UFC live coverage from San Jose UFC vs. Strikeforce best of eight series, Melendez vs. Henderson



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Welcome to our live coverage of UFC from the HP Pavilion in San Jose.  We're looking for your thoughts on tonight's show so you can leave a thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle along with a best and worst match to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

YOEL ROMERO VS. CLIFFORD STARKS,  MIDDLEWEIGHTS

First round: Romero is an Olympic silver medalist in wrestling from Cuba in 2000. Romero nailed Starks with a flying knee to the chain 1:32. You’ll be seeing that one on TV later today.

We’ll keep score as the night goes on. Strikeforce 1, UFC 0, not that it matters because they are all UFC fighters.

ANTHONY NJOKUANI VS. ROGER BOWLING, LIGHTWEIGHTS

First round: Bowling with a kick to the stomach. Another kick to the belly welly by Bowling. Body punch by Bowling. Hard left uppercut by Njokuani. Bowling chasing hiim and landed a body kick. Njokuani landed a punch and Bowling with another body kick. Bowling moving forward chasing him down. Low kick by Bowling and Njokuani back with a punch. Takedown by Bowling, ducking as Njokuani threw a punch. Knee and high kick by Njokuani when he got up. Right and body kick by Njoukauni. Close round, Bowling 10-9.

Second round: Bowling threw a kick, Njokuani caught it and threw him down. He let him back up. Bowling with kicks to the body and a few punches. Njokuani back with a body kick. Bowling landed a couple of punches. Njokuani kncoked him cold with a left out of nowhere to the jaw. He then did a spinnaroonie.   He also did a Ric Flair "Whoo" in his post-fight interview.

Strikeforce 1, UFC 1

T.J. DILLASHAW VS. HUGO WOLVERNIE VIANA, BANTAMWEIGHTS 

Crowd popped when Dillashaw’s face was on the screen. Dillashaw got a big reaction coming out and building is still pretty empty. Viana was booed. Big John Mac is the referee. Viana landed. Viana knocked him down and Dillashaw responded with a takedown and got Viana’s back. Viana escaped and back to his feet. Dillashaw got another takedown against the fecne. Viana hurt him with another punch. Dillashaw bleeding from the nose. Dillashaw knocked him almost down with a punch. Body kick by Dillashaw. Dillashaw went for a takedown but didn’t get it. Trading punches. Front kick by Viana. Dillashaw hurt him again with another punch, put him down with a right to the face and is going for a finsih. Viana running away. Dillashaw knocked him down two more times and John McCarthy stopped it. Great short fight, place going crazy. Loud T.J. chants when it was over.  One of the better beginnings of a card in recent memory.

TIM MEANS VS. JORGE MASVIDAL, LIGHTWEIGHTS

First round: Means is really tall for a lightweight. Body kick by Means. Masvidal landed a solid punch and Means snapped his head back with a punch. Means snapped his head back again. Body kick by Means. Means landed a solid left. Two punches back by Masvidal. Spinning backfist by Means. Masvidal back. Means with a front kick and a left. Masivdal with a flurry and a body kick. Means back with a right. Masvdial with a left. Means with a left. Masvidal with a high slam takedown but Means back up. Trading punches late. Masvidal 10-9 but the round is close.

Second round: Left by means. The place is doing "Whoos." Masvidal got the takedown. A Nice up kick by Means and he got to his feet. Both trading punches. Masvidal got another takedown and punching from the top. Means tried a triangle but Masvidal cleared it. Masvidal now riding him from back position. Another takedown and Masvidal throwing elbows. Masvidal landing punches and elbows from the top. More elbows by Masvidal. More elbows by Masvidal. Masvidal bleeding badly and throwing elbows from the top. Means cut him badly with an elbow from the bottom. Masvidal’s round so 20-18.

Third round: Means landed a left. Means hurt himn with a left. Means landing a lot of punches now. Body kick by Means, and a knee. Masvidal closed the distance and is trying to get it to the ground. Masvidal got the takedown. Means back up quickly. Masvidal just wants time to run out. Elbow by Means. Masvidal fighting and got another takedown. Means threw hard elbows from the bottom. Masvidal throwing elbows down. Masvidal landing a lot of punches. More punches by Masvidal. Means is actually outlanding Masvidal on the ground. Well, he’s not anymore. Masvidal throwing punch after punch now. More elbows by Masvidal. Means reversed into mount with 18 seconds left and stood up. Means went back to the ground and was pounding the hell out of him in the closing seconds. Close round. I don’t think Means did enough in the closing seconds to win the round, so I’ve got 30-27 Masvidal, but either way Masvidal should take the decision.

Scores: All three have it 29-28 for Masvidal.

Strikeforce 2, UFC 1

JOSEPH BENAVIDEZ VS. DARREN UYENOYAMA, BANTAMWEIGHTS

Commissioner Ariel Helwani ruled that this does not count in the Strikeforce vs. UFC scorecard since Uyenoyama has been in UFC for a while and was not a Strikeforce fighter in January, even though he started his career there.  Helps Strikeforce since Joe Jitsu is expected to take this one.

First round: Will be interesting since Benavidez is from Sacramento and Uyenoyama is from San Francisco. Benavidez means it’s the Von Erichs ring entrance music from 1983. Crowd slightly more for Benavidez. Benavidez caught a kick and tripped Uyenoyama down. He went for this killer punch on the ground that didn’t land solid. Benadivez backed off and let Uyenoyama up. Trading body kicks. Benavidez tripped him down again and let him up and landed a right. Benavidez knoked him down with a head kick . Uyenoyama back to his feet. Takedown by Benavdeiz . Benavidez bleeding from a cut near the right eye. Benavidez 10-9.

Second round: Head kick and punch by Benavidez. Body kick by Benavidez. Benavidez staggered him with a right. Benavidez got him down and throwing hard punches from the top. This fight is all Benavidez throwing and Uyenoyama catching. Benavidez continues to throw. Body kick by Benavidez and another body kick. Benavidez finally put him down with a body shot, killing him with punches on the ground and ref Herb Dean stopped it.

RAMSEY NIJEM VS. MYLES JURY, LIGHTWEIGHTS

First round: Nijem threw a body kick and Jury used it to take him down. Nijem wrestled his way to the top. Jury back up. Jury remains with back position. Nijem to the top as Jury tried an armbar. Nijem pulled out an is on top. Jury reversed to the top. This has turned into a wrestling match. Nijem reversed and got a takedown and has Jury’s back. Little in the way of striking. Close round, Jury 10-9, almost 10-10.

Second round: Nijem got poked in the eye and backed off and Jury tried to head kick him. That turned him heel. Jumping kick by Jury. Jury knocked him out with an overhand right to the jaw counter. This has been the night for knockouts, we’ve had three strong candidates for best KO already.

First round: Nijem threw a body kick and Jury used it to take him down. Nijem wrestled his way to the top. Jury back up. Jury remains with back position. Nijem to the top as Jury tried an armbar. Nijem pulled out an is on top. Jury reversed to the top. This has turned into a wrestling match. Nijem reversed and got a takedown and has Jury’s back. Little in the way of striking. Close round, Jury 10-9, almost 10-10.

Second round: Nijem got poked in the eye and backed off and Jury tried to head kick him. That turned him heel. Jumping kick by Jury. Jury knocked him out with an overhand right to the jaw counter. This has been the night for knockouts, we’ve had three strong candidates for best KO already.

LORENZ LARKIN VS. FRANCIS CARMONT, MIDDLEWEIGHTS

First round: Whole place doing "Whoos." Both trading kicks. Carmont is looking for a takedown. Carmont got him down momentarily but Larkin back up. Larkin threw some elbows. Carmont fighting for the takedown. Larkin has some incredible balance. Some of the best blocked takedowns ever. Both misisng punches. Larkin did nothing on offense. Carmont at least was the aggressor 10-9.

Second round: Larkin landed a high kick. Carmont with a front kick. Body kick by Carmont. Larkin with a left. Body kick by Carmont. Larkin hurt him with an uppercut. Carmont going for the takedown again. Carmont got the takedown but Larkin right back up. Larkin throwing lots of elbows as Carmont tried to take him down. Trading low kicks. Spin kick to the calf by Larkin which looked cool. Carmont tryingfor takedown. Carmont got him down. Very close round. I don’t think takedowns alone are enough to win a round unless nothing else happens, but Larkin again didn’t do enough on offense to negate it. 20-18 Carmont.

Third round: Another takedown by Carmont. Crowd booing. Larkin missed a punch and Carmont got another takedown. Larkin worked a Kimura to reverse to the top, spin out and got back up. Crowd was into that sequence and for the first time reacted in the fight. Body kick by Larkin. Larkin tried a crazy cartwheel kick at the end which missed by a mile. Boring fight overall due to Carmont but he did just enough to win all three rounds 30-27.

Scores: All three have it 29-28 Carmont. Crowd booed like crazy, figured they would because crowd hated that Carmont was the one who slowed the fight down, but Larkin did almost nothing on offense.

Strikeforce 2, UFC 2 going into the main card, where all four matches are UFC vs. Strikeforce

CHAD MENDES VS. DARREN ELKINS, FEATHERWEIGHTS

First round: Mendes cracked him with a right hand and finished him. Then he did a backflip. He looked like an animal here because Elkins is a good fighter. The finish was an overhand right to the temple and 2 punches on the ground before it was stopped by Herb Dean.

Crowd here dislikes Frank Mir and outright hates Benson Henderson.  Diaz and Thomson both big favorites in that match.  Pretty clear the No. 1 thing is people want to see Melendez take the title.  It's not sold out.  Healthy crowd, less than Frank Shamrock's big fights here and nobody is over close to the Shamrock/Le level.

JORDAN MEIN VS. MATT BROWN, WELTERWEIGHTS

First round: Brown the crowd favorite but fans don’t have an emotional investment in these two. They did boo Mein. Both landed early. Brown more aggressive. Brown chasing himn down and landing. Hard kick by Brown. Brown mad because Mein dancing backwards. Mein countering back. Mein landed a hard left. Brown dropped him with an uppercut. Brown with a knee to the body. Both swinging hard and missing. Big right by Brown. Brown cut from the right eye. Mein landed a few. Brown hurt Mein with punches and now throwing knees. Hard knees by Brown. Mein hurt Brown now. Mein dropped Brown with a body punch and now on top. Mein pounding on him from the top trying to finish. Brown went for a triangle from the bottom. Mein looked in trouble but got out. This fight is awesome. Mein let him up after that one. Big head kick and knees by Brown and now Mein in trouble. Brown firing punches and knees. Hard elbow by Brown. Brown 10-9. Super round.

Second round: Crowd now really into these two. Brown landed a hard right, but knee and anotehr hard knee and an elbow by Brown, who then took Mein down. Mein is all bloody and in trouble, covering up. Brown is punching him on the ground. Hard elbow by Brown. Elbows to the back, almost the spine, by Brown. Ref John McCarthy called it off. This was a hell of a performance by Brown.  1:00

UFC 3, Strikeforce 2

JOSH THOMSON VS. NATE DIAZ, LIGHTWEIGHTS 

First round: Fans are booing Thomson. Crowd was more into Diaz. Diaz is over like a superstar. They are booing the hell out of Thomson to the point you can’t even hear Bruce Buffer and they blew the roof off the place for Diaz. Thomson using lwo kicks. Diaz chants. People tried to get Thomson chants going but couldn’t. Thomson killed him with a high kick. Diaz yelling at Thomson because he’s dancing away from his punches. Diaz landed a punch. Another high kick but Diaz blocked it and took him down but let him up. Now in a clinch. Thomson landed several punches, one looked behind the head. Trading punches now. Now they are back in a clinch. Thomson took him down. Thomson pounded on him on the ground. Diaz got up. Crowd super hot. Thomson 10-9.

Second round: Diaz moving forward but Thomson grabbed a clinch. Diaz kneed him in the groin. Diaz not the slightest bit apologetic about it. Crowd not happy because it didn’t look low on the replay in the building. Back fighting and Diaz taunting him. Thomson grabbed a clinch. Knee by Thomson and punch by Thomson. Diaz landed several punches. Diaz bleeding from the nose. Diaz took Thomson down. Diaz threw a punch and grabbed a guillotine. Thomson with an elbow and another elbow from close range. Thomson grabbed another clinch. Knee by Thomson and another. Huge head kick and punches by Thomson and he has Diaz in a lot of trouble on the ground. Thomson pounding him on the ground and Diaz’s corner threw in the towel and the ref stopped it. Great finish. 3:24

No promo time. FOX wants them off the air at 10 p.m. and we’ve got a five round main event. They’ll never make it by ten.

UFC 3,Strikeforce 3. Gedo & Jado can’t even book one this good.

DANIEL CORMIER VS. FRANK MIR, HEAVYWEIGHTS

First round: Crowd really into this one. Mir came across like a big time star coming in. They called Cormier the Strikeforce heavyweight champion, which technically he never was. They are booing Mir like crazy, but a lot of people cheering him. Mir throwing kicks early. Cormier moved in with punches. DC chant. Cormier landed a hard uppercut from close range. Head kick and more punches by Cormeir and Mir back. Mir therw a left. Some body punches by Cormier. Knee to the body and punches to the body by Cormier. Body punches by Cormier. More body punches by Cormier. Hard elbow by Cormier off the break. Cormier backed him against the cage. Head kick, Cormeri slipped and Mir tried a guillotine but Cormier out. Low kick and Mir’s leg buckled. Mir tried a spin kick. Low kick by Cormier. Cormier 10-9.

Second round: Cormer threw a jumping kick. Cormier put him against the fence agin. Cormier landed a right. Cormier pinned Mir against the fence again. Crowd booing. Mir threw a slow kick. Cormier pushed him back against the cage. A few body shots by Cormier. A few punches by Cormier. Cormier landed three punches and Mir landed one back. Cormier landing more punches. Body shot by Cormier. Herb Dean separted them from the clinch on the cage. Cormier’s round 20-18. Crowd booing the fight a lot.

Third round: Mir tried a kick. Cormier momentarily took him down from it but Mir back up. They are back in the clinch. Cormier landed some good shots and let him away from the cage. Hard body kick by Mir. Another hard body kick by Mir and hard knees and and an elbow. Cormier pushed him against the fence. Cormier with a body and head shot. Cormier in with punches. Cormier with a few more punches. Mir looked at the clock. Herb Dean separated them with 2:35 left. DC chant. Body kick by Mir. Mir pushed him against the fence but Cormier reversed the position. Takedown by Cormer but he let him back up and threw a hard right. Crowd booing but these two are working their asses off, sweating like crazy. Cormier with more punches from close range. Herb Dean separtaed them again. Cormier landed some punches. Body kick by Cormier. Left by Mir. Close round. Crowd booing the fight heavy. Cormier to me won the round, so 30-27, but no worse than 29-28 Cormier.

Scores: All three have it 30-27 for Cormier.

Strikeforce 4, UFC 3

BENSON HENDERSON VS. GILBERT MELENDEZ FOR THE UFC LIGHTWEIGHT TITLE

First round: Melendez got the expected big reaction. Henderson booed far more than anyone else tonight. Henderson pointed to God and got booed. That’s always fun. Both landed a low kick. Henderson knocked him staggering with a punch. Henderson followed with low kick. Takedown by Melendez. Melendez landed a knee as Henderson got up. Gilbert chant. Running knee by Melendez. Henderson backed him into the fence. Henderson missed a kick and landed a low kick. Melendez back with a low kick. Body punch by Melendez. Melendez’s lead left leg all rasberried up already. Right by Melendez. Henderson threw a kick and Melendez took him down from it and let him up. Another low kick byu Henderson. Trading punches and Melendez landed better. Big punch by Melendez knocked Henderson down as the round ended. Melendez 10-9

Second round: Melendez moved in and landed punches. Melendez landed a big punch. Melendez is gaining confidence here. Low kick by Melendez. Knee by Henderson. Henderson tried a kick by Melendez caught it but didn’t try to take him down from it. Both threw punches from close range. Melendez’s left leg is hurt. Body kick by Henderson. Another kick and Melendez caught it. Henderson landed a big punch. Henderson tried for a takedown and didn’t get it. Both trading punches. Henderson landing more punches. Close round to Melendez. 20-18 Melendez.

Third round: Henderson is trying to cheerlead and he’s getting booed out of the place. El Nino chant. Melendez moving forward but not landing. Henderson threw a low kick that put Melendez down. Uppercut by Henderson. Hard right by Melendez. Henderson in with punches and going for a takedown. Henderson got the takedown briefly but Melendez back up. Henderson with knees and Melendez with punches. Henderson tried a low kick but blocked. Front kick by Henderson. Both swinging. Henderson tried a takedown and Melendez blocked it. Henderson’s nose is bleeding. Melendez landed a nice punch. Henderson working for a takedown. Hard right by Henderson. Henderson swept him with a low kick and was pounding on him as the round ended. Henderson’s round so 29-28 Melendez.

Fourth round: Crowd so hot at the start of the round. Body kick by Henderson. Low kick by Henderson. Right by Melendez. Henderson kicked and Melendez caught the kick. Henderson tried a knee and Melendez caught that as well. Kneeby Henderson, then tried a takedown and Melendez blocked the takedown. Henderson landed a punch. Side kick by Henderson. Another side kick by Henderson. Henderons used a low kick to sweep him and got his back but Melendez right back up. Henderson with two punches and Melendez back with one. Low kick by Henderson landed. Trading punches and Melendez got the better of it and he has Henderson against the fence. Henderson broke away and landed two punches. Henderson’s round, I’ve got 38-38 going into round five.

Fifth round: Crowd gave both a big ovation to start the round. Henderson tried a jumping kick. Low kick and punches by Henderson. Body punch by Melendez. Melendez landed a few punches but Henderson danced out of the way. Melendez landed a left. Melendez chasing him down but neither landing. Melendez landed a punch. Henderson with an elbow. Henderson with a left. Low kick by Henderson. A few punches by Melendez. 2:00 left and it’s anyone’s fight. Crowd figured that out and is going wild. Low kick by Henderson. Kick by Hendeson that Melendez caught and Melendez landed a right. Knee by Melendez and a punch. 1:00 left and it’s still anyone’s fight. Melendez landed a left. Henderson landed a left. Melendez moving forward. Both swinging and missing. Melendez close 48-47. Rounds two and five were very close, so this realistically could go either way.

Scores: 48-47 Melendez 48-47 Henderson 48-47 Henderson

After the fight, Henderson proposed to his girlfriend. He waited until after the decision was read and then presented her with the title belt. The crowd booed the decision loudly since they all were behind Melendez. They even booed the proposal.

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