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Strikeforce Live Blog: Gilbert Melendez vs. Shinya Aoki Updates

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- This is the Strikeforce live blog for Gilbert Melendez vs. Shinya Aoki, a lightweight championship bout on tonight's Strikeforce card on CBS.

Melendez defends his Strikeforce title against DREAM champion Aoki. Melendez is coming off a title win last December over Josh Thomson. This will be Aoki's first fight in the U.S. and inside a cage.

The live blog is below.

Round 1: Melendez on guard for the takedown try with a low stance early, measuring Aoki with the jab. Melendez ankle picks Aoki, who falls backwards on purpose, trying to draw Melendez in, but Melendez doesn't fall for it. Aoki gets back to his feet. A few scattered boos early as action is slow to begin. Melendez takes a poke to the eye, necessitating a tiemout. Aoki pulls guard on the re-start and tries an arm bar, but Melendez escapes and gets back to his feet. Aoki tries to pull guard again, and this time Melendez stays away. But seconds later, he moves in and lands hard ground strikes. Aoki works his way back to his feet with a minute left. Aoki lands a kick, but Melendez continues stalking him, looking more confident as the round goes on. MMA Fighting scores the round for Melendez, 10-9.

Round 2: Aoki has a little blood coming from the nose. Melendez starting to rough up Aoki both standing and on the ground. Melendez stalking Aoki around the cage. Melendez takes Aoki down late and hammers him around. Melendez looks like he's not afraid of anything Aoki has to offer him. Another round in the books for Melendez, 10-9.

Round 3: Aoki got a body lock trying a takedown, then he ducked under to take Melendez's legs, but Melendez slipped away. Aoki isn't able to get any offense started. Melendez takes Aoki down and falls into his guard. Aoki flopped to his back and Melendez thought about joining him on the mat, but didn't. Seconds later, Aoki fell to his back again, this time Melendez followed him. Melendez landed his strongest strikes of the night with punches against the fence, but Aoki withstood the assault. We're through three rounds and Melendez has probaby been hit about three times. MMA Fighting scores the round for Melendez, 10-9.

Round 4: Aoki tries to pull guard again. Melendez is fighting very disciplined, and pulls out quickly. He lands a knee seconds later. Aoki is frustrated, trying to goad Melendez to join him on the ground. Aoki tried to butt-scoot forward and Mario Yamasaki called timeout to stop him. On the restart, Melendez took him down and landed some ground strikes. MMA Fighting scores the round for Melendez, 10-9.

Round 5: Aoki got an eyepoke early in the round, but only needed a quick timeout. Aoki pulled guard again. Melendez put him against the cage. This fight is completely one-sided. Aoki has no backup plan. Melendez wants to finish, you can see him pick up the pace as the final bell nears. He pounds Aoki with ground and pound and finishes the easy shutout win. Stop me if you've heard this before, but MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9.

Winner: Gilbert Melendez by unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 50-45)
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