But the biggest buzz was reserved for lightweight champion Benson Henderson and fan favorite Gilbert Melendez, a native of San Jose. A heavy pro-Melendez crowd witnessed the first national-television UFC on FOX event in San Jose, and got quite a show in a main event that lasted the full five rounds.
Despite Henderson scoring a critical third-round takedown, the judges’ scorecards were as close as they could get — officially 48-47, 47-48, 48-47. But that didn’t stop fans from reacting angrily upon hearing Henderson had won the split-decision over Melendez.
Then it truly got weird. As Melendez dropped to the Octagon mat in a heap, agonizing over the controversial loss, just a few feet away the reigning champion Henderson also dropped down — to one knee, as he offered his girlfriend Maria Magana the wedding bling.
"I love you. I’m not perfect. I never have been, but you make me happier every single day than any man has a right to be. I love you. Will you marry me?"
The boos quieted for a moment, but after Magano accepted more boos rained down on the newly engaged.
"There’s a lot of bigger things than fighting, and I had to take care of one of those things tonight," Henderson (aka "Smooth") said to UFC analyst Joe Rogan after winning two big prizes on the evening.
OK, so first, the fight — even UFC President Dana White admitted afterward that the champ, now 7-0 in his UFC career, has the habit of squeaking by.
"It’s a Ben Henderson fight," said White. "All his fights go to decisions — and controversial decisions."
"I didn’t have any doubt," said Henderson. "I knew it was close, but I thought I won. … I started slow because Gil made me start slow. But after the first round, I felt like I was winning."
. . .
BUT WHAT ABOUT THAT PROPOSAL?
For one, UFC ring girl extraordinaire Arianny Celeste loves the proposal:
What a great proposal! Icing on the cake , thankyou San Jose! @ufconfox