MMA fans will get their first real taste of Strikeforce vs. UFC fights this April…and it will be completely free. The UFC on FOX 7 broadcast will be headlined by two big fights featuring former Strikeforce champions making their UFC debuts.
[adinserter name=”366 left”]A battle of lightweight champions will headline the FOX network event. The final Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez will make his long awaited UFC debut challenging the red hot Benson Henderson in the broadcast main-event. This will be the second title defense from Henderson to headline a UFC on FOX broadcast.
The heavyweights will also see action as the Strikeforce heavyweight Grand Prix champion will officially make his UFC debut. Daniel Cormier will waste no time as he will be jumping right back into camp in preparation of his heavyweight debut. Cormier will be welcomed to the UFC by former heavyweight champion Frank Mir.
This is a stacked UFC show, featuring two highly anticipated fighters among hardcore MMA fans. MMA fans have been debating how Gilbert Melendez would do in the UFC for quite some time. They will finally find out as he goes up against arguably the best lightweight MMA fighter in the world in Ben Henderson.
The fight has been on and off for the last several weeks. Melendez was the first Strikeforce fighter to publicly call for a fight with his UFC division champion rival after Zuffa purchased Strikeforce. Recent documents indicated that Eddie Alvarez was in line for the next title shot at Hendo, not Melendez. Obviously that wasn’t going to happen as Alvarez will be going to court to get out of his Bellator obligati0ons. This fight makes perfect sense.
Zuffa has been trying to promote a Cormier vs. Mir fight for months. They were scheduled to fight last year in Strikeforce before Mir pulled out of the fight with an injury. Cormier has publicly called out Mir since the cancelled fight, most recently doing so after earning his final Strikeforce win. The fight sets up what it starting to become a nice little grudge match between the heavyweights.
Quite honestly Cormier’s obsession with Mir has stumped me. Why would Cormier be this obsessed with an aging heavyweight on the decline of his career is beyond me? What is to gain by fighting Mir? It makes even less sense when he and the UFC are both saying that his future is at light heavyweight. If that is true and he is being considered as a challenger for Jon Jones, why even bother taking a heavyweight fight?
[adinserter name=”366 right”]One thing I can say is that it is obvious that FOX made the UFC step up their game with the television lineups. Every broadcast since Jim Miller vs. Nate Diaz has been headlined (or scheduled) by a championship fight. Dana White can spin the ratings anyway he wants, it is obvious that FOX had a problem with the numbers and put the pressure on the UFC to deliver title fights on television.
And I don’t have any problem with that.
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