It didn’t happen in the first five minutes as he wanted, but Anthony Pettis still became the first fighter to finish Gilbert Melendez.
The reigning UFC lightweight champion locked up a guillotine in the second round, earning his second straight submission victory in the co-main event of UFC 181.
In several interviews leading up to the bout, “Showtime” vowed to finish Melendez and become the first to do so. It marked the first loss via submission or knockout in the 26-fight career of the former Strikeforce champion.
“It’s been a long layoff, but I reminded everybody I am the champ for a reason,” Pettis said. “This is the hardest division in the UFC. I am working on my takedown defense every day, working every day in the gym.
“I love to do this. It is my passion and I am going to be in this game for a long time.”
Pettis has now finished each of his last four, tying for the active longest streak with Ronda Rousey and Max Holloway in the UFC. He is now 18-2 overall in his career.
When asked who might be next, Pettis had a simple message for the rest of the 155-pound division.
“I showed them my message right there,” he said. “The No. 1 guy in the world; two rounds.”