Category Archives: Jeremy Stephens

UFC 215 'Fight Motion:' In which Gilbert Melendez's lower leg swells up instantly

Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

Jeremy Stephens delivered a barrage of low kicks to Gilbert Melendez and, as we in the “Fight Motion: highlights for this past Saturday’s UFC 215 bout, the swelling began instantly and forced Melendez to the mat.

The super-slow-motion highlights capture the action from the event at Rogers place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada., which aired on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

Melendez (22-7 MMA, 1-5 UFC) once again proved his durability in the cage, but he’d probably just as soon forget all about his featherweight debut against Stephens (26-14 MMA, 13-13 UFC) as he dropped a unanimous decision with scores of 30-26, 30-26 and 30-25. The story of the fight was the repeated low kicks that hammered Melendez’s left leg.

“Fight Motion” highlights also include the main event, which champ Amanda Nunes (15-4 MMA, 8-1 UFC) won over Valentina Shevchenko (14-3 MMA, 3-2 UFC) by a narrow unanimous decision and Henry Cejudo (11-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC) finishing Wilson Reis  (22-8 MMA, 6-4 UFC) via second-round TKO.

Check out the “Fight Motion” highlights above.

For more on UFC 215, visit the UFC Events section of the site.

jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: “https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets”, analyticsCallback: “galleryAnalytics”, fullscreenUrl: “http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/BpgK5twjyCQoxBxDLo9WEZ/271713”, customAnalytics: true, title: “Stephens def. Melendez”, feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == “undefined”) ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: News, UFC, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

The long struggle to understand the difference between tough and stupid

jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: “https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets”, analyticsCallback: “galleryAnalytics”, fullscreenUrl: “http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/BpgK5twjyCQoxBxDLo9WEZ/271529”, customAnalytics: true, title: “Stephens def. Melendez”, feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == “undefined”) ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

When the referee comes to visit you in the hospital so he can apologize, it’s a pretty good sign that you didn’t have a great night.

Still, UFC featherweight Gavin Tucker (10-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC) isn’t complaining. In fact, he’s glad that referee Kyle Cardinal didn’t stop Rick Glenn (20-4 MMA, 2-1 UFC) from thumping on him at UFC 215 in Edmonton on Saturday night, or so he would have us believe.

“Stop blaming the ref for a bad call,” Tucker wrote on Facebook. “That man let me go out on my shield.”

He also let Tucker suffer through four broken bones in his face, including fractures in his jaw and orbital bones. He didn’t know that at the time – it’s not like he has X-ray vision – but what he should have been able to see was that, as of about the middle of the second round, Tucker was no longer in this fight.

Cardinal should have stopped it there. When he failed to, Tucker’s corner should have stopped it before the third. Instead, everyone with a responsibility to look out for his safety let Tucker get beat up for five more minutes, and for what?

I found myself asking a similar question later in the evening, when Gilbert Melendez’s corner talked him out of quitting on the stool before the third round of his pay-per-view main-card opener. Melendez (22-7 MMA, 1-5 UFC) had suffered a very obvious and visible leg injury early in the fight with Jeremy Stephens (26-14 MMA, 13-13 UFC). It clearly hampered his ability to move and defend and, at times, stand.

And yet when Melendez told his corner that he thought he was done, they talked him out of it. They told him he was fine. They told the doctor to pay no attention to the man with the ice pack on his shin. They told Melendez he could do anything for five minutes.

Of course, you go out there with limited mobility against a knockout artist like Stephens, one of the things you might do is hobble right into a concussion. Melendez didn’t, which is as much a testament to his poise and experience as his toughness, and in the end he managed to hear the final horn.

He still lost, of course, and he wasn’t able to do much but survive in the final round. Surviving might have been enough to help him net his $50,000 share of the “Fight of the Night” bonus, but it’s hard to say whether that’s genuine admiration from the UFC or just pity.

We have this strange attachment to pointless suffering in combat sports. Maybe it’s part of the morality play aspect of watching two people battle in a cage. We think that they are teaching us about how to suffer with strength and dignity, and to some extent maybe they are. Or maybe they’re just accumulating damage in the service of a lost cause.

The fact that both these fights happened on the same night in Edmonton helps to drive home a certain point. It’s the same Canadian city where, some three months ago, former UFC fighter Tim Hague died after being knocked out in a boxing match.

There was another fight where there seemed to be no real reason to continue after a first round in which Hague hit the deck four times. But again, combat sports love finality and hate even the tiniest shred of doubt. We often seem to feel that it’s easier to keep going than to stop and explain why.

And you can understand why the fighters want to keep going. Fans aren’t kind to those they deem a quitter. Plus, all that training for one night – and one paycheck that doubles with a victory – who can blame you for wanting to give yourself every last chance?

But then you look at Tucker, who was 10-0 with a promising future before he got his face broken in several places, all to prove what we already knew or suspected, which is that he’s a tough guy who can withstand some pain. It didn’t do him or his career any favors to take that extra five minutes worth of punishment. It was pointless and dumb and dangerous.

Same with Melendez, whose corner no doubt thought they were doing him a favor by talking him through a low point so he wouldn’t hate himself in the morning. Then again, in 10 years covering this sport, I’ve seen a handful of fighters get talked into continuing by well-meaning cornermen. I don’t think I’ve ever seen one of those fighters win, but I have seen a lot of ugly fights that only got uglier.

There’s definitely a place for this mentality in sports like MMA, where you’ll never get anywhere if you don’t know how to get hurt, recover and overcome some adversity. But there’s a difference between fighting through the pain and being someone’s punching bag.

There are times when the pursuit of some minor moral victory will come at the expense of actual victories later on, the same way refusing to tap to a joint lock only earns you more time in surgery and rehab, when you could have been training and fighting and learning instead.

Seems to me we could do a better job of understanding and recognizing that distinction, and not valorizing empty risks that only serve to reinforce a point that’s already been proven. We get that UFC fighters are tough. You don’t make it to this level if you’re not.

But there’s a point where tough gives way to stupid. There are already enough ways for this sport to send you to the hospital. We don’t need to go looking for new ones.

For more on UFC 215, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Filed under: Featured, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

So yeah, Gilbert Melendez's leg was a mess the day after UFC 215

Dann StuppGilbert Melendez’s legs got a rude welcome to the UFC featherweight division on Saturday at UFC 215. Check out the aftermath.

In the pay-per-view main-card opener at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, a durable and resilient Melendez (22-7 MMA, 1-5 UFC) dropped from lightweight to featherweight and survived three rounds of lower-limb battering from Jeremy Stephens (26-14 MMA, 13-13 UFC).

Ultimately, Melendez, who was often hobbled early in the fight, survived to the final bell and suffered a unanimous-decision defeat. But it was clearly Stephens’ night.

On Sunday, Melendez’s wife, kickboxer/MMA fighter Keri Anne Taylor-Melendez, posted a picture of her husband’s badly swollen left leg.

With a quick comparison to his right leg, the swelling is obvious (via Twitter):

“Hey All. Everyone is asking about Gilbert’s leg. Here is a pic today. He is doing A ok. Thank you to all for the support. We feel the love

Melendez, a former Strikeforce champion who joined the UFC in 2013, has fallen short in two UFC title shots. With the UFC 215 defeat, the 35-year-old is now in a 1-5 skid going back to his promotional-debut title loss to then-champ Benson Henderson.

For more on UFC 215, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

The Blue Corner is MMAjunkie‘s official blog and is edited by Mike Bohn.

jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: “https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets”, analyticsCallback: “galleryAnalytics”, fullscreenUrl: “http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/BpgK5twjyCQoxBxDLo9WEZ/271505”, customAnalytics: true, title: “Stephens def. Melendez”, feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == “undefined”) ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Blue Corner, Featured Videos, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Sean Shelby's Shoes: What's next for Amanda Nunes and UFC 215's other winners?

http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid4621179066001?bckey=AQ~~,AAAABvaL8JE~,ufBHq_I6FnxR-PQW_F3sm5QdUbP7D6E9&bctid=5571073059001
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

(ALSO SEE: Sean Shelby’s Shoes: What’s next for UFC 215’s losing fighters?)

The UFC’s first pay-per-view event in Canada this year took place on Saturday with UFC 215, which went down at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

The five-fight lineup saw Amanda Nunes (15-4 MMA, 8-1 UFC) defend her UFC women’s bantamweight championship for the second time when she earned a hotly contested split-decision victory over rival Valentina Shevchenko (14-3 MMA, 3-2 UFC) in the headliner.

Several other impressive performances were turned in, with former champ Rafael dos Anjos (27-9 MMA, 16-7 UFC), Henry Cejudo (11-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC), Ilir Latifi (13-5 MMA, 6-3 UFC) and Jeremy Stephens (26-14 MMA, 13-13 UFC) turning in convincing winning performances against their opponents.

After every event, fans wonder whom the winners will be matched up with next. And with another night of UFC action in the rearview mirror, it’s time to look forward, put on a pair of Sean Shelby and Mick Maynard’s shoes, and play UFC matchmaker for UFC 215’s winning fighters.

* * * *

Jeremy Stephens

Brian Ortega

Should fight: Brian Ortega
Why they should fight: Stephens once again bounced back from a two-fight losing skid inside the UFC octagon when he earned one of the more noteworthy victories of his career, this time against former Strikeforce champ Gilbert Melendez.

With the help of vicious leg kicks, Stephens earned a dominant unanimous-decision win over “El’ Nino” to get him back on track. Despite 26 UFC appearances, Stephens is still only 31 and said he still has a lot of competitive years left.

Although Melendez is a established name in the sport, he’s not currently considered a top title threat, nor is he someone who should elevate Stephens into the title-shot discussion. There are names out there who could do more for him, though, and an undefeated rising star like Ortega (12-0 MMA, 4-0 UFC) would make for a compelling affair.

Ortega is young, dynamic and a fighter with some buzz in the weight class. Stephens would be a big test, but if he handles him, that would legitimize him in a whole new light.

Ilir Latifi

Mauricio Rua

Should fight: Winner of Mauricio Rua vs. Ovince Saint Preux at UFC Fight Night 117
Why they should fight: Latifi returned to the octagon for the first time in more than a year and halted the undefeated streak of rising light heavyweight Tyson Pedro.

Latifi improved to 4-1 in his past five UFC appearances with a unanimous-decision victory over Pedro. He’s lined himself up for a greater opportunity next time out, and the winner of the UFC Fight Night 117 headliner between Rua (25-10 MMA, 9-8 UFC) and Saint Preux (20-10 MMA, 8-5 UFC) later this month could be the perfect fit.

Although “Shogun” and “OSP” have accomplished as much in the sport as anyone Latifi has fought thus far, a victory over the winner of their upcoming matchup would help legitimize himself at 205 pounds and allow him to join the title-contender discussion.

Henry Cejudo

Sergio Pettis

Should fight: Sergio Pettis
Why they should fight: Cejudo turned in easily the most impressive performance of his career when he completely outclassed fellow former flyweight title challenger Wilson Reis for a second-round knockout win.

After beating his opponents on the scorecards in his first four UFC wins, Cejudo made a definitive statement with a stellar striking performance against Reis to help him rebound from a two-fight skid against 125-pound champ Demetrious Johnson and top-ranked contender Joseph Benavidez.

Although Cejudo eventually wants a title rematch with Johnson, he named Pettis (16-2 MMA, 7-2 UFC) as a possible next opponent. They were scheduled to fight at UFC 211 in May, but Cejudo was forced to withdraw during fight week due to a hand injury. Pettis is coming off a decision win over fast-rising Brandon Moreno at UFC Fight Night 114 in August, and Cejudo said he would be very interested in booking that fight again to further strengthen his title-shot argument.

Rafael dos Anjos

Tyron Woodley

Should fight: Tyron Woodley
Why they should fight: Former UFC lightweight champion dos Anjos continued a successful venture into the welterweight division when he defeated longtime contender Neil Magny.

Dos Anjos earned a first-round submission win to improve to 2-0 since he moved up to 170 pounds earlier this year. The Brazilian has made a quick rise in the division, and he would have already fought for the title against Woodley (18-3-1 MMA, 8-2-1 UFC) in July if Demian Maia had been unable to accept.

Woodley is still nursing some injuries from his UFC 214 win over Maia, but that works perfectly for the Brazilian, who said he’s eager to take some time off after two fights in three months. Although Woodley somewhat dismissed dos Anjos as a legitimate next challenger at this time, there are few better options available in the weight class. Dos Anjos’ performance against Magny paired with his status as a former UFC titleholder should get him the next shot.

Amanda Nunes

Should fight: Raquel Pennington
Why they should fight: Watch the video above to see why Nunes should face Pennington (9-5 MMA, 6-2 UFC) for her third title defense.

For more on UFC 215, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: “https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets”, analyticsCallback: “galleryAnalytics”, fullscreenUrl: “http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/VmdxYzNRQCwFjN3cFenG9g/271420”, customAnalytics: true, title: “Nunes def. Shevchenko”, feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == “undefined”) ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

UFC 215 post-event facts: Which fighter tied an 11-year-old UFC record?

if(typeof(jQuery)==”function”){(function($){$.fn.fitVids=function(){}})(jQuery)};
jwplayer(‘jwplayer_qFzZtVwY_FLu19iir_div’).setup(
{“playlist”:”http://content.jwplatform.com/jw6/qFzZtVwY.xml”}
);

Filed under: News, UFC

The UFC made a successful debut in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, on Saturday with UFC 215, which took place at Rogers Place with a main card on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

The 11-fight card was capped off by a razor-thin title defense from UFC women’s bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes (15-4 MMA, 8-1 UFC), who edged rival Valentina Shevchenko (14-3 MMA, 3-2 UFC) by split decision in their anticipated title rematch.

Nunes’ victory continued to raise her profile in the divisional record books, but she wasn’t the only fighter on the card to make some history. For more, check below for 35 post-even facts to come out of UFC 215.

* * * *

General

Amanda Nunes

The UFC-Reebok Athlete Outfitting payout for the event totaled $185,000.

Rafael dos Anjos, Henry Cejudo, Jeremy Stephens and Gilbert Melendez earned $50,000 UFC 215 fight-night bonuses.

Debuting fighters went 1-0 on the card.

UFC 215 drew an announced attendance of 16,232 for a live gate of $2,028,307.14.

Betting favorites went 6-5 on the card.

Total fight time for the 11-bout card was 2:06:50.

Main card

Amanda Nunes and Valentina Shevchenko

Nunes’ six-fight UFC winning streak in women’s bantamweight competition is the longest active streak in the division.

Nunes’ eight victories in UFC women’s bantamweight competition are the most in divisional history.

Shevchenko has suffered both of her UFC losses to Nunes.

Shevchenko has suffered both of her UFC losses by decision.

Shevchenko failed to complete a takedown in a fight for the first time in her UFC career.

Rafael dos Anjos

Dos Anjos (27-9 MMA, 16-7 UFC) improved to 2-0 since he moved up to the UFC welterweight division in June 2017.

Dos Anjos earned his first submission victory since May 15, 2012 – a span of 1,943 days (more than five years) and 14 fights.

Neil Magny (19-6 MMA, 12-5 UFC) has suffered four of his six career losses by submission.

Henry Cejudo

Cejudo (11-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC) earned the first stoppage victory of his UFC career.

Wilson Reis (22-8 MMA, 6-4 UFC) fell to 5-3 since he dropped to the UFC flyweight division in August 2014.

Tyson Pedro (6-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC) had his six-fight winning streak snapped for the first defeat of his career.

Stephens (26-14 MMA, 13-13 UFC) improved to 6-5 since he dropped to the UFC featherweight division in May 2013.

Jeremy Stephens

Stephens has earned four of his six featherweight victories by decision.

Stephens’ five knockdowns landed tied the single-fight UFC record set by Forrest Petz vs. Sammy Morgan at UFC Fight Night 6 in 2006.

Melendez (22-7 MMA, 1-5 UFC) suffered his fourth consecutive loss to extend the longest skid of his career. He’s 1-5 in his past six bouts overall and hasn’t earned a victory since October 2013.

Melendez was unsuccessful in his UFC featherweight debut. He hasn’t earned a victory in the weight class since August 2005.

Melendez has suffered six of his seven career losses by decision.

Preliminary card

Ketlen Vieira and Sara McMann

Ketlen Vieira’s (9-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC) three-fight UFC winning streak in women’s bantamweight competition is tied for the third longest active streak in the division behind Nunes (six) and Raquel Pennington (four).

Sara McMann (11-4 MMA, 5-4 UFC) has suffered three of her four career losses by stoppage.

Ashlee Evans-Smith (5-3 MMA, 2-3 UFC) has suffered both of her career stoppage losses by submission.

Gavin Tucker (10-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC) had his 10-fight winning streak snapped for the first defeat of his career.

Mitch Clarke

Mitch Clarke (11-5 MMA, 2-5 UFC) suffered his third consecutive loss to extend the longest skid of his career.

Clarke retired from MMA following his defeat.

Alex White (12-3 MMA, 3-3 UFC) improved to 1-1 since he moved up to the UFC lightweight division in January.

White has earned 10 of his 12 career victories by stoppage.

Luis Henrique (10-4 MMA, 2-3 UFC) suffered the first decision loss of his career.

Henrique failed to complete a takedown for the first time in his UFC career.

Kajan Johnson

Kajan Johnson (22-11-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC) earned his first knockout victory since Nov. 6, 2009 – a span of 2,864 days (nearly eight years) and seven fights.

Adriano Martins (28-9 MMA, 4-3 UFC) has suffered both of his UFC stoppage losses by knockout.

For complete coverage of UFC 215, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

FightMetric research analyst and live statistics producer Michael Carroll contributed to this story. Follow him on Twitter @MJCflipdascript.

jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: “https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets”, analyticsCallback: “galleryAnalytics”, fullscreenUrl: “http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/BpgK5twjyCQoxBxDLo9WEZ/271414”, customAnalytics: true, title: “Stephens def. Melendez”, feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == “undefined”) ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Jeremy Stephens would love to fight Jose Aldo – just not in November (and understandably so)

if(typeof(jQuery)==”function”){(function($){$.fn.fitVids=function(){}})(jQuery)};
jwplayer(‘jwplayer_qFzZtVwY_FLu19iir_div’).setup(
{“playlist”:”http://content.jwplatform.com/jw6/qFzZtVwY.xml”}
);

Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

EDMONTON – Veteran UFC featherweight Jeremy Stephens just finished his 26th octagon appearance and snapped a two-fight losing skid.

He feels a raise is due.

“My kids are growing, and I want the best for them and the best for me and to set them up in the future,” Stephens (26-14 MMA, 13-13 UFC) told MMAjunkie after Saturday’s UFC 215 event, where he outpointed former Strikeforce champ Gilbert Melendez (22-7 MMA, 1-5 UFC) in the pay-per-view opener at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. “I’m just now starting to make good money in this sport, and it’s been a long time.

“I feel like I should be making a (expletive) more money, especially since I just beat a guy who makes probably double what I do.”

That guy, of course, expertly used the free-agency process to win a lucrative new deal with the UFC. Stephens is most known for his work in the UFC octagon, so his opportunity to leverage one promotion against the other was not as strong as Melendez’s.

Still, with his contract nearing completion, Stephens said it’s time to get a bump.

“I’m definitely going to be begging for some more money and putting on these performances (so) I can retire nice,” Stephens said. “I definitely want to retire and do some FOX analysis (work). But right now I’m a fighter, and I want to make as much money as I can.”

Stephens has a good idea of an opponent that might earn him a bigger paycheck – ex-champ Jose Aldo (26-3 MMA, 8-2 UFC). He noted the Brazilian’s desire to fight in November after the loss of his belt to Max Holloway earlier this year.

While that timeline doesn’t exactly jibe with Stephens’ schedule – he did, after all, put off his wedding for UFC 215 – a matchup later this year sounds perfect.

“I would love that fight, but November, it’s a little tight on my schedule, and I can’t push two things back,” Stephens said. “So December or January, something like that – that would be something I’d definitely look forward to. He’s a banger and a class act.

“I think me and him could get it on and give the fans a great showing. But I just can’t do November. I can’t keep pushing things back.”

To hear more from Stephens, check out the video above.

And for complete coverage of UFC 215, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: “https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets”, analyticsCallback: “galleryAnalytics”, fullscreenUrl: “http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/BpgK5twjyCQoxBxDLo9WEZ/271314”, customAnalytics: true, title: “Stephens def. Melendez”, feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == “undefined”) ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: News, UFC, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

UFC 215 bonuses: Rafael dos Anjos, Henry Cejudo haul in $50K extra for impressive wins

EDMONTON – Rafael dos Anjos, Henry Cejudo, Jeremy Stephens, and Gilbert Melendez each earned $50,000 fight-night bonuses at Saturday’s UFC 215 event.

Dos Anjos (for his first-round submission of Neil Magny) and Cejudo (for his second-round knockout of Wilson Reis) picked up “Performance of the Night” awards, and Stephens-Melendez took home “Fight of the Night” honors.

The UFC announced the winners following the event, which MMAjunkie attended.

UFC 215 took place at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, and the main card aired on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

For more on UFC 215, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: “https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets”, analyticsCallback: “galleryAnalytics”, fullscreenUrl: “http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/BpgK5twjyCQoxBxDLo9WEZ/271079”, customAnalytics: true, title: “Stephens def. Melendez”, feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == “undefined”) ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Gilbert Melendez got talked out of quitting on the stool after gnarly leg injury

Gilbert Melendez got off to a bad start against Jeremy Stephens at UFC 215, which is another way of saying that after one round in the cage his left shin looked like it was ready to give birth.

This was appropriately concerning to referee Jerin Velel, who called time before the start of the second round so the cageside doctor could examine the damage done by Stephens’ low kicks in the opening frame (via Twitter):

Of course, that examination mostly consisted of the doctor asking Melendez if he felt capable of fighting. Not exactly what you’d call a thorough exam. Despite barely being able to stand on the leg, Melendez did just what you’d expect – he told the doc he was fine.

By the end of the second round, however, even Melendez was having second doubts. After dropping to his back several times following kicks to his badly swollen shin, Melendez confided in his corner that he might be ready to stop. That led to this exchange.

“I think I’m done, bro,” Melendez said before the final round, while one of cornermen applied an ice pack and another tried to talk him back into the fight.

“Hey, you’ve got five minutes,” one cornerman assured him, before shooing away the doctor. “… You can do any (expletive) thing for five minutes.”

And, as it turned out, Melendez could. He survived the final round, though you couldn’t exactly say he thrived, only to lose the unanimous decision in the end. Still, he did convince us all of his toughness. As if there was really any doubt after a career spanning nearly 15 years and just about every MMA promotion that matters.

For more on UFC 215, visit the UFC Events section of the site.

The Blue Corner is MMAjunkie‘s official blog and is edited by Mike Bohn.

jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: “https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets”, analyticsCallback: “galleryAnalytics”, fullscreenUrl: “http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/sauLnYha86oMgcPdoRohoP/271212”, customAnalytics: true, title: “Glenn def. Tucker”, feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == “undefined”) ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Blue Corner, Featured Videos, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

UFC 215 results: Vicious Jeremy Stephens low kicks destroy Gilbert Melendez

Gilbert Melendez (22-7 MMA, 1-5 UFC) once again proved his durability in the cage, but he’d probably just as soon forget all about his featherweight debut against Jeremy Stephens (26-14 MMA, 13-13 UFC).

The 145-pound bout was part of today’s UFC 215 main card, which took place at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, and aired on pay-per-view.

Stephens opened the contest with a powerful low kick as Melendez kept his hands high and looked to settle into a rhythm. Stephens was the aggressor to start, firing with the power you expect when he’s in the cage. Low kicks continued to score for Stephens, as well, though Melendez continued to move well on the outside. Stephens’ power was evident in the exchanges, though Melendez was content to try and trade. Stephens continued with the attacks to the leg, and a nasty welt developed just below the left knee. Melendez briefly toppled to the floor but quickly crawled back up and came forward with an all-out attack. Stephens survived the assault and went back to chopping the leg, and Melendez again was forced to the floor, where Stephens followed with strikes before the bell.

The doctor was called in to check the leg to start the second, but Melendez insisted he could continue, and the fight carried on. Stephens continued to tee off with powerful punches on the feet, and Melendez made sure to keep his damaged left leg as far away as possible from his opponent, moving forward in a southpaw stance. Despite the obvious pain, Melendez continued to walk forward in an incredible show of heart. Stephens’ eye and nose showed damage from Melendez’s attacks, but it was the nasty lead leg that was making the real difference in the fight. Each time Stephens could connect to the leg, Melendez immediately dropped to the floor.

Melendez was warned to defend himself at the start of the third by referee Jerin Valel, and he came out attacking to open the final frame. Still, Stephens appeared to have plenty left in the tank as he fired back with big shots on the feet. Melendez hobbled around on his one good leg, even earning admiration from his opponent after being dropped with another leg kick and simply rolling through and back to his feet, wobbling like a baby deer. Leg kicks sent Melendez to the floor twice more, with referee Valel seemingly wanting to step in but instead allowing the fight to see the final bell, where Stephens was awarded a clearcut decision win, 30-26, 30-26 and 30-25.

Stephens snaps a two-fight skid with the result, while Melendez has earned just one win in six trips to the UFC cage.

Up-to-the-minute UFC 215 results include:

For more on UFC 215, visit the UFC Events section of the site.

jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: “https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets”, analyticsCallback: “galleryAnalytics”, fullscreenUrl: “http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/BpgK5twjyCQoxBxDLo9WEZ/271043”, customAnalytics: true, title: “Stephens def. Melendez”, feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == “undefined”) ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

UFC 215 staff picks: Who's picking title change in new Nunes-Shevchenko main event?

http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid4621179066001?bckey=AQ~~,AAAABvaL8JE~,ufBHq_I6FnxR-PQW_F3sm5QdUbP7D6E9&bctid=5441097247001
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

Nunes
vs.
Shevchenko
Dos Anjos
vs.
Magny
Cejudo
vs.
Reis
Latifi
vs.
Pedro
Melendez
vs.
Stephens
MMAjunkie readers’
consensus picks
2017: 80-62
shevchenko2017
Shevchenko
(62%)
dosanjos2017
dos Anjos
(56%)
cejudo2016
Cejudo
(87%)
tpedro2016
Pedro
(56%)
melendez
Melendez
(51%)
Simon Samano
@SJSamano
2017: 88-53
shevchenko2017
Shevchenko
magny
Magny
cejudo2016
Cejudo
tpedro2016
Pedro
melendez
Melendez
Dann Stupp
@DannStupp
2017: 87-54
trophy copy 2015 Champion
nunes2016
Nunes
dosanjos2017
dos Anjos
cejudo2016
Cejudo
ilir-latifi
Latifi
melendezMelendez
Steven Marrocco @MMAjunkieSteven
2017: 85-56
shevchenko2017
Shevchenko
dosanjos2017
dos Anjos
cejudo2016
Cejudo
tpedro2016
Pedro
melendez
Melendez
Brian Garcia
@thegoze
2017: 85-56
shevchenko2017
Shevchenko
dosanjos2017
dos Anjos
cejudo2016
Cejudo
tpedro2016
Pedro
melendez
Melendez
Ben Fowlkes @BenFowlkesMMA
2017: 84-57
trophy copy 2016 Champion
nunes2016
Nunes
dosanjos2017
dos Anjos
cejudo2016
Cejudo
ilir-latifi
Latifi
melendez
Melendez
Matt Erickson @MMAjunkieMatt
2017: 82-59
shevchenko2017
Shevchenko
magny
Magny
cejudo2016
Cejudo
tpedro2016
Pedro
melendez
Melendez
Fernanda Prates @nandaprates_
2017: 81-60
shevchenko2017
Shevchenko
dosanjos2017
dos Anjos
cejudo2016
Cejudo
tpedro2016
Pedro
melendez
Melendez
George Garcia @MMAjunkieGeorge
2017: 79-62
shevchenko2017
Shevchenko
dosanjos2017
dos Anjos
cejudo2016
Cejudo
tpedro2016
Pedro
melendez
Melendez
Mike Bohn @MikeBohnMMA
2017: 78-63
trophy copy 2014 Champion
nunes2016
Nunes
dosanjos2017
dos Anjos
cejudo2016
Cejudo
tpedro2016
Pedro
melendez
Melendez
John Morgan @MMAjunkieJohn
2017: 77-64
nunes2016
Nunes
dosanjos2017
dos Anjos
cejudo2016
Cejudo
tpedro2016
Pedro
stephens2017
Stephens

The UFC is back in Canada this week for its return to pay-per-view – and what was supposed to be a pair of title fights before Thursday’s late scratch of the main event.

UFC 215 takes place Saturday at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

(Click here to open a PDF of the staff picks grid in a separate window.)

The main event was set to feature dominant flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson (26-2-1 MMA, 14-1-1 UFC) against challenger Ray Borg (11-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC). “Mighty Mouse” was attempting to break Anderson Silva’s record for consecutive UFC title defenses in the fight. But Borg was pulled on Thursday due to an illness, which means Johnson’s shot at history is on hold.

The previous co-feature has been elevated to the main event. Women’s bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes (14-4 MMA, 7-1 UFC) puts her belt on the line against Valentina Shevchenko (14-2 MMA, 3-1 UFC) in a rematch. Nunes won the first fight by unanimous decision at UFC 196, but is a slight underdog this time around. Shevchenko has a 6-4 edge from our staff.

In the new co-main event, former lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos (26-9 MMA, 15-7 UFC) will try to make it 2-0 as a welterweight when he takes on Neil Magny (19-5 MMA, 12-4 UFC). Dos Anjos is about a 2-1 favorite, and he has an 8-2 rout in our picks.

Also on the main card, a preliminary-card flyweight fight between recent title challengers Henry Cejudo (10-2 MMA, 4-2 UFC) and Wilson Reis (22-7 MMA, 6-3 UFC) has been elevated. Cejudo is more than a 3-1 favorite and is the only unanimous choice from our staff members. Ilir Latifi (12-5 MMA, 5-3 UFC) meets unbeaten Tyson Pedro (6-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC) in a light heavyweight fight, and despite being a slight underdog, Pedro is the 8-2 selection from our staff.

And to open the main card, former Strikeforce champion and two-time UFC lightweight title challenger Gilbert Melendez (22-6 MMA, 1-4 UFC) moves down to featherweight to take on fellow veteran Jeremy Stephens (25-14 MMA, 12-13 UFC). Stephens is a slight favorite, but Melendez is near unanimous at 9-1 from our pickers.

In the MMAjunkie reader consensus picks, Shevchenko, dos Anjos, Cejudo, Pedro and Melendez are the choices.

Check out all the picks above.

For more on UFC 215, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: “https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets”, analyticsCallback: “galleryAnalytics”, fullscreenUrl: “http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/LejrtCkKj7fRqzy4fhMGkJ/270448”, customAnalytics: true, title: “Nunes def. Shevchenko”, feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == “undefined”) ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

if(typeof(jQuery)==”function”){(function($){$.fn.fitVids=function(){}})(jQuery)};
jwplayer(‘jwplayer_eL2kdo8P_RbnemIYZ_div’).setup(
{“playlist”:”http://content.jwplatform.com/jw6/eL2kdo8P.xml”}
);

Filed under: Featured, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie