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Gilbert Melendez/Instagram + USA Today Sports

MMA veteran’s scathing criticism of the UFC: “They want to try to send people out in body bags”

✔ "I don't know if the UFC has ill intent..."

Gilbert Melendez, former Strikeforce champion and teammate of Nate Diaz, believes that the UFC tries to give veterans tough last fights with the promotion.

Leading up to UFC 279 Diaz was originally intended to face rising prospect Khamzat Chimaev in a bout that many, among others former UFC double champion Henry Cejudo, claimed was a mismatch. However the main card underwent several changes after Khamzat’s weight debacle. As a result, Diaz locked horns with fellow veteran Tony Ferguson instead. After three bloody rounds, Diaz managed to lock in a guillotine in the fourth, capping off his UFC career with a win after two previous losses.

In a new interview with Submission Radio, Melendez seems shocked that the fight against Khamzat was booked in the first place.

“It is crazy, and I don’t know if the UFC has ill intent or they’re just hardcore business, they’re like, kill the competition,” Melendez said. “No matter how good you are or what you’ve done for the company, they want to make sure you get sent out – and no disrespect to everybody – but they want to try to send people out in body bags, so they don’t have a career ahead of him, you know?”

“But Nate was up for the challenge and it didn’t matter the opponent. Nate was going to come and deliver and it was great seeing him get a victory in such a great fashion. And even to see the respect that Dana gave him and the respect that Nate gave the UFC after that win, someone in that position could’ve really dug it into the UFC or played it differently. Just everything that worked out, it was amazing.”

With his victory over Ferguson at UFC 279 Diaz is now a free agent. In his post-fight interview he claimed he would be “taking over” another sport, hinting at a possible move over to boxing where YouTuber-turned-boxer Jake Paul could be waiting for him. However, Paul first needs to make it past UFC legend Anderson Silva in their upcoming bout in October.


Melendez criticises Khamzat: “He looked like he just had a steak dinner”

Khamzat’s failed weight cut affected three fights on the main card, however what made many in the MMA community react was the rising star’s nonchalant attitude after the fact.

“Of course we were surprised,” Melendez said. “We couldn’t believe it. We couldn’t believe that he missed the weight. What an opportunity this man missed to fight Nate Diaz, the biggest draw in MMA right now.”

Melendez believes that “Borz” behaviour on the scale indicates that he hadn’t taken his weight cut seriously.

“And when he stepped onto the scale not even sucked up, not even trying or stumbling onto the scale. Every fighter knows you have to give it your best. If you walk to that scale you have to try, running with your sweatsuit on if you’re over, and jumping on and running some more. But this guy stepped on the scale, eight pounds over, and looked fresh as hell. He looked like he just had a steak dinner, and then he smirks and laughs at it. A lot of respect lost for him in that aspect.”

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