Benson Henderson had yet another close call. | Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images
After cruising to a victory over Nate Diaz in December, Benson Henderson returned to his habit of winning nail-biters on Saturday night, taking a narrow split decision over former Strikeforce 155-pound king Gilbert Melendez in the UFC on Fox 7 headliner. Like his two bouts with Frankie Edgar, this one was in doubt for the full 25 minutes. And when the final decision was rendered, plenty of observers felt the fight could have been scored for Melendez.
It was all in a night’s work for “Smooth,” who capped off another skin-of-his teeth victory with a successful marriage proposal in front of more than a few unhappy fans at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif. While there are no official stats for proposal rates inside the Octagon, there are still plenty of numbers to crunch after a memorable night of fights. Here is a by the numbers look at UFC on Fox 7, with statistics provided by FightMetric.com.
4-4: Record for UFC veterans in bouts against recent Strikeforce additions. Benson Henderson, Matt Brown, Francis Carmont and Anthony Njokuani earned triumphs for the UFC, while Daniel Cormier, Josh Thomson, Jorge Masvidal and Yoel Romero Palacio were the victorious ex-Strikeforce talents.
8: Knockouts at UFC on Fox 7, tying UFC 92 for most in promotion history.
3: Fighters who have begun their UFC careers with seven consecutive decisions, after Henderson won a hard-fought split verdict against Gilbert Melendez on Saturday. The other two are Demetrious Johnson and Michihiro Omigawa. Henderson is 7-0 in those contests; Johnson is 5-1-1, while Omigawa is 1-6.
25: Significant strikes by which Henderson outlanded Gilbert Melendez in their lightweight title tilt. “Smooth” held a striking advantage in each round, outlanding his foe 9 to 7 in round one, 15 to 13 in round two, 15 to 7 in round three, 15 to 8 in round four and 14 to 8 in round five. Henderson also outlanded Melendez 92 to 56 in total strikes.
44: Leg strikes landed by Henderson. “Smooth” attacked the legs most effectively in round one, landing 19 leg strikes. By comparison, Melendez landed 11 leg strikes over the course of the entire bout.
25: Significant strikes to the head landed by both Henderson and Melendez. Henderson outlanded Melendez 23 to 20 in significant strikes to the body.
0: Successful takedowns in four attempts by Henderson. Prior to UFC on Fox 7, the MMA Lab product’s takedown rate of 65 percent in UFC bouts tied him with Jamie Varner for No. 5 all-time in the promotion. Melendez landed the lone takedown of the bout in the first round.
.230: Significant striking accuracy for Melendez, who landed 43 of 191 strikes. By comparison, Henderson landed 41 percent of his significant strikes, 68 of 166.
14: Fighters on the UFC on Fox 7 lineup who either equal or surpass heavyweight Daniel Cormier’s 71-inch reach. Frank Mir had an 8-inch reach advantage against the 5-foot-11 American Kickboxing Academy product.
102: Total strikes landed by Cormier. The American Kickboxing Academy standout outlanded Mir 35 to 20 in round one, 26 to 15 in round two and 41 to 18 in round three.
1: Knockout loss in 25 professional appearances for Nate Diaz after being stopped by Josh Thomson 3:44 into round two of their lightweight scrap. “The Punk” rocked the Stockton, Calif., native with a head kick before finishing the fight with a flurry of punches to become the first man to stop Diaz with strikes.
97: Significant strikes landed by Diaz in the three bouts since he set a promotional record by landing 238 in a victory over Donald Cerrone at UFC 141.
18: Significant strikes landed by Matt Brown in the second round of his TKO victory over Jordan Mein, who landed no strikes in the period. In round one, Mein outlanded Brown 24 to 22 in significant strikes.
253: Days since Jordan Mein’s father, Lee, last competed as a professional mixed martial artist. Lee Mein, a 6-foot-3 inch heavyweight, suffered a first-round technical knockout loss to Smealinho Rama at MFC 34 on Aug. 10 to fall to 5-12 in a career that began in 2000. Lee was in Jordan’s corner for his loss against Brown on Saturday.
3-0: Record for Team Alpha Male fighters on Saturday. All three members -- T.J. Dillashaw, Joseph Benavidez and Chad Mendes -- won via knockout or technical knockout. The wrestling-based camp recently came under the leadership of renowned striker and UFC veteran Duane Ludwig.
1:11: Average time of Chad Mendes’ three Octagon triumphs since falling to reigning 145-pound champion Jose Aldo at UFC 142. “Money” knocked out Darren Elkins at the 1:08 mark of round one at UFC on Fox 7.
23: Total strikes by which Lorenz Larkin outlanded Francis Carmont in rounds one and two combined. Carmont was particularly inaccurate in round one, landing just one of his 25 total strikes. In round three, both fighters landed four total strikes apiece.
9: Takedowns successfully defended by Larkin, who displayed excellent balance throughout the middleweight encounter. Carmont landed two takedowns in the bout, one in round two and one in round three, and emerged with a controversial unanimous verdict.
46: Significant strikes by which Joseph Benavidez outlanded Darren Uyenoyama in their flyweight clash. The Team Alpha Male product outlanded his opponent 37 to 2 in the decisive second round, finishing the contest with a punch to the body at the 4:50 mark.
6: Takedowns landed in eight attempts by Jorge Masvidal in his unanimous decision triumph over Tim Means. The striking totals were much closer, however, as “Gamebred” outlanded his foe 50 to 43 in significant strikes and 71 to 68 in total strikes.
.166: Percentage of Anthony Njokuani’s Octagon bouts that have ended inside of three rounds. Before his second-round knockout of Roger Bowling, all five of the Assassin’s previous UFC appearances had gone to the judges. Not one of Njokuani’s seven WEC outings (four TKO wins, one TKO defeat, two submission setbacks) went the distance.