Esther Lin, MMA Fighting
Keri Taylor Melendez kept her record perfect with another dominant showcase at Bellator 252.
With her husband Gilbert in her corner, Melendez was quick out of the gates with an aggressive striking game, which eventually led to a knockdown that allowed her to wrap up a rear-naked choke to submit Emilee King in rapid-fire fashion. The official end time came at just 3:02 into the opening round.
@KeriMelendez415 moves to 4️⃣&0️⃣ as a pro with her 2️⃣nd first round win via RNC.
— BellatorMMA (@BellatorMMA) November 12, 2020
As soon as the fight started, Melendez was coming after King with a barrage of strikes including a couple of well timed kicks that could have potentially earned her a knockout.
Instead, Melendez moved from head hunting to focus on the body, which is where she threw a devastating knee strike that connected flush to King’s midsection.
The shot landed and the grimace on King’s face told the whole story as she crumbled to the ground where Melendez soon followed.
Once the fight was on the mat, Melendez quickly transitioned to take her opponent’s back before locking up the rear naked choke. With the arm sunk under the chin, King tried desperately to hold on but she was eventually forced to tap out or risk going to sleep from the submission.
The win moves Melendez to 5-0 in her MMA career along with a pair of victories she’s picked up under the Bellator Kickboxing banner as well. Melendez remains one of the top prospects on the Bellator roster as she runs roughshod over another opponent while continuing to move forward with her fighting career.