Gilbert Melendez Releases Statement After UFC 239 Defeat: ‘The Journey Will Continue’

By Tristen Critchfield Jul 10, 2019


Once regarded as one of the top lightweight mixed martial artists in the world, Gilbert Melendez has fallen on hard times in recent years.

Making his second featherweight appearance at UFC 239, “El Nino” dropped a non-competitive unanimous decision to English prospect Arnold Allen in a preliminary bout at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. It was the fifth consecutive loss in the Octagon for Melendez, who once was the former Strikeforce 155-pound king and challenged for UFC gold in his first Octagon appearance.

The Skrap Pack representative recently released a statement via Instagram regarding his most recent setback.

“Huge thanks to my team and all my loyal followers. You guys will never know how much your support has meant to me over the years. Things didn’t go my way but when you have the opportunity to chase a great moment or take on a challenge, I suggest you face it and go for it,” Melendez wrote. “Even in defeat I know this experience will help me grow as a martial artist and as a person. At the end of the day I am happy, I am blessed, I am healthy, I am loved, I leveled up and I had a dang great time out there competing!!! Arnold is a great competitor, is a difficult target to find in the cage and I wish him the best in his fighting future.”

One thing Melendez did not do was make a definitive statement regarding his future fighting plans.

“As for me I’m looking forward to now investing more of my time into my team, and of course I will continue my studies as a student of martial arts,” he added. “The journey will continue for #teamElNiño and the #skrappack because we are deep.”

The 37-year-old Californian is 22-8 over the course of a professional career that began in 2002. He owns notable wins over the likes of Clay Guida, Tatsuya Kawajiri, Josh Thomson, Shinya Aoki, Jorge Masvidal and Diego Sanchez, to name a few.

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Huge thanks to my team and all my loyal followers . You guys will never know how much your support has meant to me over the years. Things didn’t go my way but when you have the opportunity to chase a great moment or take on a challenge I suggest you face it and go for it. Even in defeat I know this experience will help me grow as a martial artist and as a person. At the end of the day I am happy , I am blessed , I am healthy , I am loved , I leveled up and I had a dang great time out there competing!!! Arnold is a great competitor , is a difficult target to find in the cage and I wish him the best in his fighting future . As for me I’m looking forward to now investing more of my time into my team and of course I will continue my studies as a student of martial arts. The journey will continue for #teamElNiño and the #skrappack because we are deep. Special thanks to @kerimelendez415 #myDadSenior #Leylakay #sam #mifamilia #santaana #sanfrancisco @jakeshields @natediaz209 @joshclopton @escobar415 @this_man_dk @tlee133 @alexcoriano @jimslaz @phil.vita @baluvargas @jamesappleberry @randy.j.miranda @hurricane_415 @elninotrainingcenter @mo.jitsu @dannydamage @micky_baiano @ninjafelix @codyorrison @eljaguars @cesargraciebjj @teamsantosjiujitsu @philbaldacci and the rest of the pack for putting that time in with me.

A post shared by gilbertmelendez (@gilbertmelendez) on Jul 9, 2019 at 12:46pm PDT

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