Watch replay at 3:58 mark
After touching gloves the crowd favorite, southpaw Brandon Melendez, almost immediately connects with a strong left right combination, the jab landing to Beckett’s body and the right colliding with his jaw followed by a kick to Becket’s ribs. I can see right away that Melendez is mainly a kickboxing based fighter. Beckett attempts to control his opponent with a Thai-clinch but the Utah-native lands several jaw-shattering rights on the Californian. Becket doesn’t look to be an experienced Thai boxer in the way that he tries to use the clinch to control his opponent without following up with knees. The shots drop Beckett who manages to maintain a head and arm grip and attempts to use the momentum to pull Melendez into a sneaky attempt at a half-butterfly guard sweep. The move almost works but Melendez manages to turn his hips back in towards Beckett just in time. Beckett attempts an armbar but Melendez stands and pulls out landing in top half guard hammering Beckett’s head with several more jarring rights. Beckett transitions back to full guard and as Melendez stands Beckett hooks his leg and makes a half-hearted upside-down knee lock attempt but he’s too low on the knee and Melendez pulls out swinging back around to a standing position. From these exchanges I can tell that neither man is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu expert despite their billing. The attempts from Beckett are somewhat uncontrolled as if he is simply throwing them up and hoping they happen to work rather than taking a more calculated approach to set up a solid sweep or submission. Facing off again, more blows are thrown and after dodging Becket’s lazy jab Melendez connects with a thunderous right haymaker, which bounces off Beckett’s temple, knocking him clean out and sending him face first to the canvas at the 57-second mark. Though Beckett was game Melendez established the role of aggressor from the beginning and never gave Beckett a chance to catch up, proving that MMA is a sport were the inability to find one’s rhythm can prove fatal.