Former UFC title challenger Gilbert Melendez isn’t done competing just yet.
‘El Nino’ hasn’t been in action since his fight with Arnold Allen at UFC 239 in July 2019. In that outing, Melendez lost by unanimous decision. The defeat was the fifth straight for the former title challenger.
Months after the loss, the 40-year-old was released by the UFC. To top it off, after his release, Melendez was suspended for two years by USADA. The two-year suspension ended earlier this summer, however, the former Strikeforce champion hasn’t returned.
In fact, Gilbert Melendez hasn’t signed with a promotion either. Despite that, the former UFC title challenger hasn’t retired and is interested in fighting again. Melendez discussed a possible return in an interview with MMAJunkie.
In the interview, the 40-year-old made it clear that he’s aware he’s not in his prime anymore. However, that fighting spirit that carried him for his entire career is still there. If the right chance arose, Melendez would jump on it.
As for the right opportunity, he’s not sure where it could be. However, Melendez is willing to fight for Khabib Nurmagomedov’s Eagle FC. He’s also willing to link up with former promoter Scott Coker, for a return over in Bellator.
“I will always be a fighter, and I try to be as optimal as possible. I know I’m moving on as a professional fighter. I’m no longer focused on being a prizefighter. I’m focusing on my gyms and producing athletes and staying in shape. But of course, it’s hard to completely hang it up. If there’s a great opportunity out there and it’s the right fight, I’m not into fighting youngsters who want to stick and move and kick my leg and run, but I do love fighting and I could definitely be enticed to come back. There’s that fight in me.”
Gilbert Melendez continued, “I love fighting, and if I were to fight [again]… Eagle FC, great organization. I think if there’s anyone who really promoted me well, it was Scott Coker. And I am interested in maybe even boxing, some of that stuff does interest me. And I do get hungry.”
Do you want to see Gilbert Melendez fight again? Sound off in the comment section below!This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM