MMA Odds and Ends for Tuesday: Gilbert Melendez Tests Positive

Gilbert Melendez Another well-known MMA fighter has been caught red-handed for banned substances. The UFC announced on Monday that Gilbert Melendez, the former Strikeforce lightweight champion, tested positive for testosterone metabolites in his post-fight urine test following his split decision loss to Eddie Alvarez at UFC 188. Due to the positive test, Melendez has been removed from his UFC Fight Night 71 bout against Al Iaquinta and will be forced to serve a one-year suspension. This was very disappointing news and it’s pretty shocking Melendez is one of the fighters that people least suspected to be caught for banned substances, but here we are today. After seeing former pound-for-pound great Anderson Silva get caught for performance-enhancing drugs, it’s hard to be surprised when anyone tests positive these days, but still, seeing it happen to Melendez is still kind of a shocker, as he’s never seemed like the the type of fighter who was cutting corners in this sport. He seemed like a role model and a champion. But after this news, it’s hard to consider him that anymore. Melendez came to the UFC with a lot of fanfare, but since joining the UFC he’s 1-3 with losses to Benson Henderson, Anthony Pettis and Alvarez with his lone win coming over Diego Sanchez. Even before this disappointing news about this positive drug test, Melendez has been a disappointing fighter for the UFC, especially given his high salary, which is due to the UFC being forced to match a huge contract Bellator had offered Melendez a few years ago. Melendez is now 33 years old, has lost three of his last four fights, and is now out for a year. That’s not good at all with regards to his future in the sport. It seems pretty fair to say that at this point his days as a top lightweight contender are completely done, and you have to wonder if his days in the UFC are numbered, as well. He’s lucky he’s only getting a one-year suspension and not a three-year suspension like Alexander Shlemenko recently received, because had it been for more than a year Melendez could have very well retired. He will now have a year to sit on the sidelines and think about the consequences of his decision to use PEDs, and only time will tell if he’s anywhere close to the same fighter when he returns to the cage a year from now.

Written by Adam Martin.

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