Benson Henderson will look to make it 2-for-2 vs. Cesar Gracie fighters on FOX Saturday night when he meets Gilbert Melendez in the main event of UFC on FOX: Henderson vs. Melendez.
The event takes place from the HP Pavilion in San Jose, and FightLine will have complete coverage.
Also, heavyweight contenders Frank Mir and Daniel Cormier collide, while lightweights Nate Diaz and Josh Thomson look to engage in a war.
Benson Henderson (c) vs. Gilbert Melendez for the UFC lightweight title
Dana Becker: Benson Henderson has his future all planned out: surpass Anderson Silva’s record for successful title defenses. That continues with Gilbert Melendez, as Henderson looks to be completely focused – as he always is – for this match. Melendez is as tough and strong as they come at 155 pounds, but “Smooth” and his toothpick know all about Cesar Gracie-trained fighters. Henderson figures it out and uses his length to his advantage. Benson Henderson via unanimous decision
Joseph Lisnow: Potential Fight of the Year and the most anticipated one since Strikeforce closed. Benson Henderson was so impressive last year and with such a positive mentality he could be a future candidate for the pound-for-pound best. When it comes to lightweights, Gilbert Melendez is up there at the top of the list as he was the face of Strikeforce’s division. This could be five rounds of intensity as the best lightweight is determined in a dream fight. Benson Henderson via decision
Frank Mir vs. Daniel Cormier
Dana: Daniel Cormier is a beast. Frank Mir is used to fighting beasts like Cormier all his life. Something has to give, and it will be the rejuvenated Mir. Yes, the former UFC champion looks to be in tremendous shape, but Cormier is a new-wave of athlete, and Mir will not be able to A, solve the wrestling, or B, figure out the ever-developing striking. Daniel Cormier via first round TKO (strikes)
Joseph: Daniel Cormier is being tested in former UFC champion Frank Mir. In Strikeforce, Cormier left an impression though this is the UFC. All Mir needs is one limb to end a fight and break a bone. So far, Cormier has shown he can go anywhere in a fight for the win. There seems to be real dislike between them and this could be a slugfest or grappling contest. I need to side with the new breed going for the finish. Daniel Cormier via first round TKO (punches)
Nate Diaz vs. Josh Thomson
Dana: I honestly believe Nate Diaz is leaving lightweight after this fight regardless of the decision. That being said, there is no doubt in my mind he wants to get back on track after the loss to the champ last year. Josh Thomson, though, is as tough as they come. Diaz likely picked the brain of Gilbert Melendez, and that should help him know what to do – and more importantly – what not to do. Nate Diaz via unanimous decision
Joseph: After an impressive lightweight run, Nate Diaz seems determined to move back to welterweight after a failed UFC title shot. I see Diaz looking for the submission early and often. Josh Thomson comes in off a title loss to Diaz’s teammate. Thomson might play it safe in his return to the Octagon, but a dominant performance really pushes him into the Top 10 of the division. I just don’t think Diaz will let Thomson finish him. Josh Thomson via decision