Pettis favored over Melendez

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LAS VEGAS, NV (The Spread) – The UFC Lightweight Champion, Anthony Pettis, returns to action on Saturday when he defends his title against Gilbert Melendez at UFC 181.

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Pettis (17-2) is the defending lightweight champion and making his first title defense against Melendez (22-3), who is a former Strikeforce lightweight champion and making his second attempt to win the UFC title. Pettis hasn’t competed since Aug. 31 of 2013 because of a knee injury while Melendez last fought in October of 2013.

According to oddsmakers at Bovada.lv, Pettis is the favorite to win this bout, as he has been given odds of -285 to win, while Melendez has a money line of +225 to prevail. This bout will take place on Saturday night from the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas.

This fight features two dynamic strikers. Melendez has a great boxing background while Pettis is a diverse muay thai striker that uses his legs as effectively as any fighter in the world. Melendez also has a decent wrestling game while Pettis can fight well off his back and has used submissions off his back to win before, including in his championship victory over Ben Henderson. If the fight stays standing, that does seem to favor Pettis. His strikes are more impactful than Melendez. While Gilbert may tally more punches, one kick from Pettis will do much more damage and it would be tough for anyone to take those for 25 minutes. If Melendez uses his wrestling, he can get the victory.

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