Benson Henderson is set to defend his UFC lightweight strap against former Strikeforce lightweight champ Gilbert Melendez on April 20th, at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California. The fight is being promoted as a champion vs. champion title fight, and will serve as UFC on FOX 7’s main event. Both men discussed their thoughts on the upcoming bout today at the media conference call.
The card’s main event and co-main event fighters in the form of Benson Henderson, Gilbert Melendez, Frank Mir, and Daniel Cormier, plus UFC President Dana White made an appearance.
MMAFrenzy’s Sean Beanblossom was on the line, and relayed highlights back to our readers.
Read below for the conference highlights:
Benson: “I am definitely not looking past Gilbert. I know how tough Gil is ranked top two or three on the planet for a long time for a reason. I’m not worried about proving anything I just want to go out and win every fight. I don’t care about belts I just want to win every fight. I’m going to go out there and win every fight that’s it.”
Gilbert: “I feel no pressure, Champion vs. Champion is a new thing for me but I feel like Ben is the champ and I’m the challenger. This is my chance to prove I’m number one. I want to avenge my friend and represent for my team. I was bummed for Nate after the fight, and I just wanted an opportunity to fight Ben and I got it.”
Frank: “I am not concerned about ring rust. The Russian fighters in my camp are an asset I enjoy their work ethic and their skill sets.”
Daniel: “Strikeforce guys have done well, I don’t feel any pressure were all UFC fighters now. I will not fight with any emotion. There is only a few select human beings that can take as many beatings as Frank and still be the way he is. All the comments he made, if that is the way his mind works than that is very disturbing. I want to be the UFC champion if that means dropping to 205 than I will do that. My focus is on Frank Mir.”
Dana: “UFC is joining the fight to save wrestling. I have personally funded a ton of wrestling programs along with the UFC. Bellator and Viacom are also helping. Hardy will go to the best heart doctor in the country in L.A. and get him checked out. Dallas Texas Stadium is a possible destination for a super fight. Were going to see how GSP, Anderson, and Jon Jones do on their next fights and take the super fights form there. We are impressed with Jordan Mein that’s why we decided to put him in when the Dan Hardy fight fell apart. I think him and Matt Brown will be a great fight. The Mitrione situation was a pain in the ass. There was no point of that interview it just caused problems. There was no upside of that interview. Fox Sports 1 will be a huge event, it will be the same day Yankees meet the Red Sox. We were working on different territories for The Ultimate Fighter, places like China, India, Canada, and Russia. Strikeforce guys are hungry, I love the Strikeforce guys.”
Photo By: Ron Chenoy- USA Today Sports