Gilbert Melendez: “I Thought I Won Three (Rounds) to Two; I’m Just Heartbroken”

April 21, 2013
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Gilbert Melendez Strikefore20_PostGilbert Melendez waited patiently for years to finally compete in the UFC and prove whether or not he was indeed the best 155-pound fighter in the world.

He finally got that opportunity on Saturday when he faced UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson in the UFC on Fox 7 main event at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif.

Melendez set the pace early, while the middle rounds went to Henderson.  Melendez battled back, winning the final round on two of the three cageside judges’ scorecards, but it wasn’t enough.  Henderson was declared the winner by split decision, although Melendez felt he did enough to win the fight.

“It was a tough fight.  I really thought I got (rounds) one, two, lost three, four.  I thought I definitely did enough to win the fifth, and I thought I won three to two,” said Melendez following the loss during the UFC Post Show on Fuel TV.

As the scores were being read, Melendez expected to have his hand raised.

“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,” he said.

“I’ve got to watch the tape.  Benson is a stud.  He’s a tricky guy to hit.  He’s very tough to hit,” said Melendez about the champion.

Melendez is left pondering the what-ifs now, what could have been.

“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,” he said.

“I’m just heartbroken right now.”

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    Gilbert fought scared or afraid of losing. Next fight he will be better accustomed to the spotlight. Ben got one ugly girl friend?

  • I had Gilbert winning round 1,3,5.

  • The_Commentator

    I thought you won Gilbert.
    Another stinky decision for benson. Its what he does!

    • vardoburrito

      It’s what he does, c’mon mate, it’s a close division, you can’t bloody finish everybody. Close fight, but I had Henderson winning even without the stat sheet. Or I’m just used to Gilbert’s high output put out by the leg kicks of Ben.

  • Clever Name

    I thought it was really close. I give it Henderson because he just seemed more active to me in the later rounds. But honestly it was almost too close to call. I half expected a split-draw.

  • gnodeb

    It was close. FightMetric shows that Gilbert throw a lot, but he landed less then Ben. Still, I was impressed with his TD defense. Also he is the only fighter from Cesar’s camp who actually done something in title fight. And he is the only one I’m excited to watch again…

    • TW

      It was so damn close you could even make the argument that those couple of times that Gilbert hit the mat in the later rounds might have been the whole difference. Once was a sweep, once was a trip and once he and Benson both threw a kick at the same time and Gilbert just lost his balance. He got back to his feet instantly each time, but those things definitely weigh on the scorecards. If you erase all three of those mostly inconsequential “takedowns” (for lack of a better term) maybe Gilbert gets his hand raised at the end. It was that close. With that said, I agree with the overall decision. When the fight is that close, the champ should keep the belt (and prepare for a rematch). Great fight. Much respect to both men.

  • benson won 2,4,5 winning the fight….i was routing for gilbert….but how deos he think he won round 2?! he gotknocked down twice with legs kick and the second time was the end of the round and henderson got on him and did damage….hate all these people scorin it for him…u obviously dont know the judging system or ur stupid as f***

  • Hugh Shakeshaft

    Gilbert clearly had faster hands, and seemed to see what Bendo had coming throughout the fight. Most of Gilbert’s sig strikes were to the head or body, while most of Bendo’s were to Gil’s leg. Should they be weighed the same? Who knows? All I know is that cornermen should quit telling their fighters they are ahead in the rounds. Rogan said he heard Shields say that. That’s the worst thing you can tell a fighter! Tell him he’s down and he better win this round. You got to beat a champ more decisively than this to take his belt.