Gilbert Melendez seems to be nearing the end of his career as a professional fighter.
Over the weekend, on the undercard of UFC 239, the former Strikeforce lightweight champion and UFC lightweight title challenger gave up a decision to British featherweight Arnold Allen. While Melendez did not retire outright after this loss, he does seem to be preparing to move on to the next phase of his career.
Melendez issued a statement on this loss, and what will follow it, on his official Instagram account.
“Huge thanks to my team and all my loyal followers,” Gilbert Melendez wrote (h/t MMA Fighting). “You guys will never know how much your support has meant to me over the years. Things didn’t go my way but when you have the opportunity to chase a great moment or take on a challenge I suggest you face it and go for it. Even in defeat I know this experience will help me grow as a martial artist and as a person. At the end of the day I am happy, I am blessed, I am healthy, I am loved, I leveled up and I had a dang great time out there competing! Arnold is a great competitor, is a difficult target to find in the cage and I wish him the best in his fighting future.
“As for me I’m looking forward to now investing more of my time into my team and of course I will continue my studies as a student of martial arts. The journey will continue for [Team El Nino] and the [Skrap Pack] because we are deep.”
With his loss to Arnold Allen, Gilbert Melendez falls onto a five-fight win-streak. His last two losses have occurred in the featherweight division. Prior to that, he experienced three setbacks against the cream of the crop at lightweight.
What do you think the future holds for the former Strikeforce star?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 7/10/2019.