Velasquez vs. Dos Santos Notebook: Exclusive Talk from Dana White, GSP, Melendez

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Velasquez vs. Dos Santos Notebook: Exclusive Talk from Dana White, GSP, Melendez

Henderson to get next title shot

After his impressive three round decision victory over Clay Guida, Ben Henderson made his intentions clear—he wants his opportunity to be the UFC lightweight champion.

At the post-fight press conference, Dana White confirmed the matchup.

“They’re both exciting fighters,” White said of Frankie Edgar and Henderson. “Them being the main event in Japan? It should be a great fight.”

The UFC will be heading to Japan to have an event at Pride FC’s former stomping grounds of Super Saitama Super Arena on February 26, 2012.

A smiling Henderson is eagerly anticipating the fight.

“I think it’s a great matchup,” Henderson said. “Obviously, I’m very confident. I think I match up very well. Frankie and I are going to put on a great show.”

 

Georges St-Pierre on Nick Diaz

In one of the most anticipated UFC welterweight title fights in the company’s history, Georges St-Pierre defends his title against Strikeforce champion Nick Diaz.

“Very excited,” St-Pierre told Bleacher Report's Gary Herman. “It’s the fight I want to have, and it’s the fight people want to see.”

Diaz got the desired fight after his public outburst following his three-round domination of BJ Penn.

“I don’t think Nick Diaz is a bad person,” St-Pierre said. “I think he’s very smart. He knows how to get what he wants—a title shot.”

With the fight about three months away, St-Pierre already has a prediction for the matchup.

“It’s going to be Georges St-Pierre winning the fight.”

 

Melendez vs. Edgar

With many of Strikeforce’s top fighters joining the UFC, the top star still left in Strikeforce may very well be Gilbert Melendez.

A few months ago, Melendez was very close to joining the UFC.

“I can’t lie,” Melendez said. “I got pumped on it too. I reached out to Dana and said, ‘I’m ready when you are.’ but that’s just talk. Nothing is set in stone until it’s written on the contract.”

However, coming over to the UFC did not happen, and now Melendez is set to take on Strikeforce No. 1 contender Jorge Masvidal.

“I think he’s tough,” the Strikeforce lightweight champion said. “He’s real talented, but the more and more I watch tape on him—the more I see holes that I can expose.”

Should Melendez be successful against Masvidal, he wants to be in the sport’s top promotion.

“I want to be the UFC champ,” Melendez said. “That’s my goal. When you’re the UFC champ, you’re number one in the world. The goal is to be in the UFC ASAP.”

The big reward for Melendez coming over would be a fight with UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar. Melendez is very confident that he will perform well in a title unification match.

“I think he’s an amazing fighter,” Melendez said, “but does he look like he can’t be dethroned? No. Is he untouchable? No. We’ve seen how to beat him for one round, but can you keep it for two or three? I think I can keep it up for five.”

 

Return to Kongo

Back in June 2009, Cain Velasquez defeated Cheick Kongo by unanimous decision. From that point, Velasquez went on to win three more fights and the UFC heavyweight championship.

Kongo, however, has not forgotten their match. After defeating Matt Mitrione at UFC 137, Kongo openly campaigned for a rematch with Velasquez. Kongo even went as far as to say Valesquez’s victory over him was a fluke.

Now, Following his defeat at the hands of Dos Santos, Velasquez responded to Kongo’s challenge.

“For sure,” Velasquez said, when asked if he wanted the rematch. “If that will get me back to where I want to be? Yeah, I’ll be there." 

 

Only one fight

A complaint from many of the UFC fans coming into the promotion’s debut on Fox was that the network would only be televising one fight. That was especially a problem with the scintillating Ben Henderson vs. Clay Guida fight situated on the undercard and off TV.

White offered a simple explanation as to why.

“We’re not in a deal with Fox yet,” White said, inferring that Cain Velasquez vs. Junior Dos Santos was a bonus fight for the fans. “Our deal doesn’t start until January. This was a welcome to UFC on Fox deal.”

As far as showing the Guida vs. Henderson, White said, “This was never part of the deal.”

 

Career Saved

In his preliminary fight against former WEC champion Cole Escovedo, Alex “Bruce Leroy” Caceres was in an absolute must-win situation.  Caceres had gone 0-2 in his first two UFC fights (0-3 if you include his last fight on the Ultimate Fighter reality show).

“This was my third fight under the UFC banner,” Caceres said, “and considering that I lost my first two, I knew that tonight it was do or die.”

Coming into the matchup with Escovedo, Caceres was nearly a 3:1 underdog.

Nevertheless, Caceres pulled off the victory with a dominant unanimous decision. All three judges scored the fight 30-27. With the win, Caceres assures himself another chance with the promotion.

 “It’s my dream to fight in the UFC and I want to make sure it lasts as long as possible.”

 

Be sure to stay tuned to Bleacher Report for all things UFC on FOX. B/R is your home for post-fight analysis of the Cain Velasquez vs. Junior dos Santos fight card. Also, be sure to check out our fight card hub page for news and opinion on the entire UFC on FOX fight card.

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