The Port Arthur News
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
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
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
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