Former Strikeforce lightweight champion, Gilbert Melendez returned to the Octagon at UFC 239 to take on rising featherweight prospect, Arnold Allen. There, Allen beat the legend of the sport by decision in Melendez’s comeback fight to the UFC.
After the fight, the 37-year-old was unsure if this was going to be it for him in terms of fighting.
“It’s hard to say. I don’t know man. It’s hard to just say it’s over. I love how Renzo Gracie will never retire. Who knows? Maybe five years down the road something will happen,” Melendez sais to ESPN. “But I think it’s safe to say I want to put my energy towards my team, towards my wife who’s a fighter, to all my members out there. And not leaning on them like that’s the reason I have to stop. I just think maybe I can thrive in those moments a little bit more. I’m gonna take some time off.
“I ran into Ricardo Almeida back there. He’s like, ‘bro you did great. Two years off and you should just jump back in man. Of course you’re gonna do that.’ And I was like, ‘you know what, maybe I’ll get back in there next week,” he continued. “Maybe he’s right.’ It’s so much emotion with this fight game. It’s just a roller coaster ride. Again, I didn’t do it for people’s opinion. I didn’t do it because I care what people say or I’m gonna care if they’re talking crap on me. I did it when no one knew it. I did it before Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar fought. I was eight, nine fights deep trying to explain to people at the bar what I was doing for a living. And then overnight, everybody knew what this was or what I was doing.”
Gilbert Melendez is now 22-8 as a pro, and is now on a five-fight losing streak and is 1-6 in his last seven.