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Edson Barboza brutalises Melendez, wins unanimous decision at UFC on Fox 20

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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.

Round 1

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.

Round 2

 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.

Round 3

 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.

Result:

 Edson Barboza defeats Gilbert Melendez via unanimous decision (29-28,30-27,30-27)


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Cover Image: Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC

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Events

*Live Updates* UFC Winnipeg Official Results

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The UFC returns to Canada for the final Fight Night card of 2017. In the cold of Winnipeg, Manitoba, the UFC will host eleven of the originally twelve scheduled fights. Unfortunately, Tim Elliot will not fight in the north country. His scheduled opponent, Pietro Menga, a newcomer to the promotions roster, failed to make weight after taking the bout with just over a weeks notice.

An exciting main card will be capped off with a potential contender eliminator bout featuring, Robbie Lawler and Rafael Dos Anjos. The former champions (Lawler at welterweight, Dos Anjos at lightweight) both put together impressive win streaks which dispatched top contenders in their respective divisions. Elsewhere on the main card, Santiago Ponzinibbio takes on the outspoken Mike Perry.

The card begins on UFC Fight Pass at 4:30/1:30 ETPT.

UFC Winnipeg Official Results:

MAIN CARD – FOX – 8PM/5PM ETPT

  • #2 Robbie Lawler (28-11) vs. #4 Rafael Dos Anjos (27-9) – Welterweight bout
    • Result: Rafael Dos Anjos def. Robbie Lawler via unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 50-45)
  • #3 Ricardo Lamas (18-5) vs. Josh Emmett (12-1) – Catchweight bout (148.5 lbs)
    • Result: Josh Emmett def. Ricardo Lamas via KO (punch) 4:33 round 1
  • #10 Santiago Ponzinibbio (25-3) vs. Mike Perry (11-1) – Welterweight bout
    • Result: Santiago Ponzinibbio def. Mike Perry via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
  • #3 Glover Teixeira (26-6) vs. #7 Misha Cirkunov (13-3) – Light Heavyweight bout
    • Result: Glover Teixeira def. Misha Cirkunov via TKO (punches) 2:45  round 1

PRELIMINARY CARD – FS1 – 5PM/2PM ETPT

  • #14 Jared Cannonier (10-2) vs #15 Jan Blachowicz (20-7) – Light Heavyweight bout
    • Result: Jan Blachowicz def. Jared Cannonier via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Julian Marquez (6-1) vs. Darren Stewart (7-2) – Middleweight bout
    • Result: Julian Marquez def. Darren Stewart via submission (standing guillotine) 2:42 round 2
  • Chad Laprise (13-2) vs. Galore Bofando (5-2) – Welterweight bout
    • Result: Chad Laprise def. Galore Bofando via TKO (punches) 4:10 round 1
  • Nordine Taleb (13-4) vs Danny Roberts (14-2) – Welterweight bout
    • Result: Nordine Taleb def. Danny Roberts via KO (head kick and punch) :59 round 1
  • John Makdessi (14-6) vs Abel Trujillo (15-7) – Lightweight bout
    • Result: John Makdessi def. Abel Trujillo via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
  • Alessio Di Chirico (10-2) vs Oluwale Bamgbose (6-3) – Middleweight bout
    • Result: Alessio Di Chirico def. Oluwale Bamgbose via KO (knee) 2:14 round 2

EARLY PRELIMINARY CARD – UFC FIGHT PASS – 4:30PM/1:30PM ETPT

  • Jordan Mein (29-12) vs. Erick Silva (19-8) – Welterweight bout
    • Result: Jordan Mein def. Erick Silva via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-26)
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Fight Announcements

Gilbert Burns vs. Olivier Aubin-Mercier Added to UFC Orlando

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The UFC has now added more bouts to the front end of their 2018 schedule. Gilbert Burns (13-2, 5-2 UFC) will face Olivier Aubin-Mercier (10-2, 6-2 UFC) in Orlando, Florida on February 24th, 2018.

Alongside a few other high-profile fight announcements, is the addition to the UFC Orlando, Florida card. The two lightweights will join Jake Collier and Marcin Prachnio, as the second fight set for the event.

It has been a while since the UFC hosted an event in the state of Florida. Last seen by the Floridians was UFC on Fox: Texeira vs. Evans, on April 16, 2016 in Tampa Bay. The card was a success, despite the cancellation of its planned main event between Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov. Drawing a gate of $1.05 million and 2.13 million viewers.

Gilbert Burns signed with the UFC after accumulating an undefeated record of 8-0. His first loss came in his home country of Brazil, as Rashid Magomedov defeated him via unanimous decision at UFC Fight Night: Belfort vs. Henderson 3, in November of 2015.

In his most recent bout, Burns defeated Jason Saggo by KO with five seconds remaining in the second round at UFC Fight Night: Rockhold vs. Branch.

Aubin-Mercier will come into the contest as a winner in his last three bouts. The Canadian fighter trains out of the Tristar gym, alongside legends such as Georges St. Pierre and head coach, Firas Zahabi.

In 2011, Aubin-Mercier was chosen to compete on The Ultimate Fighter: Nations. Competing in the welterweight bracket, he became a finalist by defeating both, Jake Mathews (unanimous decision) and Richard Walsh (rear naked choke). In the finale, Aubin-Mercier lost to Chad Laprise by split decision.

UFC Orlando will take place at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida on February 24th, 2018.

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Fight Announcements

Eryk Anders vs. Lyoto Machida Officially Headlines UFC Belem

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Eryk Anders vs. Lyoto Machida is officially booked to headline UFC Belem in Brazil.

Following his unanimous decision victory over Markus Perez on last weekends, UFC Fight Night: Ortega vs. Swanson, undefeated middleweight, Eryk Anders, called for the match-up with former UFC light heavyweight champion, Lyoto Machida. The UFC heard, and obliged.

First reported by The MMA Kings (@mma_kings.)

Anders holds a 2-0 undefeated record in the UFC. The Alabama native made his promotional debut against Rafael Nata in July of this year. A bout he took on short notice, replacing Alessio di Chirico whom withdrew from the fight due to a neck injury. Anders defeated Natal by knockout in the first round that night at UFC Long Island.

Prior to his indoctrination to MMA, the undefeated middleweight played for the University of Alabama football team, between 2006-2009.

Machida recently returned to the UFC roster after an 18-month suspension handed down by USADA, stemming from a failed out-of-competition test leading up to his April 2016 contest against Dan Henderson.

In his return to the octagon, Machida faced Derek Brunson in the main-event of the UFC Fight Night: Brunson vs. Machida, in Sao Paulo, Brazil. “The Dragon” lost the bout via first round KO.

UFC Belem, Brazil is scheduled for February 3rd, 2018, at the Mangueirinho Arena. The card will also feature the flyweight debut for Valentina Shevchenko as she faces Priscila Cachoeira

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