez.

The event is likely to take place in Melendez's backyard, at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California, where he competed eight times while on the Strikeforce roster. That promotion went out of business after last Saturday night's event.

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Recent Comments »

Wasa-B site profile image  

1/15/13 8:47 PM by Wasa-B

how long is chandler's contract with bellator?still cant believe how stupid aoki fought alvarez in the rematch

Bipolar site profile image  

1/15/13 2:04 PM by Bipolar

I don't think Gil will be one of the top dogs in the UFC. Alvarez beats Benson and Gil, and Chandler beats them all, imo.

fightharder site profile image  

1/15/13 12:52 PM by fightharder

I really do hope fans wil embrace Bendo. I personally would pay for him on  a PPV card (but then again since i live in the Netherlands i only have to pay 6 euro for any card). Still i do not think Bendo is a boring fighter at all,i do think he has the skills to become a great champion at lightweight and i do think he is one of the coolest personalities in the game as well (and this is an atheist saying this).   Anyways i think it is cool that Melendez gets his shot. I personally believe Pettis should have gotten it but they already booked the fight with Cowboy so that was pretty much impossible. I think this fight will be closer than the Nate fight but Bendo will end the fight with his hand raised. Looking forward to this one.    

NaciVela site profile image  

1/15/13 5:50 AM by NaciVela

I definitely feel like the UFC is trying to build Benson's attraction with casual fans. Two title defenses on free TV hasn't happened with any other weight classes in the past. I agree that Benson has more to gain from the Fox exposure then possible PPV dollars. Seems like a legit strategy.Let's say that Benson wins (IMO he does). I'd be very interested to see his placement for the following title defense.

mac_timm site profile image  

1/15/13 5:30 AM by mac_timm

I have no issues with this fight, except where I am going to watch it at.The UFC 155 lb. division has a ton of talent and it's hard not to get excited to see this. WAR Bendo!

MMALOGIC site profile image  

1/15/13 3:44 AM by MMALOGIC

^ they use major league baseball for the late spring show... but baseball doesnt doesnt have nearly as many eyeballs as football.

tonytr site profile image  

1/15/13 3:17 AM by tonytr

Weidman has the best chance out of anyone in the division. Anderson isn't invincible. No one is. As far as ratings, why can't FOX find something just as or nearly as popular as the NFL to promote UFC on FOX? They have two major channels (FX being the other one) where they could promote it during Sons of Anarchy, Family Guy, etc.

ssj site profile image  

1/15/13 1:19 AM by ssj

I highly doubt Weidman would get to fight someone else at MW if he beats Anderson; instant rematch.And besides, Weidman will NEVER beat Anderson so that point is beyond moot

MMALOGIC site profile image  

1/14/13 10:56 PM by MMALOGIC

^ yes.... we'll get to see the NFL impact...  COnversely we'll also see the impact of tuf moving to tuesdays and how that will impact the april fox ratings... will the chunk of the fanbase who left come back? The UFC pulled a 4.6 million average on spike on tape delay with the first ppv quality card they placed on free TV. I suspect if tuf goes back to doing spike numbers we'll see a 4m plus average and the next december show with the NFL push doing even better than the last one.  UFC on Fox 2 and UFC on 5 numbers should be the norm moving forward.  Zuffa is finding the right formula so far in using fx, fox, and fuel.  FS1 is gonna help the UFC even more when that comes into the mix. I could see the Barao/mcdonald vs cruz unification bout on Fox... the FLyweight Title continuing to be featured on fox (assuming they dont stink up the place in this next fight). Fox is great platform in getting talent over... if weidman beats Anderson he likely may not be a ppv star overnight.  You place his next defense on fox and then bring him back on ppv for the  rematch against Anderson and then he'll be a ppv product. Imagine if Fox was around when Anderson beat Rich Franklin.    

Chris27 site profile image  

1/14/13 10:04 PM by Chris27

Fox 7 if they go with that Bendo/Gilbert fight is gonna tell us alot about how much the NFL promo helps UFC.Thats a fight that should do what Fox 5 did but it wont have 6 weeks of promo during the NFL which reaches millions of men.So a card with Gilbert/Bendo unification fight, DC/Mir, maybe Rockhold or Le, add Maynard or someone else, thats a card that does 4-6 mill viewers if aired when they can promote during the NFL.What that card does in April will tell us alot. Its why i thought they would stick with the two big shows during Dec-Jan and the two mid year shows in April and July will be cards like Diaz/Miller, cards to build guys up, contender fights. That will tell us how many of the fans tuning in are just casual fans watching because they've seen it promoted during the NFl so they watch and how many will actually search out a UFC card and watch because of the fighters.