Gilbert Melendez is a talented Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) fighter and mixed martial artist. The fighting star competes in the featherweight category of the UFC; he has previously held the Strikeforce Lightweight Championship title twice. He also holds the WEC Lightweight Championship title. Prior to his UFC career, he participated in the FC championships Rumble on the Rock, Shooto, and PRIDE.
Gilbert Melendez was born on April 12, 1982, in Santa Ana, California, the son of Gilbert Melendez Sr. and his wife of Mexican descent. As a child, Gilbert Melendez was enthusiastic about wrestling and took part in this sport during his school days at Santa Ana High School in California. At that time he was especially good friends with his MMA colleague Jake Shields, but that didn’t last.
Soon after completing his high school education, Gilbert enrolled at the University of San Francisco, where he studied liberal arts. While there, the fighter began his MMA training and eventually dropped out of college to concentrate on his career. He also worked in the equipment business Fairtex, which later became one of his sponsors in his professional career.
Gilbert Melendez’ Professional Career
The talented fighter started his mixed martial arts career in World Extreme Cagefighting, where he dominated his opponents. In the first three fights of his career, he scored a victory that paved the way for his participation in the WEC Lightweight Championship. During the competition, Gilbert fought against his opponent Olaf Alfonso and defeated him by total knockout to become the 2004 WEC Lightweight Champion.
He then performed in Shooto, Japan, when he fought Hiroyuki Takaya. After the fight, Gilbert emerged as the winner by a unanimous decision. He remained undefeated, and after his eight wins, he made his Strikeforce debut in 2006. The fighter won his first fight against Harris Sarmiento, then defeated Clay Guida in June 2006 to win the lightweight Strikeforce championship.
Looking for a more challenging environment, Gilbert joined PRIDE FC where he fought Tatsuya Kawajiri in 2007. After beating the Shooto Lightweight Champion, Gilbert returned to Strikeforce. His next fight was against Tetsuji Kato in September 2007, which he also won by unanimous decision. The fighter experienced his first career loss on December 31, 2007, against Mitsuhiro Ishida.
The following year Gilbert defended his lightweight Strikeforce title against Gabe Lemley, but finally lost the title to Josh Thomson in June 2008. Despite the defeat, he won the Strikeforce championship in 2009 after his triumph over Josh Thomson and also united them.
He made his first appearance in the UFC in April 2013 with his first fight against Benson Henderson. Despite a good fight, Gilbert lost the fight by split decision. He celebrated his first UFC victory in October 2013 against Diego Sanchez. Unfortunately, he lost the next four fights against Eddie Alvarez, Edson Barboza, Jeremy Stephens, and Anthony Pettis. Gilbert is expected to fight Arnold Allen on November 30, 2018. The fight will take place at the Ultimate Fighter 28 final.
Gilbert Melendez’s Wife
The MMA star is happily married to his long-time lover and the love of his life, Keri Anne Taylor. Keri was born on May 12, 1984, in San Francisco, California. Just like her husband, she is a martial artist and currently affiliated with the Bellator MMA, where she competes in the weight class Star. The female fighter is trained as a kickboxer and Muay Thai fighter and has had 3 wins and one defeat in her career. It is interesting to note that Keri is ranked 147th among the US MMA fighters.
Keri and Gilbert started their relationship some years ago. The exact year is not known, but after many years of a successful relationship, the couple exchanged their marriage vows in 2013. Together they have an adorable daughter named Leylakya Melendez. They welcomed their daughter on August 8, 2010. In addition, Keri currently looks after her husband’s gym, the El Nino Training Center. The gym is located in the San Francisco area of California.
His Height, Weight, and Body Measurements
Gilbert Melendez is very tall, standing at a height of 1.75 m (5 feet 9 inches) and has a corresponding weight of 70 kg (155 lbs). He has a male body build and a great physique, but his other body measurements are not available at this time. Gilbert’s hair is black, while his eyes are colored brown.