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UFC 181 results recap: Anthony Pettis vs Gilbert Melendez

Bloody Elbow recaps the big fights from UFC 181 last night in Las Vegas. Here, we look at the main event between Anthony Pettis and Gilbert Meendez.

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The UFC lightweight division has long been known as arguably the most competitive division in the entire promotion. However, on Saturday night, Anthony Pettis took one step closer to becoming a near-unstoppable champion with a historic finish of former WEC and Strikforce champion Gilbert Melendez. It was Pettis' first title defense and extended his winning streak to four consecutive fights - three of which ended via first round stoppage.

It has become evidently clear that Pettis is a special talent. His striking has long been his touted trait, yet he has now not only won the UFC lightweight title with a submission, but also defended the title with a submission. He is also the first fighter to finish Melendez in the lightweight's storied career - an added accomplishment to Pettis' rapidly growing mantle.

Official Result: Anthony Pettis def. Gilbert Melendez vis Submission (Guillotine Choke, Round 2, 1:53)

What was the high point of the fight?

Considering the entire fight lasted just over eight minutes, the entire affair is worth your time. Melendez pushed the pace early in the fight but only needed one small mistake to allow Pettis to capitalize on the opportunity to bring about the finish. Pettis' slick transition to the guillotine choke was ultimately the high point of the fight.

Where do these two go from here?

Anthony Pettis will look to defend his title in the coming months as long as he remains healthy. The most likely challenger is Khabib Nurmagomedov, who is currently recovering from a knee injury and will not be ready to return to the octagon before April or May.

Gilbert Melendez is a more difficult fighter to predict. BE's Mookie Alexander suggested that ‘El Nino' could likely get a fighter like Donald Cerrone in his next UFC outing, yet there are a few other potential alternatives.

Watch now, later or never?

Watch now. Anthony Pettis has the potential to become one of the UFC leading stars and every step of that journey is proving to be must-watch television.

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