However, it wasn't quite enough for two of the judges, and Melendez held on to the Title with a split decision victory, earning scores of 48-47 on two of the judges scorecards.
The first three rounds were very much like what was seen in the second bout between the two, with Melendez out-striking Melendez and keeping the pressure on. However, Thomson surprised everyone with his work in the final ten minutes.
In the fourth round, he cracked Melendez with a couple of big strikes, then took him down and took his back with a minute left in the round. He came near locking in a rear naked choke submission, but Melendez defended well for the final minute. Thomson then won the final round as well, doing more damage overall to end the fight strong.
Ultimately, Melendez held onto the belt, but Thomson proved he can't be counted out just yet in his MMA career.
Penick's Analysis: This was one of Melendez's poorer performances, but the first three rounds were still enough to take the fight. He blamed it on a lack of motivation for fighting Thomson again, and said he's in a lose-lose situation fighting these types of fights, but this is the situation he's gotten himself into by re-signing last year. It's not an acceptable excuse, and if he approaches his fights like that he's going to lose sooner rather than later.