In the co-main event of the Strikeforce: "Barnett vs. Cormier" fight card that took place last night (Sat., May 19, 2012) at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California, Gilbert Melendez retained his lightweight championship with a split decision victory over Josh Thomson.
And completed their trilogy by going up 2-1 in the process.
It didn't come without some controversy, however. Indeed, the fight was a hotly contested bout over five rounds and 25 minutes of action that saw quite a few ups and downs, too many swings in momentum to count.
Ultimately, the judges awarded the fight to Melendez by scores of 48-47, 47-48 and 48-47.
As is usually the case in close contests like this, the fine folks at Fight Metric quickly released their report to show the statistical analysis on top of what we all witnessed ourselves. The report agrees with the two judges who scored the bout for Melendez, although it shows how very close it actually was.
Get striking, grappling and performance ratings after the jump.
First, the striking:
As you can see, Melendez was better everywhere and if you look at the round-by-round breakdown, there isn't a single one that is scored in favor of Thomson. But that's just one aspect of the fight, of course.
Onto the grappling:
"El Nino" was successful on five of his 10 takedown attempts, though he did very little once he got Thomson to the floor. "The Punk," meanwhile, scored just two takedowns but is credited with a pass to back mount and two submission attempts.
Remember that fourth round where he very nearly ended the fight? Yeah, that was his big one.
After looking at both and breaking down all five rounds, the performance ratings were razor thin:
Thomson was that close to winning the lightweight championship. It was a close fight, there's no questioning that, but the stats would seem to back up the judges.
Do you Maniacs agree? Or did you think Thomson should have been given the nod?