Sports Interaction’s Ricky Rothstein drops by with his preview for this weekend’s UFC on Fox 7: Henderson vs. Melendez.

Some people initially shrugged off Fox’s attempt to break into the UFC market, but it’s unlikely there will be many naysayers after Saturday’s UFC on Fox 7. With a card showcasing hometown Californians and some of the biggest names in the business, this could be the event that cements Fox as a major player in the MMA game.

Cormier ready for UFC debut
While Saturday might be the first time Daniel Cormier steps into the octagon for a major bout, he knows his way around the fight game after running through the competition at Strikeforce. He’ll have to be on his game against seasoned UFC veteran Frank Mir, but he certainly has the credentials. Cormier is a two-time Olympic wrestler and trains primarily with UFC champ Cain Velasquez. That has the 34-year-old very confident. "I know that when I step into the cage, I've had the best preparation that I could ever have,” Cormier told reporters. “There is not a guy in the division who's as tough as Cain Velasquez, and I get to train with that guy on a daily basis.” That’s a huge edge and Frank Mir is on the downslope of his career. Take a look at Cormier winning by submission.




Walk the walk
Nate Diaz and Josh Thomson have never been afraid of giving the press a juicy soundbite or the type of fight that puts a crowd on its feet. Expect nothing less in this matchup. Thomson looks to make a successful return to the UFC following a loss to Gilbert Melenez while Diaz aims to bounce back after losing to Benson Henderson. This one’s a bit of a toss-up. While standing, Diaz’s reach could be a major factor and his skills on the mat should cancel Thomson’s. Expect this one to go the distance with Diaz earning a split decision.

Meet Melendez
Gilbert Melendez is another fighter making his UFC debut and has his work cut out for him as well. Standing in the opposite corner will be UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson, a guy who’s riding a seven-fight winning streak. If there’s an early favorite for fight of the night, it’s this one. Both combatants are willing to scrap it out or take the fight to the mat. They’re also both versatile enough to win this fight in a number of different ways. It’s hard to go against Benson (-340) at Sports Interaction, though. If he can survive a fast start from Melendez, look for Henderson to end the fight in the fourth round.

You Wanna Make a BET............
Desert Dog

I have followed the UFC for over 10 years, written as a handicapper, and spent my spare time as an online poker grinder. Unfortunately, I ran out of legal wagering options...Thank god for Daily Fantasy Sports and the much needed addition of MMA drafts. I offer my insight into MMA fight handicapping and fight analysis for the purpose of making some dough at DFS!

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