On the same night that Holly Holm fell to Valentina Shevchenko a future lightweight title contender emerged. Edson Barboza took out another former champion in Gilbert Melendez on the UFC returned to Chicago. Barboza put a beat down on Melendez landing leg kick after leg kick persuading each judge to give him the nod on the scorecards.
Gilbert had his moments notably in the second round when a right hook momentarily stunned Barboza. Ultimately the leg kicks and slick boxing game of Barboza closed the show and he put another former 155-pound champion to the sword.
As the opening round commenced Gilbert looked to use lateral movement to stay on the outside. Melendez was carefully edging his way into boxing range but his caution cost him two thunderous leg kicks to the thigh. A single leg takedown from Melendez was easily stuffed by Barboza, his work with champion Eddie Alvarez and featherweight contender Frankie Edgar apparently paying dividends. After landing two hard kicks Barboza retreated into his shell deceptively looking to bait Melendez into the pocket and countering hard. Faking the jab Melendez disguised an uppercut that landed flush on the chin. Barboza furiously looked to respond and threw a hard kick to the body. Gilbert opportunistically caught the kick and drove Barboza towards the cage. Realising the takedown was not available, Gilbert opportunistically landed a hard knee to the body in between the grappling and striking phases. Looking to turn the momentum in his favour Barboza led with an uppercut and read the reaction of Melendez, allowing him to sneak in a round kick to the body. A spinning back kick followed for Barboza as he looked to close the round strong in the eyes of the judges. As the klaxon sounded Barboza raced forward looking for the jumping knee but narrowly missed.
Changing his approach Melendez looked to force the action early in the second round. Staying in Barboza’s face momentarily provided a reprieve from the attacks to the leg. A left hook from Barboza found the mark and he wonderfully swivelled his hips away from a takedown attempt from Melendez. As the outside leg kicks gradually began to build up another hard kick slammed onto Gilbert’s thigh momentarily causing him to fall to the canvas. Edson began to fake the leg kick possibly to set up hooks and the right uppercut to the head. Moving away from the kicks to Gilbert’s thigh Barboza hammered two switch kicks to the midsection. Just when the accumulation of strikes looked like they were beginning to take their toll Gilbert turned the tide. A looping right hand managed to find its way around the guard of Barboza that wobbled the Brazilian. Melendez stuck to Barboza like glue landing a piston-like jab as he chased Edson around the Octagon. Gilbert threw a kick to end the round. Barboza managed to pick up the leg off of the body kick and put Melendez on his back ending the round landing hammer fists to the head.
Melendez was by now presumably down on the scorecards and aggressively pressed forward crowding Barboza searching for that one punch in the boxing exchanges. Continuing the steady diet of kicks to the legs allowed Barboza dictate the pace of the third round. Gilbert valiantly pushed forward looking to land hands on Edson. The punches failed to land and the takedowns also came up short as Melendez spent the majority of the rest of the round at the end of Edson’s range taking more damage to the legs. After 12 months off Melendez would leave Chicago with a severely purple thigh and a loss as Barboza marched forward toward the upper echelon of the lightweight division.
Edson Barboza defeats Gilbert Melendez via unanimous decision (29-28,30-27,30-27)
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Cover Image: Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC
Exclusive: Derek Brunson: “Anderson was definitely a little lubed up”
Derek Brunson fought Anderson Silva back in February of this year, at UFC 208. Brunson would go on to lose the fight by controversial unanimous decision. However, the controversies didn’t stop at the questionable decision, Brunson also claims Silva was greasing during the fight. The Wilmington, North Carolina native, posted about it on Twitter a few days ago:
Just make sure you don’t put cooking oil all over your body like Anderson did so it’ll be easy to grab ahold of you @lyotomachidafw 👌
— Derek Brunson (@DerekBrunson) October 17, 2017
Speaking with MMA Latest, Brunson explained why he believes Silva was greasing during the fight. “Anderson was definitely a little lubed up. Every time I grabbed him he was just slipping out of everything, and his takedown defense was really good that night. I was definitely curious to know why he was very slippery, which I definitely think he had some kind of substance on his body. He knows I’m a wrestler obviously, he’s an old, savvy veteran, so he was definitely trying to play all the rules and be very strategic, and make it harder for a wrestler to grab him.”
Brunson is set to face Lyoto Machida come October 28, when asked about whether he was worried about Machida greasing, considering Gegard Mousasi accused him of doing so in their fight, Brunson admitted he wasn’t too worried.
“Well I’m not too worried, but like I said, I put it out there because I know they’re friends and I know, obviously, that’s kind of what the guys do when they know they’re fighting a wrestler. They want to lube their body up really good to make it hard to grab hold, Anderson did a great job defending my takedowns. It’s because he was all greased up so he was able to stop a lot of them. When I grab guys in the clinch, it’s very tough for them to get away and I’m pretty good with my Greco takedown. He was pretty much pulling through my clinch when I had a tight grip on him and if you have some kind of substance on your body it’s easy to pull them.”
Neither Silva nor his management have commented on the greasing allegations. Anderson Silva makes his return against Kelvin Gastelum later this year, in China. While Brunson makes his return to the Octagon on October 28th, in Brazil, where he looks to add Lyoto Machida’s name to his impressive list of victories.
Ovince Saint Preux Steps in to Face Corey Anderson at UFC 217
UFC 217 just got even more interesting. Earlier this week, Patrick Cummins pulled out of his light heavyweight matchup with Corey Anderson due to a Staph infection. Corey “Overtime” Anderson was not happy with his opponents decision, even calling out his opponent on Instagram asking how Cummins could, “call it quits so far from fight night”.
The UFC left Anderson on the card, and he found an opponent through the magic of Twitter. Ovince Saint Preux tweeted out directly to Anderson stating:
— Ovince Saint Preux (@003_OSP) October 19, 2017
It didn’t take long for Anderson to respond agreeing to the fight, tagging Mick Maynard and Dana White in his response.
Only a few short hours later, the fight announcement came from the official UFC twitter account.
Fight News update!!
— UFC (@ufc) October 19, 2017
This top 10 Light Heavyweight matchup should add to an already amazing card coming in November at Madison Square Garden. Saint Preux is coming off of back to back wins both due to the very rare von flue choke, he finds himself ranked #7th in the latest edition of the 205-pound rankings. Corey “Overtime” Anderson is 4-2 in his last 6 fights, but is coming off a brutal first round knockout loss to Jimi Manuwa in March.
With such a exciting fight added to this card, what do you see happening November 4th? Will Corey Anderson bounce back and look to jump into the top 5 of the rankings, or will Ovince Saint Preux go for a third straight von flue choke? Let us know.
*Watch* Bellator 185 Weigh in: Live Stream, Results
Watch the live weigh-ins for Bellator 185 here.
Gegard Mousasi takes on Alexander Slemenko live this Friday night October 20th at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville CT. This is the first appearance for Mousasi in the Bellator cage as he looks to secure a title shot with a win over the very tough former Bellator champion Slemenko. Joining these men of the main card will be a pair of welterweights as Neiman Gracie from the famous Gracie BJJ family takes on Zak Bucia in the co-main event.
Full Weigh-in Results: (Updated in real time)
Gegard Mousasi (185) vs. Alexander Shlemenko (186)
Neiman Gracie (170.5) vs. Zak Bucia (170)
Heather Hardy (126) vs. Kristina Williams (126)
Ryan Quinn (155.5) vs. Marcus Surin (155)
Ana Julaton (125.5) vs. Lisa Blaine (122)
Jordan Young (200) vs. Alec Hooben (194)
Costello van Steenis (185) vs. Steve Skrzat (186)
Vinicius de Jesus (170) vs. Joaquin Buckley (171)
John Beneduce (154.5) vs. Dean Hancock (155)
Timothy Wheeler (144) vs. Pete Rogers (144)
Don Shainis (150) vs. Matthew Denning (149)
Frank Sforza (149) vs. Vovka Clay (150)
Kevin Carrier (156) vs. Jose Antonio Perez (153)
John Lopez (126) vs. Billy Giovanella (125)
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