Gilbert Melendez
El Nino
Withdraws from Allen fight
November 5, 2018
Melendez has pulled out of his bout against Arnold Allen with an undisclosed injury, Damon Martin of MMA NYTT reports.
There's been no word yet on the extent or the severity of the injury that has forced Melendez out of The Ultimate Fighter finale, but we do know it's enough to allow Rick Glenn to take his place Nov. 30. Until more comes out about what's ailing Melendez, it's unclear when his next fight will be.
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Sees final bell despite significant leg injury
September 9, 2017
Melendez lost to Jeremy Stephens via unanimous decision (26-30, 26-30, 25-30) at UFC 215 on Saturday in Edmonton.
Melendez is stupidly tough. Fighting on one leg for the majority of the fight after eating several low kicks from Stephens early, Gil somehow managed to see the final bell in a fight in which he was injured almost immediately. Melendez's entire game plan was compromised due to the injury. He obviously couldn't properly defend himself and the injury severely limited his offensive arsenal. Tough circumstances asides, Gilbert has now lost four fights in a row and he has just one win in the past five-plus years. His past body of work makes it likely that Melendez will earn one more opportunity to prove himself.
Will face Jeremy Stephens at UFC 215
July 6, 2017
Melendez will face Jeremy Stephens at UFC 215 on Sep. 9, Dave Doyle of reports.
The 35-year-old hasn't performed particularly well in his spotty activity recently, losing four of his past five bouts, with the most recent fight ending in a unanimous decision loss to Edson Barboza last July. That said, the potential future Hall-of-Famer has enough name recognition to get him a spot on a pay-per-view card. His opponent, Stephens, hasn't been effective of late either. He's dropped three of his last four fights, most recently falling to Renato Moicano on April 15 as a result of a split decision. Melendez will also be dropping down to featherweight (145 pounds) for this fight after competing at lightweight (155 pounds) for the majority of his recent career. The X-factor in this matchup will likely be how the 35-year-old's conditioning is affected by the extra weight cut.
Goes the distance, but drops unanimous decision to Edson Barboza
July 23, 2016
Melendez lost to Edson Barboza via unanimous decision (27-30, 27-30, 28-29) at UFC on FOX 20 on Saturday in Chicago.
Gilbert did all he could, it's just hard to win a fight with only one working leg. Melendez deserves credit for standing and exchanging with Barboza, and he certainly landed more than his fair share of shots, but he ate far too many leg kicks. By the time all was said and done, he was unable to push off of his left leg at all. Melendez by no means looked poor, but Barboza was simply on another level. After going more than four years without a loss from April 2009 to April 2013, Gil has now lost three fights in a row and four of his last five. It's hard to believe that the UFC would cut bait here, but they may be forced to give Melendez an easy fight his next time out.
In search of much needed win Saturday in Chicago
July 21, 2016
Melendez (+185) is a hefty underdog for his lightweight fight against Edson Barboza that will take place at UFC on FOX 20 on Saturday in Chicago.
Melendez is just 1-3 in his last four fights and somehow that is his only victory under the UFC banner. When you add in a recent year-long suspension for PEDs, it's been a rough 36-months for the former Strikeforce and WEC Lightweight Champion. Melendez is now 34-years old, so we are nearing the point where it's fair to wonder if his skills are slipping. The problem is that he's fought so little of late that it's difficult to tell if those skills have truly eroded or not. This fight against Barboza should give us a very good idea of what to expect from El Nino moving forward.
May 4, 2016
Melendez will face Edson Barboza Jr. on July 23 at UFC Chicago.
Melendez has been suspended since July 2015 after he failed a drug test. He may be a bit rusty, as he hasn't fought in nearly a year, but you can't count out the former top-5 lightweight. Barboza is coming off of the biggest victory of his career, winning by unanimous decision over Anthony Pettis in April. His kicking power and current momentum could pose problems for Melendez.