Former Strikeforce Lightweight Champion and #13 ranked lightweight Gilbert Melendez is set to make his featherweight division debut against #8 Jeremy Stephens at UFC 215.
The potential fight was first reported by Damon Martin.
Melendez (22-6-0) has won just one of five fights during his UFC tenure and he hasn’t earned a victory in almost four years. Melendez’s lone win thus far in the UFC came over UFC Ultimate Fighter 1 champion Diego Sanchez at UFC 166 in October of 2013. Melendez was the final Strikeforce Lightweight Champion and he last defended that belt against Josh Thomson at Strikeforce: Barnett vs. Cormier in May 2012.
Stephens (25-14-0) is going to be entering the fight on a two fight losing streak, having dropped those bouts to Frankie Edgar and Renato Moicano. Stephens has only won just four of ten fights since dropping to the featherweight division, as he used to compete in the lightweight division. The four wins that Stephens has earned in the featherweight division came over Rony Jason, Darren Elkins, Dennis Bermudez and Renan Barao.
UFC 215 takes place on Saturday, September 9 from Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada with no main event announced at this time. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, with a post-show podcast to follow.