For the second time, Gilbert Melendez was denied in his quest to become the UFC lightweight champion.

Time time around, though, it wasn’t due to the judges.

Melendez lost for the first time in his 26-fight career via finish, as Anthony Pettis locked up a guillotine and earned the tap Saturday night at UFC 181.

“I wish I went out getting knocked out instead of submitted,” Melendez said. “He is a fast, slick youngster. He made me feel a little old.

“There was a lot of chaos and he capitalized. I am disappointed.”

Melendez (22-4) lost a decision to then-champion Benson Henderson, but rebounded to top Diego Sanchez. He was engaged in lengthy contract talks with the UFC, but the ended when “El Nino” signed to compete on The Ultimate Fighter as a coach vs. Pettis before squaring off against him.

“He is the new breed,” Melendez said. “I thought I was on to the right game plan, but shit happens.”