At UFC on FOX 7 Benson “Smooth” Henderson went toe-to-toe in a de-facto title unification bout against the last Strikeforce lightweight champion, Gilbert Melendez. A hard-fought scrap saw Melendez controlling the octagon for much of the fight, while Henderson cleverly out-struck “El Niño” from the outside. The split decision victory by Benson tied BJ Penn’s UFC record for most successful lightweight title defenses. But earning that razor-close decision in his opponents back yard pissed off the home crowd to no end, and during the reading of the judges scorecards, the crowd mercilessly rained down boos upon the champion.
Immediately after the decision was read, “Smooth” pre-empted the traditional Joe Rogan in-cage interview by dropping down to one knee in front of his long time girlfriend, and delivered a surprisingly coherent and heartwarming proposal for someone who had just been in a 25-minute war. I can understand the crowd booing the decision against their hometown fighter, but in a exceptionally classless display the crowd booed even louder when he began the proposal. Nothing like ruining one of the most special moments a couple will ever share because you got your buzz on at the fights, right? Benson later revealed that he wasn’t sure about proposing post-fight, but he “manned-up” and did it anyways. Surely those boos didn’t help his confidence, but thankfully, as Benson’s future wife jumped forward and said yes, about half of the crowd decided to salvage what dignity they had left and cheered on the newly engaged couple.
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