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Sports

September 7, 2013

David Estrada column: Melancon stopped in second UFC bout

PORT ARTHUR — The last week and a half has been quite an eventful one for MMA from a national

and local perspective. In the three events held, a Southeast Texas hometown

favorite slipped-up, a champion was crowned in his own hometown, and a new

contender was created in his home country.

    Brian Melancon fought in the big show again, this time at UFC Fight Night 27 in

Indianapolis on August 28. The PNG alum fought in the nationally-televised UFC

event against last season's The Ultimate Fighter champion, Kelvin Gastelum.

Melancon has captured Southeast Texans' hearts with his ascension in MMA

including his July UFC 162 victory against Seth Baczynski.

    This time Melancon faltered. Midway through the first round

Kelvin Gastelum dropped Brian with a several punch combination and took his

back. Gastelum cinched a rear naked choke submission and Melancon was forced to

tap.

    Melancon stated to The News that he had the right game plan for Gastelum. His

strategy was to counter his opponent's aggression. He countered punched

Gastelum as he was coming in and landed some good shots. He also wasn't worried

about the current TUF champion's takedowns. "It tires people out when they take

you down and cannot keep you down," stated Melancon, "It makes them not want to

do it again."

    Brian did take the fight Kelvin Gastelum on short notice  — only four weeks —

which he was able to do after his quick work of Seth Baczynski just weeks prior.

"I felt good after that fight and stayed in shape. I didn't let my weight go

too high." he stated.

    What is next for Brian Melancon? The good news is he is two fights into a

four fight contract with the UFC. His next bout with the promotion remains to

be determined.

    His local fans should be aware of Brian's other fight which is outside the

Octagon and realm of sports altogether. He works hard contributing to the

non-profit Fight for the Forgotten.

    Formed by his friend and fellow mixed martial artist, Justin Wren, it's a charity that works to free the Pygmy people of Congo from slavery. Fight fans can learn more about this admirable fight at

fightfortheforgotten.com.

    The next major event after UCF Fight Night 27 was held on Aug. 31 in Milwaukee. UFC

164 featured one of the most anticipated rematches in UFC lightweight history

with Anthony "Showtime" Pettis getting another crack at Ben "Smooth" Henderson.

    In 2010, Pettis entered hostile territory fighting in front of Ben Henderson's

hometown Phoenix fans in the last WEC bout ever. This was the bout where Pettis

landed the kick heard around the world, the Showtime Kick, where he bounced off

the cage and landed a foot to Henderson's face laying him out.

    Pettis took the WEC lightweight title from Henderson largely due to that kick

and months later the promotion and its fighters were absorbed into the UFC.

    Three years later the the tables were remarkably turned. For UFC 164, Henderson

would be fighting in Milwaukee, which was Showtime Pettis' hometown. This was

similar to a classic NFL division rivalry — two games against each other; one

home, one away.

    The first meeting and second were polar opposites. The 2010 WEC bout was a five

round mostly standup war that went to judges' decision. The UFC 164 rematch

only went one round with Pettis earning the victory again. This time it was not

attributed to high-flying antics.

    Showtime isolated an arm and locked up an

armbar submission on Henderson. No one saw a tap, just the referee stopping the

fight and Pettis releasing the submission and standing victoriously. Henderson

had to verbally submit to the referee yelling, "Tap, tap, tap!"

    To end an action-packed summer of MMA, UFC Fight Night 28 was held in Belo

Horizonte, Brazil on Sept. 4. The main event of this one did not

disappoint. Brazilian light heavyweight Glover Teixeira faced perennial

wrestling powerhouse Ryan "Darth" Bader in a pivotal matchup for each.

    Bader wobbled Teixeira in the first round of the fight. After failing to end the bout

with his textbook guillotine choke, Bader got Glover Teixeira in severe danger

on the fence peppering him with punches.

    Teixeira withstood the onslaught and landed a right-left combination that

absolutely leveled Darth Bader. Teixeira followed-up with some punches on the

ground handing the Brazilian a win by TKO.

    Glover Teixeira is on a tear. He's now 5-0 in the UFC and UFC president Dana

White has declared he will now fight for the UFC light heavyweight title to be

determined next by the winner of Alexsander Gustafsson versus Jon "Bones" Jones.

    David Estrada Jr. is a Mixed Martial Arts columnist for the Port Arthur News. He can be e-mailed at

DavidEstrada@DavidEstrada.com

 

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