Former UFC lightweight title challenger Gilbert Meledez makes his featherweight debut against “Hardest Hitting 145er” Jeremy Stephens. As soon as this fight was announced, fight fans probably bought fireworks to shoot off in celebration. It’s two scrappers who aren’t going to back down. It’s like they fight on treadmills that are facing each other. Mostly known as the recipient of Conor McGregor’s “Who The Fook is Dat Guy” line, Stephens entered into this fight for his 26th battle in the UFC and made every moment count.
— #UFC215 (@ufc) September 10, 2017
— UFC Canada (@UFC_CA) September 10, 2017
The beginning of the fight was the measuring round, featuring a chewed-up lead leg on Melendez from stinging Jeremy Stephens low kicks. It did not get better at all from there. Melendez fell down twice in round one and had serious problems with his leg. Joe Rogan said it looked like a rat was going to crawl out of his knee cap and, well, it’s true. It was so bad, the fight looked like it was going to be stopped, but it wasn’t.
Much respect @GilbertMelendez u are a tough SOB!!!!!!!!!
— Dana White (@danawhite) September 10, 2017
GILBERT MELENDEZ IS GOING TO DIE IN CANADA AND CANADIAN MMA WILL HAVE KILLED HIM.#UFC215
— McKinley Noble (@KenTheGreat1) September 10, 2017
On the plus side, I think I can see Baby Jesus in Melendez's leg lump? pic.twitter.com/4QV96znp6a
— Ben Fowlkes (@benfowlkesMMA) September 10, 2017
Despite his leg looking awful, Gilbert Melendez continued to march forward and land on Jeremy Stephens. That was, until he got hit and knocked down with a single leg kick. Still, Melendez kept getting up and continued fighting like a savage. Melendez was looking too tough for his own good and the referee warned him at the beginning of round three that he would stop the fight if he couldn’t defend himself. He did, but it was no use. Jeremy Stephens walks away with a very unanimous decision victory.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 9/9/2017.