Friday, October 7, 2022

Gilbert Melendez Contemplates Retirement

37-year old Gilbert Melendez’s losing skid continued at UFC 239 when he lost his fifth consecutive fight to Arnold Allen at UFC 239. Now having lost six of his last even fights and a UFC record of 1-6, Melendez realizes that if he were to walk away from the sport, he has a support system that helps make him the man he is today, a man not dependent on fighting (Transcript via Bloody Elbow):

“I’m someone who’s always had friends and love and fighting didn’t define me,” Melendez told ESPN in a post-fight interview. “I have a beautiful, wonderful wife, I have a family that’s supported me, and I have a great community of people at my gym. I don’t need fighting, and it doesn’t define me.

“It’s no secret I’ve been on the fourth quarter. I fought when no one knew about fighting, then I fought when everyone knew about fighting and I’m fighting still because I like it. Not for popularity, not because I want to win, not because I want to protect my brand, just because I love to challenge myself.”

As man who has continued fighting out of love and not necessity, it is entirely possible that UFC 239 may have been the final time we see the former Strikeforce champion compete, though Melendez remains undecided:

“It’s hard to say. It’s hard to just say it’s over,” he said. “I love how Renzo Gracie will never retire. Who knows? Maybe five years down the road, something will happen.

“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 more in those moments.”

Do you believe Gilbert Melendez should retire from MMA?

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