Home MMA Pics: Gilbert Melendez’s Leg Is In A Predictably Awful State After Being Butchered By Jeremy Stephens At UFC 215

Pics: Gilbert Melendez’s Leg Is In A Predictably Awful State After Being Butchered By Jeremy Stephens At UFC 215

EDMONTON, AB - SEPTEMBER 09: Gilbert Melendez reacts to his loss to Jeremy Stephens in their featherweight bout during the UFC 215 event inside the Rogers Place on September 9, 2017 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Jeremy ‘Lil Heathen’ Stephens was the author of a pretty sensational performance on Saturday night at UFC 215 – perhaps the best of his entire career – as he comprehensively out-struck former two-time Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez over 3 lopsided rounds. 

Despite losing by very wide margins – the total deficit across the three scorecards was some 13 points – Melendez’s performance was also a notable one. Not because it was among his career best, obviously, but because of the remarkable courage and toughness he displayed throughout.

From early on in the fight Stephens targeted Melendez’s lead leg with some very low and very nasty kicks. Due to Stephens’s natural power and his terrifying commitment to delivering every ounce of it in every single strike, Melendez’s leg soon took on a gnarly appearance. So gnarly that it inspired a rather disgusting piece of commentary from Joe Rogan.

Melendez fell to the ground multiple times in each of the three rounds because of Stephens’s cruelly persistent leg attacks but he kept getting up and fighting on, switching to southpaw for large periods in a sometimes successful attempt to protect the leg.

At one point in the final round Stephens dropped Melendez with a kick but instead of staying on his back and inviting Stephens down to the floor in the hope he might catch a break – like he had done on several occasions – or waiting on the referee to force him to stand back up – as had also happened earlier in the fight – ‘El Nino’ immediately rolled backwards and popped up to his feet. Stephens couldn’t help but admire the bravery of his foe and gestured for fans to offer him a round of applause before giving Melendez a high-five.

On Sunday evening, the 35-year-old Melendez’s wife Keri provided an update on his condition via Twitter and shared a few pics of the badly swollen peg. Keri, who has a 1-0 record in Bellator MMA, assured fans that her husband is “A OK” and suffered “no knee damage” but the pics suggest that he is experiencing quite a bit of pain.

Melendez(22-7), who was making his featherweight debut against Stephens, has now lost four straight and five of six since joining the UFC from Strikeforce back in 2013. He is a true legend of the sport, but runs like that normally result in fighters being released from the world’s premier promotion. Hopefully that won’t be the case here and Melendez will get another chance to test the waters at 145lbs.

With the win, Stephens rebounded from back to back decision defeats to Renato Carneiro and Frankie Edgar, moving his overall record to 26-14 in the process.

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