Henderson predicts exciting battle against Melendez


Posted at Mar 29 2013 10:19 AM | Updated as of Mar 29 2013 06:19 PM

MANILA, Philippines – Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) lightweight champion Benson “Smooth” Henderson said fight fans are in for a treat when he defends his belt against former Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez at UFC on FOX 7 on April 20.

Henderson expects Melendez, who is making his UFC debut on the FOX card, to come forward and be aggressive against him.

“We think he’s more than likely going to walk forward, as he’s done in a lot of his past fights,” Henderson said on Bleacher Report.

“There have been some fights where he hasn’t done that as much, because the game plan was to be a little more elusive. But most of his fights, he is pretty aggressive and he walks forward,” he added. “We think he is going to come forward against us. I’m also going to walk forward, and we are going to see who is better that night.”

Henderson said his title defense against Melendez will be “ a great fight for the fans to watch.”

It will be Henderson’s third defense of the belt that he won in February 2012 against Frankie Edgar, and he said he is looking forward to a “really good match-up stylistically.”

“The more and more I watch film on Gilbert, he does a great job of sticking to his game plan. From what I’ve seen, his coaches come up with a great game plan, and he does a wonderful job of sticking to that game plan as the fight goes on,” Henderson said.

“That is probably one of the best things he does. His coaches come up with a good game plan, and he sticks to it throughout the entire fight,” he added.

Henderson most recently defended the lightweight belt against Nate Diaz in December, winning via a wide unanimous decision.

Melendez, meanwhile, last fought in May 2012, when he beat Joshn Thomson via split decision to retain the Strikeforce Lightweight Championship.