Gilbert Melendez Moves to Featherweight, Faces Jeremy Stephens at UFC 215

By Tristen Critchfield Jul 6, 2017

Gilbert Melendez will drop to 145 pounds and square off against Jeremy Stephens at UFC 215.

The Las Vegas-based promotion confirmed the pairing on Thursday. UFC 215 is set for Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, on Sept. 9 and also features a heavyweight showdown pitting Francis Ngannou against Junior dos Santos. A headliner for the card has not been announced.

A former Strikeforce lightweight titlist, Melendez has dropped his last three in the Octagon, falling to Edson Barboza, Eddie Alvarez and Anthony Pettis in succession. “El Nino” is 1-4 with the Las Vegas-based promotion overall, earning his lone victory in a memorable brawl against Diego Sanchez at UFC 166. Melendez is 22-6 since beginning his pro career in 2002 and owns notable wins over the likes of Josh Thomson (twice), Jorge Masvidal, Tatsuya Kawajiri (twice), Shinya Aoki and Clay Guida, to name a few.

Stephens, who also previously competed in the lightweight division, will look to halt a two-fight skid. “Lil Heathen” lost a unanimous decision against Frankie Edgar at UFC 205 before dropping a split verdict to Renato Carneiro in his most recent outing at UFC on Fox 24. Stephens is 5-5 in the Octagon since making the move to 145 pounds.


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