Gilbert Melendez returned from an extended absence Saturday night at UFC 239, but the night, and the fight, belong to Arnold Allen when it came to their featherweight affair.
The ESPN featured prelim fighters at UFC 239 were on dramatically different streaks going into their fight. Gilbert Melendez was riding a four-fight losing streak going into UFC 239, his last loss being in September of 2017 against Jeremy Stephens. Melendez’s last win was his war against Diego Sanchez in 2013, to date, his only win in the UFC for the former Strikeforce and WEC lightweight champion.
Arnold Allen, on the other hand, is one of the UK’s brightest prospects. Allen was 14-1 prior to the clash, and had won all five of his UFC bouts going into UFC 239. Allen last defeated Jordan Rinaldi in March, prior to that bout, Allen was scheduled against Melendez the previous November. That fight fell through due to injury and ended up being rescheduled for this card.
The first round was a good active first five minutes for Arnold Allen. Allen threw a variety of strikes, landing some ruthless body shots, some good leg kicks, and powerful combinations upstairs. While Melendez did come out throwing some power of his own, especially in his right hand, he was swinging at air more often as the round went on. And as it did, it just got worse for Melendez, a sign of things to come for the rest of the fight.
Round two slightly better for Melendez, as he attempted to brawl with the Brit, and landed a couple of good left hooks in the second round. However, Allen would not fall into the brawl with his older foe, landing more ruthless shots to the body, and controlling the range as he was tired Melendez with his pace.
— UFC (@ufc) July 7, 2019
Round three began with Allen taking down Melendez, as he continued to showcase his full skill set. Allen would do just what he had in the previous two rounds: land shots with a high rate on the older Melendez, throwing in more kicks for good measure. Allen started brawling in the final ten seconds, putting his guard down for the first time in a tremendous performance. In the end, all three rounds were scored for Allen.
Arnold Allen def. Gilbert Melendez by Unanimous Decision (30-27 x3)