While Combate Americas (now Combate Global) alum Melissa Martinez was making her octagon debut Saturday at UFC 279 against Elise Reed, she was doing so off a significant layoff.
“Super Mely,” undefeated at 7-0 to start the night, had not fought since 2019. Reed, meanwhile, was looking to bounce back from a loss to Sam Hughes in her last outing. A former CFFC champ, she was set to welcome a fighter who boasted several impressive finishes.
Martinez started off throwing a lot of kicks while sticking Reed on the outside. Martinez did throw a blind kick and Reed dropped her with a counter right. Although it looked like a huge shot, Martinez recovered quickly. Martinez did land a heavy right leg after getting dropped. Primarily a striker, Martinez did spend a good amount of time trying to get Reed down but couldn’t plant her. In the last minute of the first nothing significant landed from either lady.
Reed was very aggressive to start the second round. Martinez has good footwork that was visibly frustrating Reed. Reed did come forward with a flurry and touched the chin of Martinez a few times. Martinez continued to do a good job throwing kicks from different angles but nothing impactful. She did land an impactful right hand though that got the attention of Reed. The last minute of the round saw Martinez controlling in the clinch.
In the final round, Reed landed a solid right hand to start the round. Martinez responded landing heavy leg kicks, especially to the inside leg. Martinez was pulling away with her leg kicks and quick hands and switched it up with a surprise takedown. It didn’t last long though as Reed got back to her feet. Martinez was controlling in the clinch but Reed got the takedown twice. Off the second takedown, Reed almost took the back but Martinez got back to her feet. It wasn’t long until Reed threw her back down and back up Martinez went. The fight ended with Reed landing knees to the body in the clinch.
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The third round cost Martinez, with Reed handing “Super Mely” the first loss of her career.
Official Result: Elise Reed def. Melissa Martinez by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)