UFC Chicago Results- Barbosa Spoils Melendez’s Return
*Written on location w/ Colin “Mitch” Mitchell- United Center, Chicago IL
After a year’s layoff stemming from a failed UFC 188 drug test, the man they call “El Niño” Gilbert Melendez looked to re-enter the picture at 155 pounds. Unfortunately, the road back prominence got a little bit longer for him as Edson Barbosa got the nod of the judges in Chicago.
Melendez gets right to work with his wrestling, using lead leg kicks to keep his opponent guessing. Twice Melendez looks to shoot for the legs of Barbosa. Nothing materializes. He lands a right hand dead-center. At this point, the battle is for cage control. Both counter the other’s left hook, but Barbosa leaves the lasting impression with one last right before the first break.
Melendez opens with stand-up in the middle frame. The third time is the charm is his beginning flurry as Barbosa leaves an opening. The Brazilian simply chucks his man to the canvas. They are almost immediately stood up.
The highly touted kicks of Barbosa are starting to wear on the crowd favorite as he falters. Another right is successful as he stands. Melendez whiffs and the lower limbs of his adversary come his way again. Melendez is now swinging into the wind with regularity now. Barbosa finishes the round in the top position in guard.
As third sees more action going low, the evidence of Melendez’s suffering is coming across to the audience. He tries to force the fight to into the ground game sector, but Barbosa keeps things on the feet. He turns another kick into a combination with a left hook.
A jab is the last real effort seen from Melendez for the night. He exits the cage 1-4 in the UFC.
“It’s a tough situation now. I love to fight, but obviously, I’m far from the title. I’m fighting for respect nowadays and I feel like I still get that respect.”
Edson Barbosa def. Gilbert Melendez via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)