Gilbert Melendez vs. Josh Thomson
Round 1: Melendez moving forward with Thomson on the outside. They exchange inside. Thomson moves in and gets a trip takedown but Melendez immediately gets back to his feet. Melendez moves in with a right hand and Thomson counters with a knee. Melendez shoots in and secures the takedown. He has Thomson against the cage. Thomson looking to use the fence to get back to his feet. Thomson gets up. They separate and exchange and are back at distance. Melendez paws with his jab. He closes the distance and lands a knee to the body. They clinch and Thomson lands a knee to the body and they separate. Melendez lands a left hand. Thomson switching stances. Pace isn’t furious. Thomson throws a high kick that’s blocked. He throws another kick and Melendez catches it and tosses him to the canvas. Thomson rolls and gets up at the bell. MMAWeekly scores the round 10-9 for Melendez.
Round 2: Melendez presses forward. He goes on the attack. Thomson counters and circles out. Thomson unleashes a high kick that’s blocked. Melendez walks Thomson down and flurries along the cage. Thomson covers and circles away. Melendez is stalking. Thomson jumps in with a combination backing Melendez up. Melendez lands a left hook. Melendez lands an uppercut. Thomson gets poked in the eye. He is blinking repeatedly but says he’s okay. The fight is restarted and Melendez lands a right hand. Pace has picked up. Melendez lands a right hand as they exchange wildly. Melendez moves in with a left hand to the body. A minute remains and Melendez secures a takedown. Thomson works to get back to his feet along the cage. He does but eats a right hand. They’re back in the center of the cage. Thomson goes for a takedown in the closing seconds. Melendez lands short elbows as Thomson goes for the single leg. The round ends. MMAWeekly scores the fight 10-9 for Melendez.
Round 3: There’s some swelling around Melendez’ eye. Melendez moves in with a leg kick. The pace starts to pick up as Melendez goes for a takedown. Thomson shuts it down and eats a punch. He drives forward and lands a combination. They exchange uppercuts. Thomson gets a trip takedown but Melendez rolls and immediately bounces back to his feet. Melendez delivers an uppercut. Melendez moves in with a shot to the body. Melendez making Thomson miss with head movement. Melendez lands two uppercuts but Thomson responds with a combination. Melendez’ right eye has some definite swelling. Thomson shoots in for a takedown but Melendez sprawls. Thomson uses a front kick to keep Melendez on the outside. Thomson lands a jab and the round ends. MMAWeekly scores the round 10-9 for Melendez.
Round 4: Melendez lands a right hand. He presses forward. Thomson lands a solid right hand followed by a head kick. Melendez changes levels and drops down for a takedown and gets it. Thomson works his way back to his feet. Melendez is cut over his left eye. He moves in and lands a combination. Thomson lands a push kick and right hand combo. Melendez goes for the double leg takedown. Thomson lands elbows and Melendez breaks from the takedown attempt. Thomson rushes forward with a flurry but Melendez moves away. Thomson secures a trip takedown with 90 seconds remaining. Thomson on top. Melendez rolls, giving up his back. Thomson takes his back and sinks in both hooks. He works to apply a rear naked choke. Thomson applies a body triangle. Melendez stands and flops trying to get Thomson off his back. Thomson stays on. The round ends. MMAWeekly scores the round 10-9 for Thomson.
Round 5: Melendez’ face shows the signs of a war. Melendez comes forward. Thomson lands a combination. Melendez goes for and gets a takedown. Thomson immediately gets back to his feet. It’s Thomson moving forward now and Melendez circling on the outside. Thomson lands a solid right hand. They exchange and Thomson lands a right hook. Melendez lands a left but Thomson lands a counter right. Thomson unleashes a combination starting with a right hand and ending in a head kick that was blocked. He shoots and Melendez sprawls. Thomson is poked in the eye again. He’s complained several times throughout the fight about eye pokes. The fight is restarted. 90 seconds remain. Thomson clinches and lands knees and a right hand on the separation. Melendez counters with a right. Melendez goes for a takedown and Thomson stuffs it and lands a combination. Thomson secures a trip takedown. Thomson holds him down while Melendez peppers him with light punches from the bottom. MMAWeekly scores the round 10-9 for Thomson. Great fight!
The judges score the fight for Melendez by split decision. The scorecards read: 48-47, 47-48, 48-47.