Anthony Pettis Suffers No Effects From 16-Month Layoff

A layoff of 16-months did not prove to be a factor for Anthony Showtime Pettis, when the native of Milwaukee made the first defense of his UFC lightweight title.

Pettis was able to submit his opponent Gilbert Melendez just 1 minute and 53 seconds after the second round started.

Pettis used a mounted guillotine choke to defeat his opponent as part of the co-main event in the UFC 181 from Las Vegas’ Mandalay Bay Center.

The 27-year old said 2013 was rough but he was the still champion of one of UFC’s hardest weight classes.

Pettis who is 18-2 overcame a slow first round with successful striking during the second. A shot to Melendez’s head ultimately left the door open for Pettis who countered an attempted takedown by Melendez by locking the former WEC Lightweight and Strikeforce champion in the choke from the back.

The game plan of Melendez was to maintain Pettis’ striking at bay and in the early going was successful.

However, Pettis finally was able to land some signature kicks but the round ended before any significant damage was done.

Melendez said after the fight that Pettis had made him feel old during the fight and knocked him a few times real good.

The win was Pettis’ second consecutive submission victory as he beat Benson Henderson with a submission armbar in his August 31, 2013 title fight, but was out of action due to surgery on his knee that was necessitated after injuring it in the bout.

When asked after his bout if he had anything to say to other contenders in his weight division, he replied that he gave them all a message in his fight.

Pettis’ younger brother Sergio improved to 3-1 with a unanimous decision on the preliminary card.