The first round starts and both fighters start out cautious. Ishida shoots and misses badly, and Ishida throws a headkick that's blocked. Melendez lands a right hand. Ishida shoots and misses again, Melendez lands a knee. Melendez lands solid punches and Ishida tries to close the gap. Melendez lands another right hand that wobbled Ishida. Ishida kick and Melendez counters with a right. Melendez with a left hook counter. Ishida shoots for a single leg and Melendez defends...Ishida keeps going and gets the take down. Ishida tries to take Melendez's back, but Melendez is able to get back up and takes Ishida down. Ishida up to his knees and Melendez landing short knees to Ishida's thigh as the bell sounds.
The second round starts and Melendez misses a left right combo. Melendez with a stiff jab. Melendez with a straight right hand and another jab lands. Ishida shoots for the single leg take down and Melendez defends and lands a knee. They clinch and Melendez is landing knees to Ishida's thighs. Melendez with a good elbow and Ishida feints a take down and Melendez sprawls, but hops up and lands another punch. Melendez starting to become more and more confident in his striking and lands a nice flurry against the cage on Ishida. Ishida is in trouble and taking punishment while on his knees. Melendez with a double leg take down. Ishida looks to be fading. Melendez with knees to Ishida's chest as Melendez has him pinned against the cage. Ishida stands and Melendez lands again. Ishida lands a body kick but slips and Melendez pounces with a punch as the bell sounds.
The third round starts and Ishida lands a left. They trade jabs. Melendez with another jab. Nice flurry from both fighters. Melendez shoots and Ishida defends. Melendez lands a glancing 1-2. Melendez lands a jab that snaps Ishida's head back. Ishida with a nice leg kick. Ishida shoots and Melendez defends...Ishida taking punishment. Melendez pins Ishida against the cage and Ishida has him in full guard. Melendez landing punches and hammerfists. Ishida trying to control Melendez's posture. Melendez takes Ishida's back and now has Ishida mounted. Now has his back and is going for the RNC, but Ishida defends. Ishida taking punishment as he turtles up and isn't moving. The referee stops the fight at 3:56 of Rd. 3. Gilbert Melendez is the Strikeforce Interim Lightweight champion.