Gilbert Melendez Speaks On UFC Release

Gilbert Melendez
Image Credit: Christian Petersen/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Gilbert Melendez has issued a statement on his UFC release.

On Monday, it was reported by Fightbook MMA that Melendez had been given his pink slip last week. “El Nino” went 1-6 under the UFC banner. Melendez had his share of accolades going into the UFC, including holding Strikeforce lightweight gold. Things didn’t exactly pan out in the UFC, but he did end up getting two title bouts during his time with the world leader in mixed martial arts.

Gilbert Melendez Talks UFC Release, Feels It Was Mutual

Melendez issued a statement on his release to ESPN. Here’s what he had to say.

“It was a fun ride with the UFC that I really enjoyed,” Melendez told ESPN. “I feel I gave them one of the most entertaining fights in their history (against Diego Sanchez), and I appreciate all they’ve done. They have done a bunch of cool stuff for all their fighters.

“That said, I do feel this release is mutual. I was ready to move on. I feel like, if I were to fight again, I would like to do it on my terms and steer my own ship. The UFC is a fantastic organization, but they have their agenda, and unless you’re a champion or a super strong needle mover, you don’t have as much say in your career. If I do get back in the cage, I want it to be with a company that agrees with the path that I want to be on. But I’m leaving the UFC on great terms.”