Gilbert Melendez's leg took one hell of a beating in his fight with Jeremy Stephens at UFC 214, to the point where we're amazed he made it to the final bell. Melendez is probably amazed too, considering he tried to quit on the stool before round 3 but was convinced by his corner to keep fighting.
Stopping would have been the smart thing to do (won’t somebody think of the knee ligaments?), but no guts = no glory. Even though he lost the fight with scorecards that dipped to the 30-25 range, the UFC awarded Gil and Jeremy $50,000 each for Fight of the Night. And even better, Melendez didn't permanently screw his leg up fighting on it for another round.
Gilbert's wife Keri (herself a fighter for Bellator) shared some sausage looking photos of her husband's extremity a day after the fight, and it was a sight to behold. Now she's got some more pics, and Melendez is looking much better, if you ignore the massive brusing that's still very visible from his injuries:
Update on Gilbert's leg for all the supportive fans. Still sore but we are getting better. Blood is spreading throughout the leg. pic.twitter.com/QQFFHS4HPr— KeriMelendez (@KeriMelendez415) September 14, 2017
“Update on Gilbert’s leg for all the supportive fans," she wrote on Twitter. "Still sore but we are getting better. Blood is spreading throughout the leg."
Gilbert's loss to Stephens is his fourth in a row and puts him 1-5 in the UFC since he crossed over from Strikeforce to the UFC. His last two years have seen him fight just twice following a failed drug test for exogenous testosterone and time off to prepare for a run at featherweight.
We doubt he'll be cut from the UFC following his gutsy performance at UFC 215, but he'll have to turn this bad streak around soon if he wants to stay relevant in the deep waters of the UFC featherweight division.