So you want to be an Ultimate Fighter? Not after seeing Gilbert Melendez’s left leg, you don’t.
Melendez’s wife and Strikeforce fighter, Keri Melendez, posted a pictures of her husband’s battered lead leg following Saturday’s (30-26, 30-26, 30-25) unanimous decision defeat to Jeremy Stephens at UFC 215. Thanksgiving might still be two months away, but I’m thankful that’s not my leg today.
Stephens attacked Melendez’s leg from the opening bell, causing it to immediately swell and turn purple. Melendez continued to warrior through as best he could, switching to southpaw stance to protect it better, but it was too badly damaged.
Despite falling several times unable to carry his own weight, Melendez somehow managed to go the distance with Stephens, one of the most powerful strikers in the featherweight division. Yes, the same Jeremy Stephens UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor publicly embarrassed at UFC 205 press conference by asking, “Who the f*ck is that guy?”
Keri Melendez said her husband is doing well and should recover in no time.
“Hey All. Everyone is asking about Gilbert’s leg. Here is a pic today. He is doing A ok. Thank you to all for the support. We feel the love,” she wrote on Twitter
Melendez earned an extra $50,000 for Fight of the Night for his efforts, as well as the praises of UFC president Dana White for the gutty performance.
Much respect @GilbertMelendez u are a tough SOB!!!!!!!!!
— Dana White (@danawhite) September 10, 2017
“Not the outcome I wanted but as fighter I always strive for respect. IMO 1 of the best compliments a fighter can receive.Thank u Dana White,” Melendez posted in response to his boss’ props.
Melendez, the former Strikeforce lightweight champion, has now dropped five of his past six fights, including four straight. A skid that bad would typically call for termination, but given that White just sang his praises it’s likely “El Nino” will storm the octagon once again.