When UFC lightweight champ Benson Henderson puts his belt on the line against the last Strikeforce 155-pound title-holder Gilbert Melendez in a “champion vs. champion” super-fight Saturday night in San Jose, it will be the culmination of five-plus hours of UFC fights on Sportsnet.
UFC on FOX 7 takes place at the HP Pavilion and the full televised undercard airs on Sportsnet ONE Saturday starting at 5 p.m. ET / 2 p.m. PT, followed by the four-fight main card at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT.
Prior to that, two early online prelims will air on sportsnet.ca starting at about 4 p.m. ET / 1 p.m. PT.
In addition to the headliner, the main card is complete with three other “UFC vs. Strikeforce” matchups. Former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir meets Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix winner Daniel Cormier, former No. 1 lightweight contender Nate Diaz faces ex-Strikeforce belt-holder Josh Thomson and Matt Brown squares off against Jordan Mein of Lethbridge, Alta.
Mein, who was a late injury replacement for Dan Hardy, fought three times in Strikeforce before winning his UFC debut with a TKO of Dan Miller at last month’s UFC 158 in Montreal.
The undercard also features a few more matchups between already established UFC fighter and those fighting for the major Zuffa promotion for the first time since coming over in the merge after Strikeforce folded. Montreal’s Francis Carmont welcomes Lorenz Larkin and Tim Means takes on Jorge Masvidal on the televised preliminary card, while Anthony Njokuani greets Roger Bowling in the second sportsnet.ca prelim.
Two other former No. 1 contenders also appear on the televised undercard. Chad Mendes looks to win his third straight since falling to featherweight champion Jose Aldo in a tilt with Darren Elkins, who looks to extend his division-best five-fight win streak. Meanwhile, former top flyweight contender Joseph Benavidez looks to get another potential title shot with a victory over Darren Uyenoyama.
Here is the full UFC on FOX 7: Henderson vs. Melendez fight card:
Main card (Sportsnet ONE, 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT)
Lightweight title: Benson Henderson (c) vs. Gilbert Melendez
Heavyweight: Frank Mir vs. Daniel Cormier
Lightweight: Nate Diaz vs. Josh Thomson
Welterweight: Matt Brown vs. Jordan Mein (CDN)
Featherweight: Chad Mendes vs. Darren Elkins
Middleweight: Francis Carmont vs. Lorenz Larkin
Lightweight: Ramsey Nijem vs. Myles Jury
Flyweight: Joseph Benavidez vs. Darren Uyenoyama
Lightweight: Tim Means vs. Jorge Masvidal
Bantamweight: T.J. Dillashaw vs. Hugo Viana
Preliminary card (sportsnet.ca, 4 p.m. ET / 1 p.m. PT)
Lightweight: Anthony Njokuani vs. Roger Bowling
Middleweight: Clifford Starks vs. Yoel Romero