Strikeforce Lightweight Championship
Gilbert Melendez vs. Mitsuhiro Ishida
Ishida attacks first with an inside-low kick. Ishida, a southpaw, sneaks in a left-hand lead. The fighters circle and the San Jose crowd lets both fighters hear it. Ishida responds by shooting and Melendez easily defends. Melendez cracks his opponent with a left hook. He lands another as he opens up his hands in a flurry. Ishida steps forward in the pocket and is cracked with a counter-left hook. The crowd grows restless once again. Ishida shoots a single and drags Melendez down against the fencing. Melendez stands and grabs the fence. Referee Herb Dean issues a warning for the foul. Melendez turns on Ishida and gets a takedown of his own. Ishida gets to his knees and Melendez smartly knees his right shin.
Melendez gets a right straight in as Ishida drops levels. Melendez paws out the ugliest jab in MMA but it’s effective. Ishida’s is busted up near the headline and is bleeding down his right side. Melendez traps his opponent against the fence and gets a takedown. Melendez punishes the body with knees before standing and connecting with his hands as well. A wild flurry of punches commences against the fence and Melendez clearly takes battle.
Melendez connects with a right-hook lead. Ishida steps forward and grazes Melendez’s face with both hands. Melendez lands a right hand and stuffs a takedown. Melendez scrambles and knees the body. Ishida is hurt, he drops to his back and Melendez pounces. Melendez pounds away from the top and Ishida rolls over. Melendez looks for the rear-naked choke, but Ishida defends well. Melendez rains in punches from the top and Ishida covers up. The punishment mounts and referee Herb Dean steps in to save Ishida at the 3:56 mark of round three.