At UFC 239, Gilbert Melendez suffered his fifth consecutive loss to rising 25-year-old upstart Arnold Allen via a one-sided unanimous decision. Since the bout, Gilbert Melendez was naturally asked about the prospect of retirement. Melendez is 37 years old now with a UFC record of 1-6. Melendez did not commit to retirement in an interview following his loss to Arnold, but he also did not rule it out, either. For what it’s worth, Melendez would later receive advice from a rather unlikely source, the most recent fighter to defeat him: Arnold Allen.
“It’s nature, at the end of the day. And I personally feel that he should retire,” Allen told ESPN in a post-fight interview. “And I hate when I see veterans, guys I used to watch as kids, and they just keep going, keep going and going. And they sort of damage their career. And I never know, because I might get there and do the same thing myself, and I hope not. But, yeah, I hope that’s it for him. He’s had a great run. He had a great career. But nature calls, you know?
“He’s on that streak. He’s fought some of the best guys in the world and he’s really not where he used to be. And I feel it’s only gonna get worse.”
Arnold Allen knows that retirement is much easier advised onto others than implemented oneself. When one has devoted so many years, blood, and tears into one craft, it is difficult to walk away from and into a new phase in life. So Allen realizes that while he is in a position to urge retirement onto Melendez today, someone could be saying the same to him a decade from now.
“It’s easy for me to say. I’m 25 years old, and I’m just at the start. So I’ll probably do the same thing when I’m there.”
What’s your take on Arnold Allen’s advice to Gilbert Melendez to retire?