This is the UFC on FOX 7 undercard live blog for the Henderson vs. Melendez event at the HP Pavilion in San Jose.
There will be eight fights on the undercard. Chad Mendes vs. Darren Elkins, Francis Carmont vs. Lorenz Larkin, Ramsey Nijem vs. Myles Jury, Joseph Benavidez vs. Darren Uyenoyama, Tim Means vs. Jorge Masvidal, T.J. Dillashaw vs. Hugo Viana, Anthony Njokuani vs. Roger Bowling, and Clifford Starks vs. Yoel Romero will be featured on the prelims.
Check out the UFC on FOX 7 undercard live blog below.
Round 1: Mike Beltran is the referee for this one. Romero circles to the outside in the early going. Starks has a jab for him each time he comes in. Romero just misses on a picture-perfect head kick which would have been trouble if it hit. Romero comes flying in and lands a violent knee to the jaw. Three right hands to the grounded Starks and one left and Beltran calls off the fight.
Round 1: Herb Dean is the referee for this lightweight fight. Bowling is more active in the opening minute, throwing occasional jabs and kicks. Njokuani seems content to stay out of range. First real exchange comes about two minutes in as Njokuani does damage with a counter flurry. Njokuani catches a Bowling kick and pushes him off-balance, but can't do anything without. He catches another one, but eats a Bowling left for his troubles. Bowling shoots a double and scores a takedown with about 90 seconds left. Njokuani does a solid job neutralizing him and gets back to his feet. Njokuani connects with a high kick and a knee coming off the break. MMAFighting scores the round for Roger Bowling, 10-9.
Round 2: Methodical pace to start the round, with Bowling’s left hand finding a home and Njokuani’s kicks otherwise keeping him at bay. Bowling gets a little too confident, though, and he runs right into a monster left hook which lands right on the button. Bowling falls forward and Dean stops the bout.
T.J. Dillashaw vs. Hugo Viana
Round 1: John McCarthy is the referee for this bantamweight fight. Dillashaw rushes in and Viana pops him with a jab. Viana tags him again rushing in, but in the resulting scramble, he gets Viana's back. Viana grabs the fence to get back to his feet right in front of McCarthy, which is roughy the 10,000th straight time this has happened in a McCarthy fight. The pace slows a bit after a standup flurry by both guys. Viana ducks a Dillashaw high kick. Dillashaw's nose appears to be cut. Dillashaw misses a big kick but then nails Viana big straight right hand. Viana is scampering backwards. He drops Viana and follows ip with a series of punches to Viana, who's covering up. McCarthy stops the fight.
Round 1: Mike Beltran is the referee for this lightweight fight. They simultaneously lands right hands. Then they simultaneously land kicks. Masvidal hasn't been afraid to move in and try to negate Means' height and reach advantage. Means mistimes a spinning backlist and Masvidal tags him on the back end. Masvidal shoots for a single leg and transitions it into a slam. Means scrambles back to his feet, but he's got Masvidal on his back. One minute left. Means shoots in for a single, but Masvidal sprawls it in the closing seconds. MMAFighting scores the round for Jorge Masvidal, 10-9.
Round 2: After a quiet opening minute, Masvidal shoots for a single, sticks with it, and finally gets Means to the mat with a trip. Means connects on an upkick and gets back to his feet, but Masvidal opens up with punches to the head and body, gets a takedown, and opens up with his ground and pound. Means flips over and Masvidal gets his back. Means works his way back to his feet, but Means takes him right back down and lands a series of elbows. He doesn't appears to be close to finishing Means, however. One minute left. Means landing elbows from the bottom and trying to find position to work for a submission. Both guys throw elbows in the final seconds of the round. MMAFighting scores the round for Jorge Masvidal, 10-9 (20-18 overall).
Round 3: Means pops Masvidal with a big left, but doesn't follow up. Means catches him with another left and Masvidal answers with a two-punch combo. Masvidal shoots a single leg, Means connects with his other knee, Masvidal hangs on and ultimately scores a takedown. The right side of Masvidal's face is cut open, can't tell where the cut is from my vantage point at cageside. Masvidal wtih another takedown. Two minutes left. Another frantic exchange with Masvidal throwing right hands from the top and Means with elbows from the bottom. One minute left, as one of the crazier striking battles within a guard in quite some time plays out. Means worlks for a Kimura with 20 seconds left and ends up on top. He's raining down punches as the round ends. MMAFighting scores the round for Jorge Masvidal, 10-9 (30-27 overall).
Round 1: Herb Dean is the referee for this flyweight fight. I'm calling these guys "JB" and "DU" for this one. JB is more active in the early going. He catches a DU kick and drops him, then lands a big left. He briefly gets in DU's guard, then gets back to his feet. JB steps back and DU stands. JB apparently lands a low blow, and Dean calls time out. They're right back to action. JB lands a kick to DU's ribs. DU with a low kick, JB with a big right which sends DU to the mat. DU whiffs on an up kick. Back standing, midway through the round. DU lands a body kick. JB with a two-punch combo and a body kick. JB drops DU with a big head kick. DU works his way back to his feet in the ensuing scramble. A Greco clinch struggle breaks out, and it ends with JB scoring the takedown. JB is cut over his right eye. JB misses a head kick. One round in, JB simply looks like the better fighter in every aspect. MMAFighting scores the round for Joseph Benavidez, 10-9.
Round 2: JB keeps DU guessing by mixing up mutli-punch combos and kicks. He rocks DU backwards with a left hand. A scramble ends with DU getting JB's back. But it ends with DU on the mat. JB follows in throwing haymakers like few flyweights can. Back to their feet, midway through the round. JB with an uppercut and a straight left. More of the same, fighting in the standup, JB initiating all of the offense. JB lands a pair of vicious body kicks. He follows with a right hand to the ribs which crumbles DU. JB lands several punches to the grounded DU and Dean stops the fight.
Joseph Benavidez def. Darren Uyenoyama via TKO at 4:50 of round two.
Ramsey Nijem vs. Myles Jury
Round 1: John McCarthy is the referee for this light weight showdown. An early scramble leads to several reversals on the ground. A similar standoff happens as they get back to their feet, but ultimately Jury gets Nijem's back. Nijem stands, Jury's hanging on as Nijem drops him. Jury works for an arm bar from the bottom, but Nijem's doing his best to hold off. Nijem breaks free, but Jury once again takes his back. Jury is doing tenacious work, but hasn't quite gotten the submission opening he's been looking for. Back to their feet. Nijem makes a half-hearted attempt for a slam and they land awkwardly. Nijem has Jury's back as the horn sounds. Close round after five minutes of solid grappling. MMAFighting scores the round for Myles Jury, 10-9.
Round 2: Jury eyepokes Nijem early. We're back after a time-out. And we have another KO to add to today's highlight reel. Jury lands a monstrous counter right on the button, then lands a right just as McCarthy is coming in to stop it.
Myles Jury def. Ramsey Nijem via knockout at 1:02 of round two.
Round 1: Mike Beltran is the referee for this middleweight fight. Both fighters clearly respect one another's power. Carmont makes the first real move two minutes in as he shoots in and bodylocks Larkin against the fence. Carmont grabs a leg and Larkin moves halfway a cross the cage looking to break free. An amazing sequence as Carmont relentlessly pursues the leg all over the Octagon before Larkin finally breaks free. Back to center Octagon with about a minute left, as the cautious kickboxing match from early on returns. MMAFighting scores the round for Francis Carmont, 10-9.
Round 2: Carmont keeps the shorter Larkin at bay early with body kicks. Larkin feigns a spinning back fist and throws a low kick instead. Larkin gets the better of an exchange. Carmont goes for the single leg again and gets the takedown. Back to their feet. Larkin lands a series of elbows in the clinch. They break. Two minutes left. Little happens for well over a minute. Larkin again feigns a backfist and lands a low kick. It's like he found a secret move in a video game. Carmont with a late takedown. MMAFighting scores the round for Francis Carmont, 10-9 (20-18 overall).
Round 3: An early scramble ends with Carmont taking a standing Larkin's back. He works for a choke, but doesn't get it. The pace slows and both guys are breathing heavily. The crowd jeers. Carmont with another trip. They stay in that position for quite some time until Larkin manages to get a Kimura and nearly finish the fight. Carmont rolls out and gets back to his feet. Larkin throws a wild flying kick near the horn which misses. MMAFighting scores the round for Lorenz Larkin, 10-9 (29-28 Carmont overall).
Round 1: Herb Dean is the referee for this featherweight fight. And it doesn't take long for Mendes to make Team Alpha Male 3-0 on the night. Mendes gets the best of the first standup exchange. Elkins wobbles backwards. Mendes tags Elkins with a right hand to the temple. Elkins is on his hands and knees as Mendes rushes in and lands several lefts before Dean stops the bout.
Chad Mendes def. Darren Elkins via TKO at 1:08 of round one.