Former Strikeforce Lightweight Champion Gilbert Melendez was cut by the UFC yesterday, ending a run with the promotion that saw the fighter win just one of seven bouts.
The now free agent Melendez would issue the following statement to Brett Okamoto of ESPN about his release:
“It was a fun ride with the UFC that I really enjoyed. I feel I gave them one of the most entertaining fights in their history (against Diego Sanchez), and I appreciate all they’ve done. They have done a bunch of cool stuff for all of their fighters. That said, I do feel this release is mutual. I was ready to move on. I feel like, if I were to fight again, I would like to do it on my terms and steer my own ship. The UFC is a fantastic organization, but they have their agenda, and unless you’re a champion or a super strong needle mover, you don’t have as much say in your career. If I do get back in the cage, I want it to be with a company that agrees with the path that I want to be on. But I’m leaving the UFC on great terms.”
There is no word yet as to when Melendez could compete again, but the free agent is now able to sign with whatever promotion that makes him a suitable offer.