Who wins the Jeremy Stephens vs. Gilbert Melendez fight, and why?
JOHN KIM, MMATorch Contributor
Stephens by knockout. The last time Melendez won a fight was in 2013. I think Gilbert wants to prove that he still belongs and will take it straight to Stephens. Stephens loves a fight like that. I think Stephens catches Melendez being overly aggressive and knocks him out.
ZACK HEYDORN, MMATorch Contributor
Overall, I’m not expecting anything too spectacular in this fight. Both guys are coming off a number of losses and will be looking to get on track Saturday night. That said, I just am not impressed with either man. Stephens is the stronger fighter and certainly has knockout strength that is more significant than Melendez. Melendez will stay away from the big hit and instead get beat inch by inch throughout three rounds. I’m going with Stephens via decision.
FRANK HYDEN, MMATorch Columnist
I think Stephens wins a tight decision. Melendez is really tough and is dropping a weight class, but he’s been in a lot of wars over the years (as has Stephens) and I think they’ve taken their toll. I think Stephens wins a close fight. I do expect a fun brawl, though, so anything could happen.
RICK MONSEY, MMATorch Contibutor
Melendez has not had his hand raised since 2013. Obviously four years is a long time so Melendez needs to be aggressive right away. On the other hand, Jeremy Stephens has lost three of his last four fights. Stephens has displayed power in the past and if Melendez comes out hesitantly Stephens can close the distance and finish it. If nothing else Stephens will grind out a decision win.
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