Gilbert Melendez has accomplished a tremendous amount throughout his MMA career, winning WEC and Strikeforce titles while defeating the likes of Shinya Aoki, Josh Thomson, Tatsuya Kawajiri and Clay Guida. Now 35 and coming off three straight losses, he is fighting to prove he can still compete at the highest level. Jeremy Stephens is a respected veteran with solid power and impressive wins of his own including Rafael Dos Anjos, Dennis Bermudez and Renan Barao. Stephens has lost two straight and also needs to look strong here.
Round 1. Stephens connects with the best early combination of the fight as both men attack at range. Stephens appears to have more pop in his punches and he is also attacking Melendez's lead leg with kicks. Melendez connects with a solid left hook of his own. Stephens nails Melendez with a hard leg kick and Melendez winces in pain. Melendez falls down and then manages to stand back up. Stephens makes him pay for it with some hard punches. Melendez goes down from another leg kick. Melendez's leg is in terrible shape. Stephens fires some more punches on a grounded Melendez as the round concludes. 10-8 Stephens.
Round 2. Melendez is struggling to stand on that leg but he comes out swinging trying to get a finish. Melendez does land some punches in spite of the leg injury. Stephens catches Melendez with one leg kick and Melendez goes down. Melendez is able to stand up and they continue. Stephens catches Melendez with a hard uppercut. Stephens catches another kick and Melendez again goes down. 10-9 Stephens.