Report: UFC Working on Ben Henderson vs. Gilbert Melendez For April 20th
By FCF Staff
With Strikeforce’s last event now in the books, and Benson Henderson having reportedly signed a new, eight fight deal with the UFC, ZUFFA is apparently working on matching the UFC lightweight champion against Gilbert Melendez next.
A bout between the Strikeforce champ and Henderson is reportedly in the works for the April 20th, UFC on FOX card in San Jose, according to a report by MMA Fighting.
The 30 year-old Melendez is from the region and competed in San Jose extensively throughout his Strikeforce tenure. Melendez (21-2) has not fought since May, 2012, when he scored a split decision win over Josh Thomson to take their rubber match series.
The Cesar Gracie fighter was expected to fight Strikeforce contender Pat Healy before the promotion shuttered its doors recently, but a shoulder injury prevented the fight from taking place.
The 29 year-old Henderson (18-2), on the other hand, is coming off an impressive unanimous decision win over Melendez’s teammate Nate Diaz in December.
The UFC and its President Dana White have not made any official statements regarding who will challenge Henderson next as of yet. Top contenders Anthony Pettis and Donald Cerrone are scheduled to fight January 26th at UFC on FOX 6, and the winner could very well secure a title shot.
Former Bellator champ Eddie Alvarez has been offered a contract by the UFC, which reportedly could lead to an immediate title shot, however, the fighter and Bellator are now involved in a legal dispute regarding his contractual status.