Gilbert Melendez is the latest UFC star who is making headlines for the wrong reasons, as the promotion has announced that the renowned lightweight failed his post UFC 188 drug test.
According to an announcement the UFC posted on the company’s official site, Melendez “tested positive for exogenous origin of testosterone metabolites”, after losing by split decision to Eddie Alvarez on June 13th. As a result, the 33 year-old lightweight has been suspended for one year.
The post also included the following statement from “El Nino”:
“Regrettably, I tested positive in my post fight urine sample for UFC 188,” Melendez said. “I did not inject anything, but I am responsible and accept the consequences for the results. I will make sure I am better educated about the products I use and their implications. Going forward I will ensure no products I use will contain banned substances. I am sincerely apologetic to everyone who supports me, including my fans, sponsors and the UFC. I value your trust and respect and will do everything in my power to keep it.”
Melendez was scheduled to fight Al Iaquinta on July 15th at UFC Fight Night 71, but obviously that’s not going to happen. The promotion is reporting that its looking for a new opponent for Iaquinta.
So, there you have it. If the test had been conducted after the UFC’s new drug testing policies and punishments were enacted on July 1st, Melendez would be facing a two year suspension. That would have been a massive setback to his career, considering he’s 33.
Of course, since Melendez is coming off consecutive losses–he was submitted by Anthony Pettis in December–this isn’t good news for the lightweight and his supporters. To date, Melendez has gone 1-3 in the UFC, although his other defeat was also by split decision to Benson Henderson).
Now it will be interesting to see who Melendez faces when he returns, and whether it will be top contender. The former Strikeforce champ was positioned at #5, but has been yanked from the rankings, as a result of the suspension.