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Benson (Smooth) Henderson Retains UFC Lightweight Title Against Gilbert Melendez on April 20, 2013

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On April 20, 2013, Benson Henderson (19-0) won a close split decision against Gilbert Melendez, the Strikeforce Champ (21-3). The event was held at the HP Pavillion in San Jose, California. Fans were treated to a close contest throughout with the UFC Lightweight Title see-sawing in the balance. This fight was between the classicly aggressive and powerful Henderson (UFC Lightweight Titleholder) versus Melendez (Strikeforce Champ) who is an excellent counterpuncher and escape artist. The judges rated the contest in favor of Henderson (48-47) on two of the three scorecards. John Mc Carthy was the referee.

Melendez scored big in round 1(10-9) by slamming Henderson to the mat and landing a knee to the body. Henderson tried feverishly to land roundhouse kicks to the body of Melendez but to no avail.

Melendez is one of those rare MMA fighters who can catch roundhouse kicks and pull the combatant’s leg across the ring floor. In addition, Melendez has a thinner body frame with much less musculature. Henderson has legs as thick as tree trunks and a lot of muscle bulk on the arms. His huge muscles get in the way when opposing someone with a thinner body frame like Melendez.

Henderson won narrowly in round 2 (10-9) by delivering hard elbow shots and punches by the end of the round. Both fighters stalked each other and traded many punches, although Henderson was busier.

Round 3 was similar to round 2 with Henderson scoring two knockdowns with an outside leg kick and a kick to the body. Despite these knockdowns, Henderson was unable to end the fight. In both cases, Melendez broke away from Henderson easily to continue the fight. Henderson won the round (10-9). MMA fans learned an important thing in this round. Essentially, Melendez simply cannot be pinned by Henderson.

Round 4 went narrowly to Henderson (10-9). Henderson landed a body kick which was countered with a right by Melendez to avoid a possible take-down. Henderson scored with elbow shots. He attempted a take-down but was unable to prevail. Melendez landed 2 hard body shots and a right hand. Although Henderson got the round, Melendez demonstrated superior skills in escaping from the pin and landing vicious punches of his own. Henderson got the round purely on aggression.

Round 5 went big for Melendez (10-9). He caught a vicious middle kick and scored with a tremendous right hand punch followed by many others. The fight ended with a very close decision in favor of Henderson (48-47). He retained his UFC Lightweight Title albeit by the narrowest of margins. For sure, a rematch will be in the making. To prevail in a rematch, Melendez must be more aggressive by tracking down his opponent more often in the fight and delivering more effective punches and kicks.

Photo credit: AP

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About Dr Joseph S Maresca

I've taught approx. 34 sections of collegiate courses including computer applications, college algebra, collegiate statistics, law, accounting, finance and economics. The experience includes service as a Board Director on the CPA Journal and Editor of the CPA Candidates Inc. Newsletter. In college, I worked as a statistics lab assistant. Manhattan College awarded a BS in an allied area of operations research. The program included courses in calculus, ordinary differential equations, probability, statistical inference, linear algebra , the more advanced operations research, price analysis and econometrics. Membership in the Delta Mu Delta National Honor Society was granted together with the degree. My experience includes both private account and industry. In addition, I've worked extensively in the Examinations Division of the AICPA from time to time. Recently, I passed the Engineering in Training Exam which consisted of 9 hours of examination in chemistry, physics, calculus, differential equations, linear algebra, probability/ statistics, fluids, electronics, materials science/structure of matter, mechanics, statics, thermodynamics, computer science, dynamics and a host of minor subject areas like engineering economics. A very small percentage of engineers actually take and pass the EIT exam. The number has hovered at circa 5%. Several decades ago, I passed the CPA examination and obtained another license in Computer Information Systems Auditing. A CISA must have knowledge in the areas of data center review, systems applications, the operating system of the computer, disaster recovery, contingency planning, developmental systems, the standards which govern facility reviews and a host of other areas. An MBA in Accounting with an Advanced Professional Certificate in Computer Applications/ Information Systems , an Advanced Professional Certificate in Finance and an Advanced Professional Certificate in Organizational Design were earned at New York University-Graduate School of Business (Stern ). In December of 2005, an earned PhD in Accounting was granted by the Ross College. The program entrance requires a previous Masters Degree for admittance together with a host of other criteria. The REGISTRAR of Ross College contact is: Tel . US 202-318-4454 FAX [records for Dr. Joseph S. Maresca Box 646 Bronxville NY 10708-3602] The clinical experience included the teaching of approximately 34 sections of college accounting, economics, statistics, college algebra, law, thesis project coursework and the professional grading of approx. 50,000 CPA examination essays with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Additionally, membership is held in the Sigma Beta Delta International Honor Society chartered in 1994. Significant writings include over 10 copyrights in the name of the author (Joseph S. Maresca) and a patent in the earthquake sciences.