UFC on FOX 7: Henderson vs Melendez- Kamikaze Overdrive MMA

Dillon Collins

 On April 20th the question as to who is the true dominant force in the lightweight division will finally be answered as champ Benson “Smooth” Henderson puts his belt on the line against the long time consensus number two man in the division, Gilbert Melendez.

In the five round main event, Henderson will face a man who has all but dominated the lightweight division for the better part of four years. The final Strikeforce lightweight champion has ripped off seven straight victories over notable contenders like Josh Thompson, Tatsuya Kawajiri and Shinya Aoki. In Henderson, Melendez faces a man who has only lost one fight in over five years and whose own win streak features signature victories against former champ Frankie Edgar and highly touted contenders Nate Diaz, Clay Guida and Jim Miller. With Melendez’s long awaited title shot finally within reach, the future of the lightweight division could be forever changed come Saturday. Will the young and hungry challenger usher in a new era of dominance at 155 pounds? Or will Henderson add another signature win to his already impressive list of victories? Either way, we are in for one hell of a title fight.

205lbs- C. Daniel Cormier (19-1-0) vs #1 Jon Jones (22-1-0)

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The co-main event features highly touted heavyweight Daniel Cormier taking on long time contender Frank Mir in an intriguing scrap. Cormier has made waves in recent years, winning the Strikeforce grand-prix with a knockout of top contender Antonio Silva and a thorough beat down of longtime top ten heavyweight Josh Barnett. A systematic destruction of Dion Staring in Strikeforce’s final event in January set the stage for this encounter with Mir, a fight that was originally scheduled under the Strikeforce banner last November. Cormier’s knockout power and elite level wrestling should prove to give the crafty Mir problems, though on the ground Mir has all the tools to give Cormier a run for his money. Cormier could find himself on the cusp of a title shot with a victory, while Mir will look to derail the “DC” hype train and firmly reposition himself atop the heavyweight ladder.

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Rounding out the main card are two intriguing encounters at lightweight and welterweight. First, former top contender Nate Diaz takes on Strikeforce import Josh Thompson, in a fight where we can expect to see a multi-faceted display of mixed martial arts. In the opening bout of the main card the suddenly relevant Matt Brown, coming off a knockout of Mike Swick, faces highly touted Jordan Mein, who last month stopped durable welterweight Dan Miller in the opening round.  Both fights have the potential to be fight of the night contenders and are sure to give the winners a chance to springboard up the rankings of their divisions.

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The nine fight preliminary card is anchored by an important featherweight tilt between Chad “Money” Mendes and Darrin Elkins. Elsewhere a lightweight clash features TUF Smashes winner Norman Parke against Jon Tuck, surging middleweights Francis Carmont and Lorenz Larkin face off and a matchup of top flyweight contenders Joseph Benavidez and Darren Uyenoyama is sure to produce fireworks.

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170lbs- C. Tyron Woodley (16-3-1) vs #1 Demian Maia (25-6-0)

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The landscape at lightweight could forever be changed on April 20th, or the champion could position himself as one of the top five pound for pound fighters in the world. Contenders will emerge and prospects could take the step up to legitimate title threats. With so many high profile and intriguing matchups, the UFC is sure to be the destination for excitement and high octane, non-stop action on fight night.


155lbs- Benson Henderson (C) vs. Gilbert Melendez
265lbs- Daniel Cormier vs. Frank Mir
155lbs- Nate Diaz vs. Josh Thompson
170lbs- Jordan Mein vs. Matt Brown

145lbs- Chad Mendes vs. Darren Elkins
185lbs- Francis Carmont vs. Lorenz Larkin
155lbs- Ramsey Nijem vs. Myles Jury
125lbs- Joseph Benavidez vs. Darren Uyenoyama
155lbs- Tim Means vs. Jorge Masvidal
135lbs- T.J. Dillashaw vs. Hugo Viana
155lbs- Anthony Njokuani vs. Roger Bowling
185lbs- Clifford Starks vs. Yoel Romero

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