Gilbert Melendez is heartbroken after losing his bout against light heavyweight champion Benson Henderson at UFC on FOX 7.
Melendez has been fighting through ranks and patiently waiting for years to get his chance to show everyone he can stand up against the best in the UFC. He got that chance at UFC on FOX 7 in San Jose, California. But it didn’t end the way he’d hoped it would.
“I thought I had won three to two,” Melendez said about the fight. He came out strong in the first round, setting the pace but towards the middle he lost some steam, “Benson is a stud. He’s a tricky guy to hit. He’s very tough to hit.” Melendez bounced back during the fifth taking effectively recovering the ground he’s lost. He and many other fans believed he had done enough to take home the belt.
“I really thought so. He walked forward. I walked forward. When I walked forward I think I did bigger attacks, and I thought I landed cleaner punches. He hit me, but they were all on the forehead. I left him pretty bloody, I think. He has some really good kicks. Again, I thought I won (rounds) one, two. I can see him winning the three and four, but I thought I came strong in the fifth and stole the fight.”
Melendez is going to look at tapes of the fight to see exactly where he lost the rounds.
“It was my chance to try and take it more and I didn’t. I just felt like I had the first two rounds, and I felt like I kind of kept it in the bank for the fifth. That was the game plan. I knew I lost the third and the fourth. I really saved it for the fifth. I felt like I looked tired in the fourth, but I thought I looked way more energetic in the fifth, and I thought he looked a lot more tired.”
For a man that’s waited so long for the chance to prove he’s better than the best in UFC, now all he can do is think about what could have been. “I’m just heartbroken right now.”
What did you think about the fight? Did the judges decision meet your expectations? Let us know in the comments!