This is the UFC on FOX 20 live blog for Edson Barboza vs. Gilbert Melendez, a lightweight bout at Saturday night's UFC event at United Center in Chicago, Ill.
Barboza, who has won three of his past five fights, will face Melendez, who has won two of his past five fights, on the main card.
Check out the UFC on FOX 20 live blog below.
Round 1: Good lightweight scrap here — a former champion making his return, and a guy hoping to solidify his name off him. Third man is John McCarthy. They touch gloves. Good exchange early, and Barboza lands a nice leg kick. Melendez looks fresh; he's moving and now he shoots in for a single leg, can't get it. High kick from El Nino misses. Now they come together, and there's a scramble — Barboza lands the bigger shot. Spinning back kick to the body from Barboza; shades of Etim, but to the midsection. Great combo there from Melendez, and Barboza slams home a left as well. Great little crap. And now Melendez lands a left hook, and for a brief moment it looked like Barboza was hurt. Now he shakes it off and retains the middle. He throws an errant uppercut, because Melendez is moving. Great couple of lefft hands from Barboza, who then does another spinning back kick which lands to the body. Barboza maintaining the center, and they play out the round with him threatening from there, as he lands a knee to the body as the horn sounds. MMA Fighting scores R1 for Barboza, 10-9
Round 2: Barboza to center, and Melendez again with the footwork. He comes in with a quick one-two, and gets out. Melendez tries an overhand left, which is mostly blocked. Another good right from Melendez, who now shoots for a takedown — that is thwarted. Barboza now attacking his legs as he's on his back, inviting him down. Gil takes some kicks, but Barboza invites him back up. Barboza back to middle, and hits him with a body kick. Now Barboza just blasts Melendez with a couple of shots in the middle, and Melendez takes them as he bounces on his heels. Leg kick counter from Barboza lands again, and damn, that one looked like it hurt. Melendez lead leg getting nicked up. Switch kick to the body from Barboza. Right hand from Melendez perfectly timed, and lands! That sends Barboza back, and that opens up an exchange. Whoa! Crazy sequence, as Melendez shoots for a takedown, which he can't get. Barboza back to center, looks to have recovered. Fun fight. Melendez still bobbing and looking for his shots, trying to keep him right range. Another attack from Barboza on the lead leg, and now he takes Melendez down. Melendez holds him in his guard, and lands some sharp elbows from the bottom as the round ends. MMA Fighting scores R2 for Barboza, 10-9 (20-18 overall)
Round 3: Edson attacks that lead leg again, violently, and that makes Melendez switch stances for a moment. And again. Barboza's leg kicks are menacing. Melendez trying to time out his some offense, but it's getting harder with his leg getting lopped out. Still, he's active. He's trying to exact some action. Barboza ducks under a shot and lands a left. Edson once again lands a loud leg kick, which forces Melendez to duck down for a takedown attempt. Can't get it. Hasn't been able too all night. Good exchange, with Barboza getting the better of it. He holds the center, as Melendez looks or an opening. Barboza looks like he's still as fresh as when the fight started. He is moving, and as he cycles he lands yet another leg kick. Very tactical, calculated stuff from both guys — but there's been plenty of excitement, too. Right hand from Melendez, who might need to go for broke. He comes in with the jab, and then unleashes a nice combo, but Barboza knows better than to stand in with a gunfight. That's it. Probably belongs to Barboza, though it was a subtle beating. MMA Fighting scores R3 for Barboza, 10-9 (30-27 overall Barboza).
UFC on FOX 20 official results: Edson Barboza def. Gilbert Melendez via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)