Melissa Gatto explains why she wasn’t surprised with bizarre UFC Vegas 92 chest-punch knockout

Melissa Gatto is now the proud owner of one of the strangest finishes in UFC history.

All three of Gatto’s octagon victories have come inside the distance, none more memorable than the win she scored over Tamires Vidal at UFC Vegas 92 on Saturday. Early in the third round of their bantamweight contest, Gatto caught Vidal with what appeared to be a glancing punch across the chest, which caused Vidal to retreat while wincing in pain.

Gatto didn’t hesitate to follow up with strikes until referee Chris Tognoni stepped in for the stoppage.

At the evening’s post-fight press conference, Gatto explained what exactly was going in on her mind when she saw Vidal’s odd reaction.

“I watched the last fight of her and always she feels that,” Gatto said. “And she always tries to stop the fight, but the [referee] said to me, ‘Don’t stop. You go.’ And I go and I finish, I get my victory.”

Gatto reiterated that she’s seen Vidal act similarly before and was not surprised by her reaction.

The stoppage was met with little controversy, especially considering that Gatto was up on all three scorecards anyway, but the moment did generate some amused responses on social media.

Gatto stressed that she was prepared for the situation due to her dogged dedication to tape study.

“I watch all of my fights, all of my opponents’ fights,” Gatto said. “Every day. Every day, every time.”

The stoppage win couldn’t have come at a better time for Gatto, who entered Saturday on a two-fight losing streak. She is now 3-2 in the UFC, with wins over Vidal, Sijara Eubanks, and Victoria Leonardo. Her past seven wins have all come via knockout or submission.

Gatto is eager to fight again soon, and though her move up to 135 pounds was never meant to be permanent, she’s willing to compete in two divisions if the matchmakers ask her to do so.

“I want to fight in August in the flyweight division, but if the UFC wants me in bantamweight division, I’m here,” Gatto said. “I’m here to fight. I want to fight. I was born to fight.”

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