Ben Henderson recently defended his UFC lightweight crown in an exciting back and forth bout against Gilbert Melendez at UFC on Fox 7. It was a close fight, and yesterday, Diego Sanchez weighed in on the bout and it looks like he doesn't see the champion in such high regard. He spoke to MMAJunkie about Henderson's "mediocre" performance:
"After watching Benson Henderson’s performance against Gilbert Melendez, I must say, I wasn’t impressed. I see a lot of holes in his game, and I feel like that belt’s there for the taking."
"I see holes in his game, and I really felt he lost that fight to Gilbert... He’s strong, but in the Gilbert fight, he didn’t try to do one takedown the whole fight, which I think a champion would see, ‘I’m not dominating this fight in the standup, so let’s work for something else. Let’s try to change it up and at least get some points.’ At least try to win some rounds more convincingly, the way he did with Jim Miller. But he was just very content in his striking style and throwing the kicks. I saw it as a mediocre performance, and I think I can get in there and beat this guy."
According to Dana White, the winner of Gray Maynard vs. T.J. Grant gets the next shot at Henderson, but it looks like Sanchez already has his eyes set on the title as well. Sanchez, who would be more suited for a 165 lb division, will still have to make the lightweight limit properly first though.
"The Dream" last fought in Japan, where he tried to make a return to lightweight, only to miss weight by a few pounds. The bout went on as a catchweight fight, where the former TUF champion won a highly contested split decision against Takanori Gomi.
Sanchez is currently penciled in for the UFC 164 card this August.