Edson Barboza earned a unanimous decision victory over Gilbert Melendez in the co-main event at UFC On FOX 20, with leg kicks being the key to his win.
Melendez steps forward with punches and Barboza looks to counter. Solid leg kick from the Brazilian, and then another.
Melendez with another brief flurry of punches. Melendez suddenly in on a single leg, but Barboza is able to step away.
Another kick for Barboza. He lands a punch now and then moves away. Nice uppercut for Melendez. He lands a hook too that catches Barboza’s attention.
Solid body kick from Barboza, but Melendez catches it and tries for the takedown. He abandons that and goes for a flying knee instead.
Barboza away and then lands a powerful kick. Another one. Now a spinning kick to the body.
They move into striking range and Melendez lands a solid uppercut and a left hook behind it.
Right hand for Melendez and a hook that troubles Barboza a little, but he moves away. Melendez back to moving on the outside. Solid body kick from the Brazilian.
Exchange in close and both men land good punches. More kicks from Barboza. Flying knee to the body from Barboza at the end of the round.
Melendez with an uppercut attempt, Barboza flurries in response and Melendez responds in kind.
Melendez moving forward and lands a right hand. He wings in that right hand again. Nice movement from ‘El Nino’ as Barboza tries to land something of his own.
Melendez gets in nicely on a takedown, but Barboza just brushes him off and Melendez is left on his back with his opponent standing over him.
They reset on the feet and Barboza lands one of his trademark leg kicks. He lands another and Melendez lead leg gives out for a moment. He gets back up and eats another one which buckles his leg again.
One-two attempt from Melendez and Barboza hammers that leg again. Half-way mark of the fight. Barboza lands a kick to the body now.
Another powerful leg kick for Barboza. Melendez realizes he needs to change the pace ans he moves with purpose and rocks Barboza with a right hook. He presses forward looking for more and does connect with another right, but Barboza takes it. Melendez in for the takedown, but again it’s stuffed.
Barboza comes forward and Melendez meets him with a jab. Leg kick for Barboza. Last 30 seconds of the round. Melendez ducks nicely under a punch. Body kick for Melendez, but not much power and Barboza catches it and works a takedown off of it.
Barboza lands some good ground and pound to finish the round.
Leg kick for Barboza. Another connects and Melendez moves away. Another leg kick and Melendez pauses for a moment and switches stances.
Barboza ducks punches and lands to that tenderized leg again. A brief lull and then again the thump of that Barboza kick to the thigh.
Inside leg kick this time. Melendez offense has slowed now. He tries to fire off a few punches, but the inevitable leg kick comes in response.
Melendez summons up the energy for a takedown, but Barboza stops it. Two big leg kicks for Barboza and Melendez limps on that lead leg. He’s just trying to gut this out now.
Melendez trying to work the straight right, but Barboza stays out of range. Barboza staying patient, using movement and lands to the inside of the leg.
Melendez finally lands a right hand. Two lefts and a right behind it. Jab lands solidly and that’s the last of the action.
Barboza’s unrivalled leg kicks were again on show again tonight and helped him take out the season veteran Melendez by unanimous decision (30-27 x2, 29-28).