Gilbert Melendez is no longer a member of the UFC. It was announced yesterday he has been released from the promotion.
Many were not surprised by the release as Melendez struggled inside the Octagon, but he was a big name and a fan favorite. Yet, he spoke to ESPN and released a statement on him being cut.
“It was a fun ride with the UFC that I really enjoyed,” Melendez told ESPN. “I feel I gave them one of the most entertaining fights in their history [against Diego Sanchez], and I appreciate all they’ve done. They have done a bunch of cool stuff for all of their fighters.
“That said, I do feel this release is mutual. I was ready to move on. I feel like, if I were to fight again, I would like to do it on my terms and steer my own ship. The UFC is a fantastic organization. But, they have their agenda. And, unless you’re a champion or a super strong needle mover, you don’t have as much say in your career. If I do get back in the cage, I want it to be with a company that agrees with the path that I want to be on. But I’m leaving the UFC on great terms.”
Gilbert Melendez went just 1-6 in the UFC including being on a five-fight losing streak. He entered the Las Vegas-based promotion on a seven-fight winning streak while being the Strikeforce champion and in his first fight, lost by split-decision to Benson Henderson for the lightweight title.
His only win in the UFC was against Diego Sanchez. Gilbert Melendez would then go to lose to Anthony Pettis, Eddie Alvarez, Edson Barboza, Jeremy Stephens, and Arnold Allen.
He could very well sign with a promotion like Bellator that he has done commentary for. Whether or not he fights again after his release is to be seen.