Gilbert Melendez

Birth Day April 12th, 1982
Birth Place Santa Ana, California
Age 42 Years Old
Zodiac Sign Aries

About Gilbert Melendez 

Gilbert Melendez is a popular American mixed martial artist who formerly competed in the Featherweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). He is best known as one of the successful MMA fighters. Gilbert is a two-time Strikeforce Lightweight Champion and a former WEC Lightweight Champion. He had also competed in PRIDE, FC, Shooto, and Rumble on the Rock. He was nicknamed after the El Nino storm, which was given to him by a Japanese broadcaster describing his fight-style and the manner in which he stormed through the Shooto Lightweight division. Before becoming a professional fighter, Gilbert worked as a waiter and he also had a job at a Fairtex gear shop, which would later be one of his sponsors.

Famous For

  • Being a professional American MMA fighter.
  • For winning International Fighting Championships.

Gilbert Melendez Vs Diego Sanchez


Early Life of Gilbert Melendez

Gilbert Melendez was born on 12th April 1982. His birthplace is Santa Ana, California, United States, and the born nation is America. Gilbert's nationality is American while he belongs to American-White ethnicity. His race is white and zodiac sign is Aries. He celebrates his birthday on 12th April of every year and he had celebrated 38th birthday as of 2020. Gilbert Melendez is the son of Gilbert Melendez Sr. (father) whereas the mother's name is unknown. He wrestled at Santa Ana High School. He studied at San Francisco State University before starting his amateur fighting career and was studying in liberal arts; he anticipated becoming a teacher but did not finish his college education and get a degree, on account of training for MMA and working outside of college.

Career of Gilbert Melendez

MMA Career

  • He made his debut in the World Extreme Cagefighting and jump off his career dominating his opponents, winning his first three career fights all by knockout due to punches before receiving an opportunity to fight for the first WEC Lightweight Championship against fan-favorite Olaf Alfonso at WEC 10. 
  • Gilbert won the bout by TKO because of punches and became the first WEC Lightweight Champion. 
  • Two fights later, Melendez, still undefeated, made his debut in Japan's Shooto against Hiroyuki Takaya, which Melendez won by unanimous decision. Gilbert followed this up with two more TKO wins in Shooto to bring his record to 8-0 before making his Strikeforce debut against Harris Sarmiento, which Melendez won after his opponent tapped out for punches received.
  • On 9th June 2006, he won the Strikeforce Lightweight Championship from future UFC veteran Clay Guida by a split decision.
  • Then made his debut in PRIDE FC at PRIDE Bushido 12, winning by unanimous decision.
  • In his next fight for the organization, Gilbert faced the Shooto Lightweight Champion Tatsuya Kawajiri. Melendez won again by unanimous decision. He returned to Strikeforce to fight Tetsuji Kato in a non-title bout and won his third straight fight by a unanimous decision.
  • After that, he faced Mitsuhiro Ishida at the Yarennoka! event on New Year's Eve in 2007 at the Saitama Super Arena in Japan and received his first career loss against the Japanese fighter by unanimous decision.


  • Gilbert Melendez held the Strikeforce Lightweight Championship belt for two years before losing it on 27th June 2008 to Josh Thomson by unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 50-45) at Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Thomson.
  • He was again set to rematch Josh Thomson at Strikeforce: Carano vs. Cyborg on 15th August 2009, but Thomson was not cleared to fight, due to lingering problems with his leg and Mitsuhiro Ishida was selected to replace Thomson in what became Melendez' first Interim title defense.
  • Gilbert fought Josh Thomson to unify the Strikeforce Lightweight Championship belts on 19th December 2009 and won the fight via unanimous decision to become the Strikeforce Lightweight Champion. With the win, he also avenged the second of his only two losses to date.
  • On 17th April 2010, he successfully defended the Strikeforce Lightweight Championship against the current DREAM Lightweight Champion and former Shooto Middleweight Champion Shinya Aoki.
  • A rematch between Melendez and Tatsuya Kawajiri took take place on 9th April 2011 at Strikeforce 33 in April in which Melendez dominated his opponent showing excellent striking, knocking down Kawajiri with a right hand near the beginning of the fight. He again knocked down Kawajiri with a combination of knees to the body and a right hook followed by a right uppercut. 
  • He faced Jorge Masvidal next. UFC president Dana White briefly put the bout in question when he revealed to reporters that he was working to bring Melendez into the UFC fold "ASAP" with the possibility of Melendez entering with an immediate shot at the belt. Gilbert eventually defended his title against challenger Jorge Masvidal at Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Masvidal and won the fight via unanimous decision.
  • On 19th May 2012, he took on Josh Thomson in a rubber match for the Strikeforce Lightweight Championship at Strikeforce: Barnett vs. Cormier in San Jose, California, and won the fight.
  • He was expected to face Pat Healy for the Strikeforce Lightweight Championship on 29th September 2012 in Sacramento, California, but it was announced on 22nd September 2012 that Melendez suffered an injury and had to withdraw from the fight.
  • Because of Gilbert's injury, Showtime opted not to air the card without the primary event, thus causing Strikeforce to cancel the card, becoming the second MMA card canceled within a month under the Zuffa organization.
  • The bout with Healy was rescheduled for 12th January 2013 at Strikeforce: Marquardt vs. Saffiedine, but again, Melendez pulled out of the bout citing a shoulder injury.

UFC Career

  • On 12th January 2012, the Strikeforce promotion was dissolved into the UFC by parent company Zuffa.
  • Gilbert received an immediate UFC title shot and made his promotional debut against Benson Henderson on 20th April 2013 at UFC on Fox 7, but he lost a split decision in a closely contested bout.
  • On 19th October 2013, in his second UFC fight, Melendez faced Diego Sanchez and won the fight via unanimous decision. The win also earned him his first ''Fight of the Night award''. 
  • He was scheduled to face Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 170. However, the fight was later canceled for undisclosed reasons.
  • After negotiating with the UFC for his new contract, there was speculation that Melendez may sign with Bellator. In the process, he also got an offer from a World Series of Fighting he then agreed to sign with Bellator, but the UFC had the right to match their offer.
  • Gilbert ultimately re-signed with the UFC after he was given the opportunity to serve as a coach on The Ultimate Fighter 20, opposite UFC Lightweight Champion Anthony Pettis, the two would face each other at UFC 181 on 6th December 2016 but he lost the fight via guillotine choke in the second round.
  • He was tabbed as a short-notice replacement to face Al Iaquinta on 15th July 2015 at UFC Fight Night 71, taking the place of Bobby Green. However, Gilbert was removed from the card on 6th July after it was revealed that he tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs after his previous fight at UFC 188. In addition, Gilbert has been suspended for one year from the date of the bout for violation of the UFC Fighter Conduct Policy.
  • He faced Jeremy Stephens in a featherweight bout on 9th September 2017 at UFC 215 but lost the fight via unanimous decision. Both participants were awarded ''Fight of the Night'' honors for their performance.
  • He was scheduled to face Arnold Allen on 30th November 2018 at The Ultimate Fighter 28, Finale. However, Gilbert pulled out of the fight on 5th November and was replaced by Rick Glenn.
  • On 11th November 2019, it was reported that Gilbert Melendez was released by UFC.
  • The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has suspended veteran MMA fighter, Gilbert Melendez, for two years, despite Melendez no longer being under UFC contract. Melendez, meanwhile, is arguing that USADA had no right to test him in the first place.
  • USADA, the UFC's contracted anti-doping partner, announced Monday that it had won its arbitration case against Melendez.
  • The arbitrator determined that Melendez should be suspended two years after he tested positive for GHRP-6, a banned growth-hormone-releasing peptide. 
  • The details of the case are unique. Melendez is no longer on the UFC roster, and the former Strikeforce champion argued in arbitration that he was released by the UFC before the USADA administered this test. Melendez said the USADA no longer had jurisdiction over him, given he was no longer a UFC athlete.
  • "I'm an inactive fighter," Melendez told ESPN. "I was released from the UFC before this test was taken. I believe [USADA] has no jurisdiction over me. ... I'm a private citizen and it's no one's business what I'm putting into my body at that point."
  • Melendez said he feels like he won the case because the arbitrator ruled that the ban involved only the UFC and he was free to compete in other promotions, as well as corner teammates if he so wished. Melendez said he's currently "retired and focused on recovering my body."

Awards and Achievements gained by Gilbert Melendez


  • Strikeforce Lightweight Championship (Two times; last)
  • Five successful title defenses
  • Interim Strikeforce Lightweight Championship (One time)
  • One successful title defense
  • Most championship bouts in Strikeforce history 
  • Most successful title defenses in Strikeforce history 
  • Most consecutive title defenses in Strikeforce history 
  • Most wins in Strikeforce history 
  • Most significant strikes landed in Strikeforce history 

Ultimate Fighting Championship

  • Fight of the Night (Two times) vs. Diego Sanchez and Jeremy Stephens

World Extreme Cagefighting

  • WEC Lightweight Championship (One time; first)

International Fighting Championships

  • IFC Night of Warriors Amateur Tournament Winner

Inside MMA

  • 2013 Fight of the Year Bazzie Award vs. Diego Sanchez on 19th October

Sports Illustrated

  • 2009 Round of the Year vs. Josh Thomson on December 19; Round 5

MMA Fighting

  • 2006 Lightweight of the Year 

Wrestling Observer Newsletter

  • 2013 Fight of the Year vs. Diego Sanchez on 19th October 

MMA Records

Professional record breakdown

30 matches 22 wins 8 losses

By knockout 12                 0

By submission 0                 1

By decision 10                 7

Film And Television

Gilbert starred alongside teammates Jake Shields and the Diaz brothers in the award-winning mixed martial arts documentary Fight Life, the film is directed by James Z. Feng and produced by RiLL Films; it was released in 2013. He also has provided commentary and analysis for ESPN before each Pay Per View. He coached season 20 of The Ultimate Fighter for the UFC.

Personal Life of Gilbert Melendez

Gilbert Melendez and his wife, Keri Anne Taylor

Source: @thesixfifty

Regarding Gilbert's personal life, he is a married guy. He is married to ''Keri Anne Taylor'' who is a Muay Thai fighter with a 3-1 record as a pro (Muay Thai and Kickboxing). She also has a knockout win as an MMA fighter. The couple was dating each other for a very long time. They have a daughter who was born on 8th August 2010. Talking about Melendez's sexual orientation, he is straight.

Net Worth of Gilbert Melendez

Moving towards Gilbert Melendez's net worth, it is estimated at around $1million to $5 million as of 2020. He has also a handsome amount of annual salary. Gilbert's source of income is from the MMA career. He had earned a perfect amount of money from his MMA career because of his hard work. He is satisfied with his earnings and enjoying his life standardly.

Body Measurement of Gilbert Melendez

Regarding Gilbert's body measurement, he has a perfect height of 5 feet and 9 inches or 1.75 m. His bodyweight is around 70 kg or 155 pounds, which is perfect according to his height. His hair color is black while the eye is dark brown. He had attracted a lot of people from his body similarly, his body build is athletic. He is living a healthy, fit, and fine life up to the date.

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