Fightin' Words

A mixed martial arts blog about UFC, Bellator and other MMA promotions and fighters.


How time differentiates between Gilbert Melendez and Benson Henderson

Gilbert Melendez during a photo shoot to promote

Gilbert Melendez during a photo shoot to promote his Strikeforce lightweight title defense against Josh Thomson on May 19, 2012, in San Jose, Calif. (Credit: Strikeforce/Esther Lin)

For the past several years, Gilbert Melendez has been considered the best lightweight outside of the UFC. As Strikeforce became less and less relevant under the Zuffa banner, talk focused on possible matchups for Melendez and top lightweights in the UFC.

But since the calendar turned to 2012, the former Strikeforce champion (21-2) has fought one time -- a split decision win over Josh Thomson on May 19, 2012. Injuries and sporadic Strikeforce fight calendar played their roles in that.

But in that same time span, UFC champion Ben Henderson has spent 75 minutes in the octagon.

In February 2012, Henderson beat Frankie Edgar by unanimous decision to win the title.

In August, he defended that title against Edgar with a split decision.

In December, Henderson shut out Nate Diaz in his second title defense.

Staying active doesn't necessarily translate into winning or being the odds-on favorite every time. It just means people have been reminded visually more often of how good a fighter Ben Henderson is.

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