If you saw Gilbert Melendez make his featherweight debut against Jeremy Stephens at UFC 215 last weekend, you probably wondered what had happened to the former Strikeforce lightweight champ. He looked completely deflated and out-classed from bell to bell, had his leg nearly broke in half, but somehow still managed to last all three rounds. The final scores were not pretty and they told the story of a legend of the sport whose time to hang it up was coming soon.
Gilbert was on Brett Okamoto’s ESPN podcast and talked about the inevitable.
— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) September 14, 2017
Here’s why it looks so bad.
Melendez tested positive for exogenous origin of testosterone metabolites in a post-fight drug test in his June 2015 split decision loss to Eddie Alvarez. He was suspended for a year then came back in a losing effort against Edson Barboza in July 2016. And now he has this most recent showing against Stephens after dropping down to featherweight for the first time.
You can draw your own conclusions.
He’s now lost his last four in a row and five of his last six. We’re entering BJ Penn territory here. We like to see our legends bow out gracefully and walk away while their brains are still somewhat in tact. Here’s to hoping Gil knows when enough is enough.