Stephens opens things up with a leg kick and Melendez responds quickly with a 1-2. Melendez steps in for another 1-2 but hits nothing but shoulder. Both men still trying to find their punching range as they exchange leg kicks. A leg kick from Stephens takes Melendez’s leg out from under him for a moment. A right hook followed by a left lands for Melendez, and Stephens responds by pushing forward. A lead uppercut lands for Stephens and Melendez responds with a crisp left hand to the chin.
Melendez is really showing the wear and tear his leg has taken from the leg kicks as he finally falls down. Stephens smells blood now and attacks Melendez, who pops back up and sucks up the pain before pressuring forward once again. Melendez falls over once again after his leg pain is just too much to handle, and Stephens continues to kick his legs. The rounds comes to and end with Stephens unleashing ground-and-pound from the top position.
Melendez comes out looking for the finish, knowing his leg can only take so much more. Melendez switches stances and puts his injured foot back. Stephens is patient in the pocket, picking his shots carefully – and they’re landing. More leg kicks form Stephens but he’s eating jabs from Melendez as well. Stephens continues to look for a spinning technique but it doesn’t land. A big leg kick makes Melendez fall over again, but he shoots back up. A huge head-kick lands for Stephens and Melendez eats it.
Stephens continues to press forward and land some big shots. More leg kicks fly off from Stephens and Melendez again falls over. The round comes to an end with Stephens searching for the ground-and-pound on the floor.
Stephens opens the round with a beautiful hook to the body. Stephens then lands a nice right hand followed by a knee to the face. A straight right hand to the body lands for Stephens who follows it up with a beautiful combination. Stephens is showing off some beautiful striking as he begins to stun Melendez a bit, who is doing a great job of concealing it and fighting back. Another leg kick takes Melendez down but he shoots right back up, and Stephens, in a showing of respect, applauds him for it. A huge right hand lands for Stephens as he continues to push forward and abuse Melendez’s body.
A step-in elbow lands for Stephens and Melendez continues to circle around the Octagon as he eats some massive body shots. A head-kick lands for Stephens and he follows it with a leg kick that makes Melendez fall down. He shoots back up but is taken right back down after yet another leg kick. Stephens makes his way to the top and the round ends yet again with Stephens searching for the ground-and-pound.
Official Result: Jeremy Stephens def. Gilbert Melendez via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-25)