It’s time for the co-main event, and in it we have Edson Barboza taking on Gilbert Melendez. Barboza is an ungodly striker, while Melendez was a top fighter who lost a narrow decision to Eddie Alvarez and then pissed hot – hence his absence as of late. But he’s back now, ready to either handily defeat the Brazilian or get his ass kicked by him.
Melendez absorbs two kicks before he realizes that he needs to stay either far on the outside or all the way on the inside. Barboza of course is also pretty damn deadly with his boxing, so for much of the first round the duo takes turns scoring with punches. It’s hard to gauge who takes the round, as they both have their moments.
His kicks are so hard and so fast, and in the second round the Brazilian starts to land them with such force that Melendez falls from their impact. The former Strikeforce eats one after another, and then he clips Barboza and it’s Barboza who’s stunned and struggling to recover. The round ends with him catching a kick, sweeping out Melendez’s supporting leg, and dropping fists.
One kick to the thigh and Melendez can no longer put weight on it, and Round 3 has him hopping around and unable to employ the footwork needed for him to box the Brazilian effectively. He stays in the game, but he’s just biding his time until the final horn.
Result: Edson Barboza def. Gilbert Melendez via Unanimous Decision