Melendez: Benson playing with his hair is an opening

MMALivesHereMMALivesHere Posts: 80Free
On a night designed to pit established UFC talent against a group of Strikeforce arrivals, the fight between Benson Henderson (18-2) and Gil Melendez (21-2) is a fitting climax. Reigning Strikeforce lightweight champion Melendez hasn't lost a fight in five years, but he faces the stiffest test of his glittering career this weekend in San Jose. Henderson's most recent title defense was a five-round domination of Nate Diaz, a good friend of Melendez. While vengeance surely occupies part of "El Nino's" mind heading into the bout, strategy has not been forgotten. He told UFC veteran Frank Trigg that while Henderson was a well-rounded mixed martial artist, he did have a couple of bad habits. See the full video here.

"He doesn’t have the most devastating striking, the most devastating wrestling and grappling, but he transitions well and he’s a real mixed martial artist. What he does best is he can put everything together really well. A lot of guys are a little more predictable or do a certain strength and he’s a guy that puts it together. Although, I have been fighting Josh Thomson quite a bit. He’s actually a guy like that as well, a real well-rounded mixed martial artist. People usually have their strengths and Josh Thomson and him are two guys that I feel are really good at putting it all together ... I usually get the feel while I’m out there. I try to create reactions when I fight, I try to make things happen, I try to make him bite and I have my ideas to draw him into my fight or to draw him into my fight. But I do see some tendencies he does - the way he circles, the way he plays with his hair - there’s a couple of things I do see and that I do want to capitalise on. You never really know until you lock horns with someone. You know he has that good footwork, you know he has that big kick, you know he has that shot, but you're right, you don’t know when it’s coming. I think the trick is to not be so scared of it or wait for it. People run away from the kicks; I’m not scared of the kick, I’m not scared of the takedown - I’m going to meet him head-on."

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