For five minutes, Anthony Pettis looked to be getting about all he could handle against Gilbert Melendez. We knew coming in that Gilbert was going to try and pressure Pettis, and that’s exactly what he did. Pettis was forced back against the cage with Gil working for takedowns, and even was forced to eat some hard shots from the ultra-aggressive Scrap Pack fighter. Even though Gil didn’t allow Pettis to get much space and work his famous striking game Pettis made sure to capitalize on any space he had; whether it was with a front kick, flying knee, or punching combinations.
It wasn’t until the second round that Pettis and Gil finally started going toe-to-toe. Gil still pushed the pace and kept Pettis backed up against the cage, but Pettis seemed confident in his ability to scrap with Melendez. They threw punch for punch and it was Pettis who landed a right hand in an exchange that stunned Melendez. Gil immediately shot for a takedown, but it was Pettis that latched onto the guillotine and forced the tap out.
On paper, Gil fought the perfect fight for the first round. He stuck onto Pettis like glue and arguably won the first round, but it seemed like Pettis’s hand speed and ability to angle, even with his back against the cag,e was what paved the way en route for the second round stoppage. With this win, Pettis has officially defended his strap and will be looking to take on the next challenger in this stacked 155lb division.