Gilbert Melendez’s run with the UFC has come to an end.
The former lightweight title contender was released from the promotion just recently following a fifth loss in a row in his most recent performance against Arnold Allen in July. Melendez’s release was first reported by FightBookMMA on Monday.
It’s an unceremonious end to Melendez’s UFC career after he joined the promotion as Strikeforce champion and was immediately granted a title shot in his first fight with Benson Henderson.
He came away with a split-decision loss that night, but rebounded with a Fight of the Year candidate when he engaged in an all-out war with Diego Sanchez six months later. The victory over Sanchez was ultimately the only win that Melendez would put on his UFC record in his six years with the organization.
In his next fight, Melendez lost his second bid to become lightweight champion when Anthony Pettis finished him by second-round guillotine choke.
He then came up short via a split-decision loss to Eddie Alvarez that was followed by a one-year suspension after he tested positive for “exogenous origin of testosterone metabolites.”
When he returned, Melendez lost to Edson Barboza before making the decision to test the waters at 145 pounds. Things didn’t get any better for him at featherweight with the 37-year-old veteran dropping back-to-back fights to Allen and Jeremy Stephens, which moved his losing streak to five in a row.
Melendez ends his UFC career with a 1-6 record overall.
Following his loss to Allen back in July, Melendez had hinted at retirement as he prepared to focus more on coaching other athletes, but he has never officially called it a career. Now if Melendez intends on fighting again, he will have to find a new home outside the UFC.