Another weekend of fisticuffs has come and gone as UFC 215 blew the roof off Rogers Center last weekend (Sat., Sept. 9, 2017) in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
Plenty of fighters were left licking their wounds, including Wilson Reis, who was knocked out by Henry Cejudo in round two of their flyweight matchup (recap here). And Neil Magny, who was submitted by Rafael dos Anjos in the very first round.
But which fighter is suffering from the worst post-fight hangover, now 48 hours removed from the show?
“El Nino” headed into his Featherweight debut against Jeremy Stephens looking for a new lease on MMA life after suffering three straight losses at Lightweight. Those plans, however, went south in a hurry, as Gilbert left Canada owner of a four-fight losing streak.
“Lil’ Heathen” took it to “El Nino,” battering his right leg to the point of leaving him busted up, limping and contemplating whether or not he could continue on to the final round. To his credit, he did, though he ended up on the wrong end of a unanimous decision loss.
Indeed, it’s been a rough go for the former Strikeforce lightweight champion, who hoped to carry over the success from his previous organization into the Octagon. Instead, Gilbert has suffered a total of five losses in six fights inside the eight-walled cage, with his lone win coming over Diego Sanchez in a three-round thriller.
Of course, Gilbert was constantly taking on the best fighters night in and night out, losing to the likes of Anthony Pettis, Eddie Alvarez and Edson Barboza, as well. Still, when at the highest level, that’s the norm, but losing four in a row isn’t.
Usually, a fighter makes the drop down a division after a bad streak -- as was the case with Gilbert -- in the hopes of trying to start fresh. But with losses at both 155 and 145 pounds, the future is uncertain for “El Nino.” He can always move back up, but the road to the top is a long and bumpy one. At Featherweight, it’s much of the same.
What his next move is will be uncertain for a while, as I don’t envision Melendez returning to the cage sooner, rather than later. He still has his duties over at FOX Sports 1 to keep him busy in the fight game, so it will likely be a bit until he’s swinging leather.
If he stays at Featherweight, I’d like to see him take on the loser of the upcoming scrap between Andre Fili and Artem Lobov. If he moves up to 155 again, I wouldn’t mind seeing him face off against Joe Lauzon.
Any objections to either matchup?
For complete UFC 215 “Nunes vs. Shevchenko” results and play-by-play, click HERE!