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Strikeforce Grand Prix Finale: Gilbert Melendez vs. Josh Thomson Round-by-Round Review

Round 1: Melendez takes early control of the cage, but Thomson lands the first two strikes with a quick combo. Thomson with a trip to score the takedown on Melendez. Leg kicks by Melendez are landing solid, right to the knee of Thomson. Melendez comes in, but Thomson ducks and lands his own strike. Melendez shoots in for a double-leg and gets it, taking this to the ground. Melendez controlling the fight, but Thomson works his way up. Melendez with a big uppercut that lands. Thomson moves quickly to close the gap, landing a few little strikes on Melendez. Thomson with a big left, right, and a body kick, but Melendez fires off and takes Thomson down.

FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Melendez

Round 2: Thomson keeps Melendez from getting the takedown. Melendez looking sharp with his striking, as Thomson gets stuck up against the fence and Melendez begins firing off lefts and rights. Thomson very hesitant so far in the early portions of this round, looking to pick his shots. Thomson goes for a big kick, but Melendez blocks it for the most part. Melendez mixing levels, but Thomson counters back with a combo that lands, followed by a body shot. "El Nino" delivers a left, and an uppercut, that gets a reaction from Thomson. "The Punk" goes flying back as he caught a poke to the eye. Melendez comes out with a right, while Thomson throws a strike of his own. The two are each connecting now on the other, strikes, kicks and more from each fighter. That's the first real flurry of the bout, which Melendez gets the best of. Melendez with a takedown, dropping Thomson and keeping him down. Thomson gets up, and the two square off once again. Thomson fires in for a takedown, but Melendez drops elbows to the head and stays on his feet.

FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Melendez

Round 3: Head-kick by Thomson to start the round, going to southpaw-stance. Melendez fires off big right that misses, and Thomson counters with a kick. Through two rounds, Melendez has thrown more than twice as many strikes. Thomson defends a takedown, and fires off some strikes that are hurting Melendez, backing him up quickly. No takedown by Thomson yet again, as Melendez fights if off and seems to have his bearings back. Elbow to the ear courtesy of Melendez. Right by Thomson connects, as does a left. Trip again by Thomson, but Melendez fires up off a roll. Uppercut again by Melendez to the chin of Thomson, who misses wild with a 1-2 combo. Melendez with a body shot that lands flush, and comes back with a straight left, as well. Thomson misses four straight strikes as Melendez comes back with elbows to the face. Thomson doesn't waste any minute, delivering his own shots. Swelling starting above the right eye of Melendez, as Thomson fails on another takedown attempt. Great takedown defense by Melendez so far in this one.

FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Thomson

Round 4: Time for the championship rounds, as the eye of Melendez is swelling up pretty good right now. Thomson with a kick that misses, as Melendez fires off a combo. Jabs by Melendez back Thomson up against the cage, but Thomson lands a straight to the face followed by a head kick. Melendez seems unfazed, landing his own strike. Melendez shoots in and gets a big double-leg takedown at a perfect time, as he seemed to be breathing heavy after the serious of strikes by Thomson. "The Punk" gets up and they square off once again. A cut forming under the left eye now of Melendez, who lands a combo that Thomson smiles at. Push-kick by Thomson, followed by straight right. Melendez shoots in yet again, but Thomson doesn't allow it this time. Melendez firing off lefts and rights, as Thomson swings with a wild right. Head-kick misses by Thomson, but he gets a trip takedown and lands on top of him, connecting with a few short strikes. Melendez tries to fire out, but Thomson winds up on his back, locking in a rear-naked choke with a minute left. Thomson trying to get it locked under, Melendez gets out, but Thomson locks in the body. Melendez works his head and neck free with 30 seconds left, as Thomson tries for the choke yet again. Melendez to his knees, bucks Thomson off, but Thomson gets control again.

FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Thomson

Round 5: Melendez takes control right away to start the round. The crowd is amped now, as Melendez delivers a big right. Flurry by the two, with Melendez connecting and shooting for a double leg-takedown that he gets again. Melendez fires off a series of quick shots as Thomson gets up off the mat. Melendez looks worse for wear, but has done more striking in this one against Thomson. Could be an interesting scoring decision if it goes that far. Thomson picking his spots now, missing on another trip attempt but hits on a right. Another right, and another by Thomson. Big left by Melendez, but Thomson fires off with a right. Jab, head-kick combo courtesy of Thomson land on Melendez. More combos by Thomson all land, as Thomson stuffs a takedown attempt. Two minutes left, with Melendez avoiding conflict. Melendez breathing heavy, and his right eye is almost swollen shut. Ninety seconds left as Thomson looks for a big jab. Thomson comes firing with rights, left, knees, everything he can. Uppercut by Thomson lands flush, as Thomson looks ready to go another five rounds. Melendez shoots, fails, and eats a knee. Trip takedown by Thomson, but Melendez lands some elbows to keep Thomson from getting any submission attempts in. Thomson looking to land ground-and-pound, but can't get any space between himself and Melendez.

FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Thomson

Gilbert Melendez defeated Josh Thomson via split decision (47-48, 48-47, 48-47)

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