The upcoming UFC on Fox 7 event just got a bit juicier as the UFC Lightweight Title is expected to be defended in the main event with reigning champion Benson Henderson taking on Strikeforce champ Gilbert Melendez. Get all the details below.
If everything goes to play, it appears Gilbert Melendez
will finally get his wish.
According to MMA Fighting
, the reigning Strikeforce Lightweight
Champion has a bout in the works against current UFC Lightweight Champion Ben Henderson
for UFC on Fox 7
, which will be taking place in just over three months (April 20, 2013).
The event is also expected to take place in Melendez's backyard of San Jose, California, where "El Nino" competed for six of his last nine fights during his tenure in Strikeforce.
Melendez last fought in May of 2012, defending his title in a trilogy fight against long-time rival Josh Thomson
in an extremely close split decision. He was expected to defend his title against Pat Healy
last November but a shoulder injury kept him from competing and lingering issues removed him from the final Strikeforce event as well, which took place this past weekend (Jan. 12).
This would be the second straight Fox event for Henderson, who defended his UFC title against Nate Diaz
last month in the main event of UFC on Fox 5
in one of the most dominant performances of his career. The "Smooth" fighter dethroned Frankie Edgar
to capture the title and again was victorious in the rematch in a very eventful 2012 for the MMA Lab fighter.
Melendez has long been regarded as the second best lightweight in the world, consistently coming up short in the rankings to whoever held the UFC title. Now after years of campaigning, it looks like the Cesar Gracie-trained fighter will finally get his shot.
What do you think of this potential bout, Maniacs?
Does Melenedez deserve the instant title shot, or should he have to win in the UFC first like the other Strikeforce champions (Dan Henderson
, Nick Diaz
, Alistair Overeem
) had to do?