Melendez too much, finishes Kawajiri in the 1st

Saturday, April 09, 2011

The two fighters wasted little time engaging in their anticipated rematch.  Melendez momentarily dropped Kawajiri with a right hook as he went in for a jab.  It was very apparent that the Strikeforce champion’s striking had greatly improved since their first encounter.  “El Nino” had Kawajiri in trouble again with knees to the head but his Japanese counterpart was able to recover close to the cage.

Getting the better of the “Crusher” on their feet, Melendez’s superior boxing forced Kawajiri to shoot for a telegraphed takedown.  Melendez sprawled, rolled the former Shooto champion to his back and unleashed a barrage of elbows that forced referee Cecil Peoples to put a halt to the fight.

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Title Fight Gilbert “El Nino” Melendez Vs. Tatsuya Kawajiri
Fight was scheduled for 5 rounds (5x5x5x5x5) – Fight was for the Lightweight Title
Name Gilbert Melendez Gilbert Melendez
Height 5′ 9″ (175.26 cm)
Weight 155 (70.31 kg)
Record 18-2-0
Team Cesar Gracie


Name Tatsuya Kawajiri No Headshot Available
Weight 152 (68.95 kg)
Record 26-5-2
Team Tops
Gilbert Melendez def. Tatsuya Kawajiri via TKO (strikes) – Round 1, 3:14