Strikeforce: Barnett Vs. Cormier - Gilbert Melendez Wins Controversial Split Decision Victory Over Josh Thomson

May 19, 2012; San Jose, CA, USA; Gilbert Melendez (right) fights Josh Thomson (left) during the lightweight bout of the Strikeforce World Grand Prix at HP Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-US PRESSWIRE

In a surprisingly competitive bout to defend the Strikeforce lightweight title, Gilbert Melendez outworked Josh Thomson early on to take the split decision victory and retain his belt.

Rounds 1 through 3 saw Melendez generating more offense and negating most of Thomson's salvos and tactics. The fourth round saw Thomson finally capitalize on a trip and take Melendez's back to threaten a rear naked choke for some time. The fifth round again saw Thomson stay more active and take the round.

Score card controversies could arise over how to score the fourth (10-9 or 10-8, Thomson) or how to score the first round (10-9 Melendez or 10-10).

Melendez moves to 21-2 and has now capped off the trilogy with Thomson with a 2-1 advantage - although with some controversy. His lone other setback was a decision loss to Mitsuhiro Ishida back in 2007 and Melendez avenged that with a third round KO back in 2009. At this point, Melendez has very few Strikeforce-based challengers left in his division.

Thomson drops to 19-5-1 for his career and probably has to be raring for a rare MMA quadrilogy to show that he can indeed beat Gilbert and take that belt for himself.

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