Gilbert Melendez vs. Benson Henderson: Hotly Contested Bout Must Lead to Rematch

Brian Mazique@@UniqueMaziqueCorrespondent IIIApril 21, 2013

image from AP/Jack Dempsey (h/t ESPN)
image from AP/Jack Dempsey (h/t ESPN)

The main event at UFC on Fox 7 was a very good, tactical battle. Officially, Benson Henderson won a split decision, but to say it was close is an understatement.

I had Henderson winning three rounds to two, but if Gilbert Melendez had gotten the decision, I wouldn't have complained. 

Many of the rounds were too close to call. To me, that adds up to a no-brainer rematch. We'll see how quickly we can see the two best lightweights in the world clash again.

Sometimes, it is good to have two great fighters take on different opponents after such a spirited fight, but not this time.

These two need to get back at it immediately. There is no point in putting Melendez in the Octagon with another lightweight that is clearly beneath him.

Henderson didn't defeat Melendez handily, so as a champion attempting to move up the pound-for-pound list, he should want to score a definitive victory.

There is tons of risk here, but Henderson doesn't strike me as a fighter that will ultimately be satisfied with this win.

Melendez had the edge in boxing, but you can't ignore the leg strikes that twice swept Melendez off his feet. The fact that there were no takedowns only served to further muddle the picture of the fight.

As a hardcore MMA fan, I enjoyed the artistry both men displayed. The boos that come from MMA crowds sometimes are puzzling.

But no matter what the crowd at the HP Pavilion thought, this was a great fight.

UFC fans saw what the hype was all about with Melendez and Henderson proved his mettle as champion. But I don't think either man can walk away from this epic clash and feel like the superior fighter.

Henderson got the decision and he's still champion, but there is doubt in his mind. You could tell he was relieved when he wiped the proverbial sweat from his brow as Bruce Buffer read the judges' cards.

The champion needs to remove that doubt in a rematch, and soon.


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