UFC: Henderson expects to face Melendez again


Posted at Apr 23 2013 05:02 PM | Updated as of Apr 24 2013 01:02 AM

MANILA, Philippines – Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) lightweight champion Benson “Smooth” Henderson will not be surprised if he fights former Strikeforce champ Gilbert “El Niño” Melendez for the second time.

This, after Henderson won a razor thin split decision against Melendez last Saturday at UFC on FOX 7 to retain his title belt.

“Do I imagine I will be seeing Gil again? Yeah, I’ll be seeing Gil again, and he’ll want to beat the crap out of me,” Henderson said during the post-event press conference.

Henderson did enough in the championship rounds to hold off Melendez, who was making his UFC debut.

Although Melendez was impressive, it is unlikely that he will be given an immediate rematch against Henderson as UFC president Dana White has announced that the winner of the UFC 160 fight between Gray Maynard and TJ Grant will be the new number one contender.

“At 155 (pounds), the division is so stacked, so deep,” Henderson observed. “The top five guys... they’re very close.”

“I don’t know if it will be an immediate rematch (against Melendez). If it is, it is. Cool. Sounds good to me, let’s do it,” he added. “Let’s run it back.”

But “Smooth” said he is open to all challengers. “There are a lot of guys at 155 who are pretty tough, who all want to beat me up,” he said.

Henderson was making the third defense of the lightweight championship, which he won last February 2012 from Frankie “The Answer” Edgar.