KOs aplenty in San Jose (UFC on Fox 7 Review)

Benson Henderson vs Gilbert MelendezMixed Martial Arts is one of the best sports in the world for the simple fact that it brings so much into one sports. It is Boxing, Jiu Jitsu, Wrestling, Judo, Karate, Kickboxing, Muay Thai, and so much more into one octagon where the best of the best must learn to harness everything to win. The sport is great because there is not only the art and the ferocity of boxing but also the art and pain of the ground game. As much as a submission can show the skill and the small nuances of the ground game the knockout is always a fan favorite. The knockout is what most MMA fans are looking for when they tune in to a UFC fight. A great submission or a great fight is good and should never be overlooked but the KO is what gets fans standing and cheering. The KO is what gets people talking during the fight and the day after the fight. At UFC 92 there would be plenty to talk about as the fight card that included Frank Mir, Rampage Jackson, and Forrest Griffin would produce a total of 8 KOs. It would set a UFC record and would determine two championships as the fans got what they paid for on that night. At UFC on Fox 7 this record would be matched with a total of 8 knockouts on the night. It would be a great night of fights and one that would highlight a Strikeforce vs. UFC mentality. Many of the fights would match Strikeforce fighters against UFC fighters including the top three fights of the night. One of these top three would be for the UFC lightweight championship. Benson Henderson would be looking to defend his championship and his promotion against the last Strikeforce Lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez. The debate had been raging for years about who the best lightweight in the world was. The argument would always leave two fighters that would fight in two different promotions as Benson Henderson and Gilbert Melendez would always be the last fighters standing. As the UFC brought in a host of new fighters from Strikeforce the debate would finally be solved as the two top lightweights in the world would face off to finally determine who the better fighter was. Both fighters were very similar as they both had amazing ground and pound but were both comfortable wherever the fight may go. The one big difference would be that Henderson is widely considered the most athletic lightweight while Melendez is considered a fighter that fights at a ridiculous pace. Both fighters would be tested like never before as the pace and the skill was something that neither fighter would see. The first round would see both fighters circle and begin to find their pace in the usual feeling out period. The next round both fighters would get more comfortable in the fight and would begin coming forward. Neither fighter would take much of an advantage though as they would remain on the feet and continue to exchange. The third round saw the pace pick up near the end when Henderson and Melendez would begin to go all out until Henderson would get on top of Melendez and end the round with some ground and pound. The fourth round would see Henderson begin to pull away as he would start to land more significant strikes and would land some bigger kicks. The fifth round would see the pattern continue as Melendez would try to turn up the heat on Henderson but would not be able to land as much as Henderson. In the end Henderson would take the split decision victory in a very close fight. With the win Henderson remains the champion and could very well meet Melendez again in a rematch. If a rematch does not come Anthony Pettis could finally get his shot at the title. Melendez will take the loss and will remain one of the best in the division while he works for another title shot.

Adding to the theme of the night the main card would see two of the best Strikeforce fighters face off against two of the best UFC fighters. First would be a matchup of UFC veteran Nate Diaz and former Strikeforce lightweight champion Josh Thomson. The fight would be one of the first of the night that would pit the top of both promotions against each other. They would not only be fighting for bragging rights but also for a chance to enter the conversation in the lightweight division. Diaz was looking to get back to the top of the division while Thomson was looking to make a lasting impression in his UFC debut. The fight would be an interesting one with Thomson staying out of range of Diaz and throwing kicks. In the second round it would all come to an end as Thomson would throw a devastating head kick to earn the 8th KO of the night. It would be the exact impression he was looking to make as he became the only person to ever stop Nate Diaz in the UFC pushing him into the lightweight conversation. Next up would be a heavyweight matchup between former UFC champion Frank Mir and the man many considered to be the best fighter not in the UFC in Daniel Cormier. Mir would be looking to a new training camp and a new attitude to make it back to the top of the heavyweight division. Cormier was looking to prove everyone right when they said he was the best fighter not in the UFC. The fight would not be nearly exciting as the one before as Daniel Cormier would press Mir against the fence for the majority of the fight in the clinch. Cormier would continue to do this for three rounds limited the chance for Mir to use his striking or his Jiu Jitsu. It was not the exciting fight that everyone expected but it did give Cormier the win and kept him in the title conversation. UFC on Fox would produce yet another great night of fights as Strikeforce would take on the UFC and they would produce KOs at a record pace.

 

Fight Bonuses
($50,000 Bonus to Each Fighter)

Knockout of the Night
With so many KOs to choose from and no Submissions the UFC would hand out two Knockout of the Night Bonuses as Yoel Romero would earn one for his KO in the first fight of the night against Clifford Starks and Josh Thomson would earn the other for his KO of Nate Diaz

Fight of the Night
The fight of the night would be the first main card fight as Matt Brown and Jordan Mein would put on a back and forth show standing toe to toe until Brown would take the win with a second round KO

 

Fight Results

Main Event:
“Smooth” Benson Henderson def. Gilbert “El Nino” Melendez
(Split Decision)

 

Main Card:
Daniel “DC” Cormier def. Frank Mir
(Unanimous Decision)

Josh “The Punk” Thomson def. Nate Diaz
(TKO, Rd. 2)

Matt “The Immortal” Brown def. Jordan “Young Gun” Mein
(TKO, Rd. 2)

 

Undercard:
Chad “Money” Mendes def. Darren “The Damage” Elkins
(KO, Rd. 1)

Francis “Limitless” Carmont def. Lorenz “The Monsoon” Larkin
(Unanimous Decision)

Myles “Fury” Jury def. Ramsey Nijem
(KO, Rd. 2)

Joseph Benavidez def. Darren “BC” Uyenoyama
(TKO, Rd. 2)

Jorge “Gamebred” Masvidal def. Tim “Dirty Bird” Means
(Unanimous Decision)

TJ Dillashaw def. Hugo “Wolverine” Viana
(TKO, Rd. 1)

Anthony “The Assassin” Njokuani def. “Relentless” Roger Bowling
(TKO, Rd. 2)

Yoel “Soldier of God” Romero def. Clifford Starks
(KO, Rd. 1)

 

Upcoming Events

UFC 159: Jones vs. Sonnen (Saturday April 27th; 10:00 pm ET)
Newark, New Jersey (Prudential Center)
Main Event: Jon “Bones” Jones vs. Chael Sonnen [Light Heavyweight Title]
Notable: Michael “The Count” Bisping vs. Alan “The Talent” Belcher
Notable: Roy “Big Country” Nelson vs. Cheick Kongo

UFC on FX 8: Belfort vs. Rockhold (Saturday May 18th; 9:00 pm ET)
Jaragua, Santa Carina (Arena Jaragua)
Main Event: “The Phenom” Vitor Belfort vs. Luke Rockhold
Notable: Costa Philippou vs. Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza
Notable: Rafael Dos Anjos vs. Evan Dunham

UFC 160: Velasquez vs. Bigfoot II (Saturday May 25th; 10:00 pm ET)
Las Vegas, Nevada (MGM Grand Garden Arena)
Main Event: Cain Velasquez vs. Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva [Heavyweight Title]
Notable: Junior “Cigano” Dos Santos vs. Mark “Super Samoan” Hunt
Notable: Glover Teixeira vs. James Te Huna

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