Gilbert Melendez , nick named "El Niño" (born April 12, 1982) is a Mexican-American professional mixed martial arts fighter from Santa Ana, CA. Gilbert Melendez is currently fighting out of San Francisco, he also competes in the lightweight division 9155 lbs) of Pride Fighting Championships and Strikeforce. He has trained extensively with other fighters namely -Jake Shields, Cesar Gracie, Nick Diaz, and Dave Terrell. Gilbert Melendez has an undefeated record (13-0) and is the Strikeforce Lightweight Champion. Melendez holds a defeat over Japanese fighter Rumina Sato and most recently won against Tetsuji Kato at Strikeforce- The Playboy Mansion.
Gilbert Melendez is well known for the following Titles: Rumble on the Rock Superfight Champ, WEC Lightweight World Champion, IFC Tournament Champion and Shooto #1 World Contender. Gilbert Melendez belongs to team - Team Fairtex located at San Francisco (USA) and is famous for Muay Thai and Jiu Jitsu Style and has a record of 15-0-0. Melendez has an undefeated record of 13-0 and is the Strikeforce Lightweight Champion.
Melendez has made name for himself by his aggressive nature and a crowd-pleasing fighting style. Gilbert Melendez has recently won against Tetsuji Kato at Strikeforce. Gilbert Melendez had just finished jogging during the final stages of his training in preparation for his fight with Kato. It is said that Gilbert Melendez, who returns to Strikeforce after a two-fight stay with Pride, his perfect 12-0 record will be at stake. The MMA record of Gilbert Melendez is very interesting in 2007 he has won over Tetsuji Kato. In 2006 Gilbert Melendez won over Tatsuya Kawajiri, Nobuhiro Obiya, Clay Guida and Harris Sarmiento. In the year 2005 he won Rumina Sato and Naoya Uematsu TKO Shooto. TKO ROTR and TKO WEC of 2003 were interesting in which Gilbert Melendez won Kaynan Kaku, Stephen Palling, Olaf Alfonso and Jeff Hougland respectively. At TKO WEC 5 Gilbert Melendez won Greg Quan.
Melendez is widely regarded as one of the top 5 Lightweight fighters in the world. Currently Melendez is undefeated with a 12-0 record and is most recently fought in Pride FC prior to Dreamstage Entertainment selling the promotion to the Fertita’s. It is reported that the fight with Strikeforce is under a contract and the Matchups for the Strikeforce card have not yet been announced, but Josh Thomson, Daniel Puder and Bobby Southworth will appear on the fight card.
‘El Nino’ Melendez was forced to withdraw from his fight due to an elbow injury that was originally scheduled to face Shinya Aoki at Pride Bushido 13. Gilbert Melendez, the Strikeforce lightweight champion is considered one of the most promising 155-pound prospects in MMA today and is currently ranked #10 on MMAWeekly’s top ten rankings for his weight class. In an interesting incidence, when Gilbert’s elbow injury prevented him from fighting in the last Bushido, it didn’t stop him from attending the show. Melendez watched the show form ringside as Shinya Aoki defeated his opponent. After the fight, Aoki challenged Melendez over the microphone. Gilbert willingly stepped onto the ring apron and gladly accepted.