About Gilbert Melendez
Watching a fighter’s progression can be interesting. When Gilbert Melendez first started fighting in MMA, he was a blur of toughness and ferocity. Strong takedowns, ground and pound, great cardio, and a willingness to stand and trade defined him. But after losing bouts to Mitshuhiro Ishida and Josh Thomson in part because of this style, Melendez changed for the better. His striking became more crisp. He didn’t take as many chances. He began picking his spots rather than forcing things.
The change resulted in him going from one of the better lightweight fighters on the planet to one of the very best. Here’s his story.
American mixed martial artist Gilbert Melendez has a net worth of $500 thousand dollars, as of 2021. Featherweight division fighter Melendez is a two-time Strikeforce Lightweight Champion and a former WEC Lightweight Champion. Gilbert Melendez also competed in PRIDE FC, Shooto and Rumble on the Rock.
- Date of Birth: Gilbert Melendez was born on April 12, 1982 in Santa Ana, California.
- Nickname: El Nino
- Fighting Organization: UFC
- Training Camp: El Nino Sports/Cesar Gracie Jiu Jitsu
Wrestling Background Readies Melendez For MMA
Melendez trained with some very good high school wrestlers during his days at Santa Ana High School. Working under coach Scott Glabb, he was a two-time state qualifier, which was enough to nab him a scholarship to wrestle at San Francisco State. Unfortunately, while there Melendez felt that his teammates weren’t as committed to the sport as they were in high school, and this left him disillusioned. But then came his sophomore year and Jake Shields.
Meeting Jake Shields
“In my sophomore year, Jake Shields joined the team (San Francisco State wrestling),” Melendez told Heavy. “He told me about this cagefighting stuff he was doing, but I didn’t believe him,” Melendez says. “But sure enough, Jake takes me over to Gracie’s gym one day and kicked the crap out of me. And ever since then, I’ve been a disciple of Jake’s. I knew that Jake was the best and I wanted to train with the best, so that’s what I did.”
Training with Cesar Gracie Jiu Jitsu, Melendez won his first fight by TKO over Greg Quan at WEC 5 on 10/18/02. In fact, he won his first 13 fights while competing in the WEC, Shooto, PRIDE, K-1, ROR, and Strikeforce organizations. Along the way, he became the WEC’s first lightweight champion and the Strikeforce lightweight champion.
Melendez eventually did lose by decision to Mitsuhiro Ishida in his 14th fight while competing for the PRIDE organization. He also lost his lightweight title to Josh Thomson at Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Thomson. However, he would eventually avenge both of these losses while competing for Strikeforce. His win over Thomson once again gained him the Strikeforce lightweight title that he had lost to him earlier.
Melendez has outstanding submission defense, is tough as nails, and always comes to fights ready to go the distance and more. He possesses very strong takedowns, takedown defense, and ground control skills, as this was what he was known for early in his MMA career. However, his striking and patience as a fighter have also become strengths in recent years.
All in all, Melendez is a very well-rounded and exciting fighter.
Melendez and his girlfriend Keri Anne are expecting their first child, a daughter, to be born in late 2010.
Some of Melendez’s Noteworthyest MMA Victories
- Melendez defeats Shinya Aoki by decision at Strikeforce- Nashville: Melendez picked apart Aoki, one of the best Brazilian Jiu Jitsu fighters of all-time, all night long. In addition, he picked his spots to take him down, and did some ground and pound damage along the way. Overall, it was a masterful piece of work that compelled him to the upper echelon of the lightweight rankings.
- Melendez defeats Josh Thomson by decision at Strikeforce- Evolution: Though Melendez got picked apart on his feet during their first fight, this time he demonstrated the better stand up fighting. When it was all said and done, Melendez had avenged a loss and gained his Strikeforce lightweight title back.
- Melendez defeats Tatsuya Kawajiri at PRIDE Shockwave 2006 by decision: At the time, Kawajiri was known as one of the best lightweight fighters in the world. Melendez slugged it out with him for the duration in one of the better fights of the year, eventually gaining the judge’s favor unanimously. This fight served to let people know just how good Melendez was.
This Gilbert Melendez Net Worth profile originated at WealthyGenius.com
The more you understand yourself, the more silence there is, the healthier you are. —Maxime Lagacé