“UFC on FOX: Henderson vs. Melendez” took place Saturday inside HP Pavilion in San Jose, California.
An unofficial lightweight title unification bout headlined tonight’s show. Reigning UFC champion Benson Henderson defended his throne against former Strikeforce champ Gilbert Melendez in the card’s main attraction.
Heavyweights Frank Mir and Daniel Cormier co-headlined the gig.
Here are the official results and play-by-play from tonight’s action:
(Facebook 4PM ET/1PM PT).
Yoel Romero Defeats Clifford Starks via KO (Flying Knee) at 1:32 in the 1stRound
1stRound: They’re feeling each other out in the opening minute. Romero unleashes a nasty flying knee to the grill that floors Starks. It’s a wrap.
Anthony Njokuani Defeats Roger Bowling via TKO (Punch) at 2:52 in the 2ndRound
1stRound: Bowling starts things off with a solid body shot. He is flinging leather early, but has come up empty for the most part. Bowling secures a takedown with 90 seconds remaining in the stanza. Njokuani gets to his feet and tags him with a kick to the body and right hand. Bowling, 10-9.
2ndRound: Front kick to the body by Njokuani. Bowling answers with a right hand. Njokuani unloads a short left hook that flattens Bowling. Game over.
(FX 5PM ET/2PM PT)
TJ Dillashaw Defeats Hugo Viana via TKO (Punches) at 4:22 in the 1stRound
1stRound: After a scramble, Dillashaw ends up taking his back. Viana gets loose and comes up swinging. Dillashaw has blood trickling from his nose. Dillashaw wobbles him with a big right hand. He’s going for the kill. Several shots on the canvas and referee John McCarthy is forced to Dillashaw off his battered opponent.
Jorge Masvidal Defeats Tim Means via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
1stRound: Masvidal is beating him to the punch early. Means is doing a poor job of using his reach advantage. Masvidal picks him up and slams him down for a brief moment. He’s draped on Means’ back. Masvidal, 10-9.
2ndRound: Masvidal shoots and is finally able to drag him to the canvas. Means lands an upkick to the grill. He’s back to his feet, but only for a brief moment. Masvidal jumps on his back with half the round left. Means gets him in his guard. Masvidal lands some short elbows. Means lands an elbow from the bottom that cuts Masvidal’s forehead. Masvidal, 10-9.
3rdRound: Solid left by Means to start the final stanza. He’s likely going to need a finish to win this. Masvidal catches a kick and tries for a takedown. Masvidal scores a takedown, though is eating several elbows from the top. Masvidal is relentless with his attack. Means reverses and is giving him the business. Masvidal, 10-9, and likely ran the table, 30-27.
Joseph Benavidez Defeats Darren Uyenoyama via TKO (Punches) at 4:50 in the 2ndRound
1stRound: Benavidez takes the center of the cage and is on the prowl. He catches a kick and lands a big punch. Uyenoyama takes a kick to the groin and time is called. Game on. Uyenoyama lands a kick to the midsection. Benavidez answers with a right that sent his opponent to the ground. Benavidez clobbers him with a head kick and pounces. Benavide takes him down, though Uyenoyama appears to have recovered. Benavidez, 10-9.
2ndRound: Benavidez doesn’t seem the least bit worried about Uyenoyama’s standup game. Uyenoyama gets a hold him and tries to pull guard. Benavidez stands over him and lands a big right hand. They’re back to their feet. Solid kick to the body by Uyenoyama. Benavidez folds him over with a punch to the body. He’s giving him the business on the ground. That’s all she wrote.
Myles Jury Defeats Ramsey Nijem via KO (Punch) at 1:02 in the 2ndRound
1stRound: Nijem is a tad reckless with his attack early and Jury makes him pay by taking him down. They get to their feet for a split second. Jury jumps on his back and is pounding his dome. Nijem tosses him off and end up on top. Jury tries an armbar from off his back. Nijem takes his back, now Jury spins free and takes Nijem’s back. Great chess match between the two on the mat. Nijem, 10-9.
2ndRound: Nijem takes a poke to the eye, but before referee John McCarthy could step in, Jury threw a kick to Nijem’s side as he turned away. The crowd boos, but it wasn’t a cheap shot. Game on. Nijem carelessly charges forward and eats a lights out overhand right. Nijem’s unconscious on the canvas.
Francis Carmont Defeats Lorenz Larkin via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
1stRound: Solid leg kicks by Larkin. Carmont working hard for a single-leg takedown. Larkin was bouncing on one leg and landing several strikes while Carmont tried is single-leg. Larkin gets his leg free, but is now pressed against the fence. Close round to score. Larkin, 10-9.
2ndRound: Larkin keeps kicking his knee, a la Jon Jones. He scores with a right uppercut. Carmont charges forward and gets a brief takedown. Larkin nailing him the head with several short elbows. Spinning kick to the leg by Larkin, impressive. Larkin, 10-9.
3rdRound: Carmont tries another takedown. He’s trying to take his back. Carmont finally manages to trip him to the ground. He’s not doing much on top and the crowd starts to boo. Larkin attempts a kimura from off his back. He uses it to escape. This will be a controversial verdict. Carmont, 10-9, but probably lost, 29-28.
Chad Mendes Defeats Darren Elkins via TKO (Punches) at 1:08 in the 1stRound
1stRound: Mendes wobbles him with a vicious right hook. He smells blood and goes in for the kill. The drops Elkins with a left hook and is bringing the pain on the ground. Game. Set. Match, Mendes.
(FOX 8PM ET/5PM PT)
Matt Brown Defeats Jordan Mein via TKO (Strikes) at 1:00 in the 2ndRound
1stRound: Standing elbow by Mein. Brown answers with a right hand that appeared to temporarily daze his opponent. Brown is relentlessly chasing Mein around the cage. Mein scores with a one-two combination. Brown clocks him with another right hand. They are exchanging leather in the pocket. Mein tags him with a left hook. He folds Brown over with another left hook to the body. Mein is in Brown’s full guard. Brown slaps on a triangle choke from off his back. Mein escapes. Brown connects on some knees in the clinch. Thrilling round. Brown, 10-9.
2ndRound: Brown is taking it to him early. Mein is gushing blood from his nose. Brown is smothering him on the ground. After unloading several elbows to the back of Mein, who is curled up in the fetal position, referee John McCarthy brings the mauling to a halt.
Josh Thomson Defeats Nate Diaz via TKO (Strikes) at 3:44 in the 2ndRound
1stRound: Diaz doing a good job of using his reach advantage, while Thomson keeps his opponent off balance by switching stances. Thomson clocks him with a head kick. Diaz egging him on, begging him to engage. Thomson lands another head kick. Thomson is almost strictly using kicks. Thomson clocks him with a right hand. He follows up with a flurry. Thomson scores a takedown and scores with some solid ground-and-pound. Thomson, 10-9.
2ndRound: Thomson takes an accidental knee to the groin and time is called. Game on. They’re fighting for position in the clinch, with both landing good shots in close. Diaz is bleeding below his right eye. Diaz gets a brief takedown. Thomson wobbles him with another huge head kick. He pounces and is laying the lumber on the ground. It’s a wrap.
Daniel Cormier Defeats Frank Mir via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
1stRound: Mir lands a knee to the midsection, but gets clinched against the cage for his troubles. Back to the fence is not where Mir wants to be. Cormier scores with a one-two combo. Cormier continues his assault in the clinch – elbows, punches and knees. Mir is finally able to get his back off the cage. Cormier is much quicker to the punch. Cormier trips him with an inside leg kick. Cormier, 10-9.
2ndRound: Here we go again, Mir immediately gets his back clinched against the fence. Mir might want to pull guard if he can’t get out of this position. Cormier inexplicably lets him go. No worries, they’re right back to clinching against the cage. Crowd is booing, but Cormier is doing exactly what he wants. Cormier lands two big uppercuts. Cormier, 10-9.
3rdRound: Mir desperately needs a finish. Big leg kick by Mir. He charges forward and presses Cormier against the fence. Cormier easily reverses. They are in the center of the Octagon. Mir is much more aggressive with his attack by throwing heavy kicks. Cormier is just too quick, Mir looks like he’s moving in slow motion. Mir connects with a body kick. Mir tries to clinch him against the fence for some reason and Cormier easily reverses position again. Cormier, 10-9, and should cruise, 30-27.
Benson Henderson Defeats Gilbert Melendez via Split Decision (48-17, 47-48, 48-47) (Henderson retains UFC lightweight title)
1stRound: “Big” John McCarthy is the third man inside the Octagon. Melendez working the leg kicks early. Henderson counters with a solid straight right that sent the former Strikeforce champ back. Melendez catches a kick and trips him to the mat. He has Henderson pressed against the cage. Henderson gets to his feet, though eats a knee to the grill for his troubles. Big leg kick by Henderson. Melendez catches another kick that sends Henderson to the ground. Right hook by Melendez. Melendez, 10-9.
2ndRound: Melendez takes the center of the cage. He continues to catch any body kick Henderson throws. Henderson lands two standing elbows. Both threw power shots, but nothing significant connected for either. Henderson is backing up in this fight more than he has in recent outings. Close round to score. Henderson, 10-9.
3rdRound: Henderson appears to be finding his groove, he definitely looks more confident. Henderson trips him with a thunderous leg kick. Melendez tags him with two straight right hands. Henderson gets a body lock and drags him to the mat for a brief moment. Henderson kicks his leg out from under him and drops a couple of elbows before the horn sounds. That may have won him the round in the judges’ eyes. Melendez, 10-9.
4thRound: Inside leg kick by Henderson. Melendez’s takedown D has been exceptional. Henderson takes his legs out again with another powerful leg kick. He jumped on Melendez’s back for a second, but couldn’t hold on. Melendez seems to be slowing. Melendez catches a kick and lands a couple of rights. Henderson, 10-9.
5thRound: The title can come down to these final five minutes. Inside leg kick by Henderson. Melendez is much more aggressive with his attack. Inside leg kick and short elbow by Henderson. Melendez connects with a knee to the midsection. He tags Henderson with an uppercut. This is going to the cards, and I wouldn’t be surprised if all three cards show different scores. Henderson, 10-9, and possibly won, 48-47.