Strikeforce Results: Gilbert Melendez retains title in a thrilling bout with Josh ThomsonPosted on May 19, 2012, 11:34 PM by Anton Gurevich
Gilbert "El Nino" Melendez remained the undisputed Strikeforce Lightweight champion, after five rounds of war with Josh "The Punk" Thomson at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California. Both fighters had their moments during the fight, but it was Gilbert Melendez who won on judges' scorecards via split decision 47-48, 48-47, 48-47.
Melendez looked impressive on his feet, constantly changing levels, and tagging Thomson with a lot of strikes. But Thomson proved he can take a punch, as Gilbert Melendez quickly realized he has a fight on his hands. "The Punk" was also dangerous on his feet; Thomson was able to rock Melendez on several occasions, but he lacked the power to finish the champion.
As always, takedowns played a very important role on judges' scorecards. Gilbert Melendez was able to execute more takedowns, but when it comes to quality, it was Josh Thomson who was able to control his opponent from the top.
Thomson's best chance to finish the fight came at the end of Round 4, when "The Punk" had Gilbert Melendez's back in a body triangle position. Josh Thomson did his best effort to submit "El Nino" via a rear naked choke, but the champ managed to survive.
In the end, Gilbert Melendez improves his MMA record to 21-2, as Josh Thomson drops down to 19-5. Thomson was more than a match for Melendez, who was finally tested after dominant performances against Jorge Masvidal, Tatsuya Kawajiri and Shinya Aoki.