In his first fight since the closing of his former promotional home, final Strikeforce lightweight champion and Kalapaki Joe’s sponsored fighter Gilbert Melendez (21-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC) will challenge UFC lightweight titleholder Benson Henderson (18-2 MMA, 6-0 UFC) for his UFC strap this Saturday night from the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California.
The Cesar Gracie Jiu-Jitsu product, Melendez, is currently riding a seven-fight win streak. The longtime Strikeforce titleholder was slated to fight Pat Healy at Strikeforce’s final show in January, but he was forced off the card with a shoulder injury. “El Nino” earned notable victories over Shinya Aoki, Tatsuya Kawajiri, Jorge Masvidal and most recently Josh Thomson while fighting under the Strikeforce banner.
Melendez now meets current UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson. Henderson is undefeated in the UFC, going a perfect 6-0 with all six wins coming by way of decision. “Smooth” won the title in early 2012 with a victory over then-champ Frankie Edgar, and then defended it in an immediate rematch with Edgar at UFC 144 in Japan. Henderson most recently defended his belt at UFC on FOX 5 in Seattle, where he defeated challender Nate Diaz via unanimous decision.
UFC on FOX 7 takes place April 20 at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California. The main card airs on FOX following the prelims on FX and Facebook.
Be sure to come cheer on Gilbert Melendez as he goes for UFC gold this Saturday night live at Kalapaki Joe’s Lihue or Kalapaki Joe’s Poipu. Reservations for tables of 8 or more are recommended and can be made online.