Gilbert
Melendez
22-5-0( W-L-D )

Fight History

Skill Breakdown

Charts are compiled based on results from 22 fights.
Record: 22-5-0
Summary: Ground and pound, cardio, transitions

Fighter Info

Nickname: El Niño
From: Santa Ana, California USA
Fights Out Of: San Francisco, California USA
Age: 33
Height: 5' 9" ( 175 cm )
Weight: 155 lb ( 70 kg )
College: San Francisco State University

Striking

Total Attempted Strikes
0
821
39% Successful
322
Types of Successful Strikes
0
322
56% Standing
35% Ground
181
27
114
Striking Defense
65
%
The percentage of total strikes avoided

Grappling

Total Takedowns
0
19
47% Successful
9
Grappling Totals by Type
 
 
Subm.
Passes
Sweeps
0
17
0
Takedown Defense
72
%
The percentage of total takedowns avoided

Biography

TRAINING: Same as always.... twice a day, once a day on sat and recover on Sundays. Training consists of sparring with my team, working striking with Jongsanan Chaiyasen, jiu-jitsu with Cesar Gracie black belt Dan Marks and all the Gracie Fighter boys, wrestling with Travis Lee, running and lifting.

When and why did you start training for fighting?
I started training for fighting, maybe unconsciously, since high school wrestling. I’ve always liked one on one competition, and it wasn’t until I was in college that I picked up MMA because my friend Jake Shields introduced me to it. It’s a great feeling to have no one to blame but yourself, and there’s no better high than being a dominant fighter. You can beat me in basketball, you can beat me at arm wrestling, but I can beat your ass.

What ranks and titles have you held?
Two-time Strikeforce lightweight champion, former WEC lightweight champion, Black belt in jiu-jitsu under Cesar Gracie, TUF 20 coach

Do you have any heroes? My father and my teammates

What does it mean for you to fight in the UFC? It’s something I’ve been waiting for a long time. It feels great fighting for the title in the best organization in the world. It’s an honor.

Did you go to college and if so what degree did you earn?
I did go to SF State, but I did not get my degree. I started pursuing fighting and working a job, and it was too hard to juggle all three, and fighting had to be first. I was studying liberal arts and anticipating becoming a teacher and coaching high school wrestling. I never got there but I think I may go back.

What was your job before you started fighting? I was a waiter and I also worked at the Fairtex gear shop, where I packed all the gloves and bags and sent them to plenty of gyms. A lot of people who got gear about five or six years ago from Fairtex had it sent by me.

Specific accomplishments in pro competition? I beat the Dream (Shinya Aoki), Shooto (Tatsuya Kawajiri), and Deep (Nobuhiro Obiya) champions when they were the champs.

Favorite grappling technique:
Rear naked choke and takedowns

Favorite striking technique:
I like a three hit combo and I also like to land the right hand.

• Pro since 2002

• 11 wins by knockout, one by submission

• Owns 2005 win over Rumina Sato

Career

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