UFC On Fox 7 (Gilbert Melendez vs. Benson Henderson) – Fox Main Card Fights

Welcome to our continuing coverage of UFC on Fox 7. You can look back at the Facebook fights by clicking here and the fights on FX by clicking here.

Lightweight – Benson Henderson (c) vs. Gilbert Melendez

Referee: John McCarthy

Round 1 – Champion vs. Champion time. You have to wonder how the Diaz vs. Thomson result affects these two, since Gil beat Thomson, who just KO’d Diaz, a feat that Henderson couldn’t pull off. They touch up and here we go. Melendez with some punches and nice leg kick on the inside. Henderson looks hesitant, then lands a straight jab that makes Melendez stumble. Melendez catches a leg kick and jumps into Henderson’s guard, looking to ground and pound. Melendez has the champ sitting against the cage and gets a knee into Ben’s face on the stand up. Gil catches another Henderson leg kick, and throws a flying knee, but Henderson stays upright and has Gil in a clinch. Henderson with knees to Gil’s thighs. Henderson tries for a takedown but well defended by Gil who throws a good punch in the break. Henderson throwing kicks high and low. Gil returns with an inside kick of his own. Gil pursuing with two punch/kick combinations. Another caught leg kick and Gil makes the champ pay with a knee to the body. Gil gets the better of a punch exchange. Gil catches another kick at the buzzer and the round ends and the champ looks a little unsure out there.

10-9 Melendez

Round 2 – Both fighters tentative to start, Melendez lands with punches and kicks and follows with another jab. Henderson with more kicks and a flurry between the two. Melendez looks sharper at the moment, quicker to the punch. Both guys sizing each other up. Melendez in the center with the octagon control. The champ looks much more passive than aggressive right now, Melendez has him a little off his game. Melendez pursuing and throws a big overhand right that’s blocked. Henderson looks for a takedown but Gil escapes. Henderson hasn’t landed anything memorable and Gil simply looks better at this point. The two exchange wildly and Henderson lands a good knee to the body. Sick elbows from the champ to end the exchange. Henderson finding a little groove here at the end of the round. A razor thin round that Henderson probably stole in that last minute.

10-9 Henderson

Round 3 – Henderson playing to the crowd before Round 3, looking confident. Inside leg kick from the champ. Crowd breaks into “El Nino” chants. Both guys dancing around each other. Henderson lands a vicious leg kick that trips Gil for a second. Gil catches the champ coming in with a big punch and Henderson is backing up. More circling and Henderson comes in for a takedown. He’s got a solid double and drags Gil down, but only to one knee. Melendez back up and they exchange in a clinch, mean punches and knees. Gil looks just as strong as Bendo so far, that added weight is paying off. Another exchange and Gil shrugs off another take down attempt. Body kick from the champ. Henderson comes in swinging and gets a double underhook. The two exchange strikes and break. Gil with a leg kick and Henderson times a perfect counter punch. Plenty of action so far. Another huge inside kick trips Melendez and Henderson is lightning quick to follow up with big elbows to the challenger’s face. Another close round that Henderson probably won in the closing moments.

10-9 Henderson

Round 4 – Brief exchange to open and the guys collide in the middle of the octagon, bumping heads. Warning from Big John. Another brief meeting and they separate, exchanging punches. Melendez with a missed right and the champ shoots for a takedown with no success. Gil catches another kick and lets it go, then catches a knee and lets it go. Not a good sign for the champ. Henderson with another kick that lands, but also gets caught and Gil returns a knee. Benson steps into an elbow and backs off. Another exchange and Melendez with a good counter. The champion lands two front kicks to Gil’s thigh. Gil slips and Henderson briefly has his back standing up, but Gil breaks free. Henderson looks more comfortable now and is earning points with tactical striking. Gil catches the champ coming in with a body shot. Melendez with another body shot and throws a combination, and they clinch against the cage. They separate to end the round. Yet another action packed but razor close round.

10-9 Henderson

Round 5 – Fifth and final round to a great fight, and it’s still anyone’s fight. Here we go. A couple of punches from both guys to start. Henderson throws a leaping head kick that misses. Inside leg kick from Benson. Melendez with a body shot and swings to take off Benson’s head, but doesn’t connect cleanly. Henderson stalking Gil now. High front kick from the champ misses. A pair of inside leg kicks land for Henderson. Henderson with very elusive movement and catching Gil at the right moments. Lots of hair flying as the champion throws two elbows. Outside leg kicks lands for Bendo. Gil pushes Henderson back after catching a kick, but Henderson keeps evading. Flying knee to the body from Gil. Under a minute to go and the fighters look to turn it up. Gil with a nice counter punch, but can’t connect with a combination. Henderson looking to play keep away and throw a counter. He whips a whiffed back kick at the closing moments and both men raise their arms in victory at the buzzer.

10-9 Henderson, 49-46 Henderson

Official Result: Benson Henderson def. Gilbert Melendez by split decision (47-48, 48-47, 48-47)

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Heavyweight – Frank Mir vs. Daniel Cormier

Referee: Herb Dean

Round 1 – Here we go with the co-main event and Cormier’s highly-anticipated debut in the Octagon. Interesting to see Greg Jackson in Mir’s corner. Mir looking bouncy and throws a series of missed head kicks. Cormier stalking Mir and gets him in a cilnch against the cage. Crowd is chanting “DC!”. Cormier landing some dirty boxing shots. They break and Cormier throws a head kick and a flurry of punches. Cormier gets another clinch and lands a nice knee to the body. Cormier landing more dirty boxing to the body and head. DC dictating this fight so far, owning Mir in the clinch. Big elbow from DC and a knee from Mir to break. Another clinch and Cormier shows his fast hands. DC with Mir against the cage. They separate with an exchange of punches. DC slips after a kick attempt and Mir shoots for a guillotine but can’t get it. Mir with a spinning head kick that misses and the guys stare at each other for the last 15 seconds.

10-9 Cormier

Round 2 – Mir with a good outside leg kick. Cormier with a jumping front kick that’s not even close. Cormier stalking and stalking and gets another clinch. Cormier looking to go to work here. Shots to the midsection from Cormier. Not much happening and the crowd is booing. The fighters break on their own. Cormier earns another clinch and presses Mir back into the cage. Cormier backs off yet again after a few good body shots. Mir with a kick to Cormier’s knee. Mir with another blocked head kick. Cormier catches Mir once again in a clinch and switches it up for a guillotine attempt. Nice uppercuts from Cormier and Mir throws stiff punches to back Cormier up. They exchange punches and Cormier gets the better of it. Another clinch and this time Herb Dean separates them. Nothing thrown for the last 15 seconds again and the crowd voices their displeasure.

10-9 Cormier, 20-18 Cormier

Round 3 – Herb Dean wipes off both guys before Round 3 and DC complains about the extra break time. Mir with great kicks to start, both body and leg. DC catches one and trips up Mir to get another clinch against the cage. DC breaks with more punches to Mir’s face. Strong body kick from Mir. Follows up with another and DC is backing up. They lock up and DC wants to clinch. Mir with another kick that Cormier catches and Cormier throws some fast punches to Mir’s body. Yet another clinch with Herb Dean and the crowd imploring some action. Dean finally separates them. Mir with a borderline kick to the groin. DC gets another clinch, but nothing happening. Mir’s losing this fight and he knows it, but he can’t escape Cormier against the cage. Punches exchanged between the two, but another lull and Dean separates again. Some wild exchanges in the closing moments and they end up in a clinch at the buzzer. Solid win, but not the stuff of legends in Cormier’s debut.

10-9 Cormier, 30-27 Cormier

Official Result: Daniel Cormier def. Frank Mir by unanimous decision (30-27)

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Lightweight – Nate Diaz vs. Josh Thomson

Referee: Mike Beltran

Round 1 – Both fighters get nice ovations from the crowd. Diaz taunts right away after a good leg kick from Thomson. Diaz throws a 1-2 and ends with a leg kick. Diaz the pursuer early here. A wild, short clinch and they break. Thomson switching stances frequently. Thomson lands a flush head kick that Diaz just shrugs off. That’s got to dishearten Thomson. Diaz with more taunting and a few jabs that back Thomson up. Another head kick lands, but Diaz catches it at the end and trips up Thomson. Thomson right back up. Diaz lands a couple of good punches to the head. Diaz clinches and has Thomson against the cage. Thomson turns him and they break. Thomson with quick lateral movement and lands some good punches to Diaz’ head. Great counters from Thomson, who catches Diaz coming in. Diaz with another clinch and Thomson takes Diaz down with authority. Thomson throwing big elbows and avoids a sub attempt from Diaz. Thomson looking to back off until the bell and Diaz pursues. Diaz with a kick to end the round.

10-9 Thomson

Round 2 – Diaz comes out quick and aggressive. Catches Thomson in a clinch and throws a knee right into the jewels. Lull in the fight as Thomson tries to recover. Back at it and Diaz stands in the center of the octagon while Thomson circles. Diaz throwing taunting kicks. Thomson gets Diaz in a clinch and they exchange knees. Lots of action so far. Thomson with nice elbows and they break with punches exchanged. Thomson with another clinch and a good takedown. Diaz stands up and throws at Thomson’s face as he stands back up. Thomson throws elbows to break the clinch. The crowd chants for Diaz, whose eye is bloodied up. Another clinch and more elbows to the face from Thomson. They break and Thomson lands another big head kick that dazes Diaz. Craziness now, Thomson is swarming all over him and Diaz is in BIG trouble. Diaz bunches up and isn’t defending himself and the ref steps in to stop him right as Diaz’ corner throws in the towel, literally. Huge, huge win for Thomson who becomes the first guy to KO Nate Diaz. Impressive performance from “The Punk”.

Official Result: Josh Thomson def. Nate Diaz by TKO (punches) at 3:44 of Round 2

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Welterweight – Matt Brown vs. Jordan Mein

Referee: John McCarthy

Round 1 – Welterweight hopefuls Matt Brown and Jordan Mein kick off a stacked main card. Mein with a quick inside elbow to the face and Brown comes back with two solid punches. Brown aggressive and has Mein backing up all over the cage. Brown is throwing and making this a brawl. Mein trying to evade and land and he is succeeding. Brown drops Mein with a punch, but Mein bounces right back up. Mein’s mouthpiece is out, but McCarthy helps and they’re back at it. Both guys settle a bit after the initial wild exchange. Brown with a big right hook. Mein lands two big punches but Brown is unfazed, a tough guy is Matt Brown. Mein throws a big body punch and backs up Brown with more punches. Another vicious body punch and Brown falls to the ground. Mein raining some punches down from the top, but Brown catches Mein in a deep leg triangle. Mein hangs on and escapes by a hair and lets Brown back up. Right back at it and Brown throws two big knees that rock Mein, who looks hurt at the end of Round 1. What an amazing back and forth round.

10-9 Mein

Round 2 – A hard round to top. Stiff jab from Brown to open. Brown with big knees to Mein’s face and blood is pouring. Brown on top of Mein and Mein bunches up in a shell position. Brown throwing more punches and elbows and Mein is just getting mauled. Mein crouched over not defending himself and Big John steps in to stop it.  Impressive performance from Brown who lives up to his nickname.

Official Result: Matt Brown def. Jordan Mein by TKO (strikes) at 1:00 of Round 2

 

 

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