Champion also proposes to his girlfriend seconds after retaining his world title.
Benson Henderson is still the UFC lightweight champion after defeating Gilbert Melendez in a close split decision as part of the main event of UFC on FOX 7.
The challenger loomed as the one of the biggest threats to the title having won almost everything possible to before his promtional debut in San Jose.
However, after five hard and see-sawing round, Henderson was given the nod before the champion sealed his perfect day by proposing to his girlfriend in the middle of the octagon.
And for the record she said yes.
At the start of the first round Melendez was wary of his opponent’s kicking prowess and managed to largely stay out of trouble despite a few glancing blows.
At the end of the first, the champion’s corner told him to get busier, but it was the boxing skills of Melendez that earned him points with judges in the second round.
Henderson fought off the back foot for much of the second round with Melendez happy to
take his time and wait for an opening.
Henderson picked up the pace towards the end of the second and it might have just been enough for him to steal it.
A Henderson leg kick floored Melendez mid-way through the third before the fight turned into a brawl as both men stood and traded or landed counter-punches as the other came inside.
The round ended with Henderson on top throwing big elbows, after both men slipped in the midst of attempting kicks.
Both men continued to show good takedown defence into the championship rounds with the fight only taking place on the ground as a result of a slip.
One of those slips by Melendez saw the champion pounce on him and take his back, but the Strikeforce champion quickly got back to his feet before any punishment or submission attempt was able to take place.
Melendez put together several good combinations late in the fourth to give his camp some hope, with his corner telling their charge if he could win the fifth then the title would be his.
In the final five minutes, Henderson changed his levels well early to create attacking chances with either his feet or hands.
Melendez showed no signs of backing up and continued to come forward and throw heavy hands in the hope of stunning the champion.
The challenger continued to try and cut down the octagon and back up Henderson against the fence, but the movement by ‘Smooth’ proved to be just that even after 23 plus minutes.
Despite an impressive showing, it wasn’t to be for Melendez who was forced to wait years for his chance at the UFC title, as he sunk to his knees in disbelief after the decision was read out, with a smattering boos coming from the somewhat pro-Melendez crowd.
Check out Henderson as he caps off his win with an engagement ring: