37-year-old MMA veteran star Gilbert Melendez has been released from the UFC.
The news is not unexpected as ‘El Nino’ hasn’t won a fight since 2013 and has been relatively inactive during his time in the Octagon.
Melendez came to the UFC in 2012 as Strikeforce’s long-time lightweight champion and was riding a seven-fight winning streak at the time, including wins over the likes of Jorge Masvidal, Shinya Aoki and Josh Thomson.
However, he immediately came unstuck in his promotional debut title fight against the UFC champion at the time, Ben Henderson, who earned a split decision victory against him.
Melendez went on to beat Diego Sanchez by unanimous decision, but that would prove to be the only win he would register during his time in the UFC.
Since then Melendez has gone on to lose five fights in a row over a five year period, starting with another title fight loss against Anthony Pettis by submission, followed by a split decision loss to Eddie Alvarez that was further tainted when he tested positive for testosterone metabolites, leading to a year-long suspension.
Since his return Melendez has came out on the wrong end of unanimous decision verdicts against Edson Barboza, Jeremy Stephens and most recently Arnold Allen, which signalled the end to his UFC career.
In total Melendez posted just a 1-6 record during his time in the Octagon, in stark contrast to the 21-2 record he’d compiled prior to that fighting for the likes of Strikeforce, PRIDE, WEC and Shooto.