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Following failed drug test, Gilbert Melendez wants to prove he's still a great fighter at UFC on FOX 20

Esther Lin via MMA Fighting

Following his loss to Eddie Alvarez at UFC 188 in Mexico City, Gilbert Melendez tested positive for "exogenous origin of testosterone metabolites."

As a result, the former Strikeforce 155-pound champion was pulled from his bout against Al Iaquinta and suspended one year. And though "El Nino" denies injecting himself with anything, he admits that he regrettably took a banned substance.

Speaking on The MMA Hour (via MMA Fighting), Melendez stepped up to the plate and owned up to his mistake.

"Well, you know what, I really don't want to go down a rabbit hole or anything like that. But the gist of it is I made a mistake. I made a mistake that won't happen again, and I'm not proud of it. I'm doing my best to move on from it, and I'm hoping everyone else can, and it's understandable if they can't. But I just want to do everything in my power to prove that I am still a warrior and I'm a great fighter and just wanting to move forward, to be honest."

Kangaroo meat FTW!

With his suspension nearing a end, Gilbert has been booked to take on striking sensation Edson Barboza at UFC on FOX 20 on July 23, 2016 in Chicago.

It's a challenge "El Nino" looks forward to taking part in to show fight fans he's still a dangerous threat. As far as his legacy being tarnished by his failed drug test, Gilbert says that is something he doesn't dwell on.

"You know, I try not to think about that too much. But I do have a bunch of loved ones around me that love me unconditionally, and I feel like fans are the same way. That's why I just want to redeem myself. I want to go out there and fight, and that's why I'm excited to fight Barboza. People are telling me I'm going to get killed. I'm looking forward to show my heart, to show my durability, and to show my courage out there. I know I'm an older cat now, but that stuff lasts forever. I just want to go out there and show it to everybody."

Barboza is fresh off an impressive win over former 155-pound champion Anthony Pettis at UFC 197 (video highlights here).

As for Gilbert, while admitting to his mistake is fine and well, he needs a win in the biggest way, as the former title contender has dropped his last two bouts to the aforementioned Pettis and Alvarez.

Anyone expect "El Nino" to get back on the winning track in "Chi-Town?"

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