Gilbert Melendez vs. Jeremy Stephens: Statistical Breakdown

This Saturday, September 9,  the Ultimate Fighting Champion brings an action packed card to Canada live on pay per view.

One of the most intriguing fights on the card lies a Featherweight clash between a Lightweight legacy holder in Gilbert “El Nino” Melendez who will be making the drop down to the Featherweight for the first time in over a decade against ranked contender Jeremy “Lil Heathen” Stephens.  We look at the numbers behind these two fighters to determine who is most likely to come away with the victory come Saturday night.


Gilbert Melendez

Age: 35

Day of Birth: April 12, 1982

Height: 5’9

Reach: 73 inches

Born Santa Ana CA

Fighting out of: San Francisco

Head Coach: Cesar Gracie

Gym: Cesar Gracie Jiu Jitsu

Record 22-6 (1-3 in UFC) (11-1 in Strikeforce)

Career Disclosed Earnings: $1,194,890 USD

Notable wins: Shinya Aoki, Jorge Masvidal, Tatsuya Kawajiri, Clay Guida, Josh Thomson, Diego Sanchez



  • Strikeforce

-Strikeforce Lightweight Championship (Two times; last)

-Five successful title defenses

-Interim Strikeforce Lightweight Championship (One time)

-One successful title defense

-Most championship bouts in Strikeforce history (10)

-Most successful title defenses in Strikeforce history (6)

-Most consecutive title defenses in Strikeforce history (4)

-Most wins in Strikeforce history (11)

-Most significant strikes landed in Strikeforce history (749)

  • Ultimate Fighting Championship

-Fight of the Night:  vs. Diego Sanchez (UFC 166)

  • World Extreme Cagefighting

-First ever WEC Lightweight Championship

  • Inside MMA

-2013 Fight of the Year Bazzie Award vs. Diego Sanchez on October 19

  • Sports Illustrated

-2009 Round of the Year vs. Josh Thomson on December 19; Round 5

  • MMAFighting

-2006 Lightweight of the Year

  • Wrestling Observer Newsletter

-2013 Fight of the Year vs. Diego Sanchez on October 19[39]



11 wins via knockout/tko

1 win via submission

10-5 in fights that go to a judges decision

10-3 in 5 round/championship fights

12-3 in 3 round fights

3.58 Significant strikes landed/ minute

33% striking accuracy

2.18 strikes absorbed/ minute

65% striking defense

1.78 takedowns landed per 15 minutes

42% takedown accuracy

71% takedown defense accuracy

Average Fight time: 15:15


Fun Facts

BJJ Black Belt (since October 2013) under Cesar Gracie

Professional debut: October 2002

Coached Season 20 of the Ultimate Fighter

Popped for “exogenous origin of testosterone metabolites,” meaning testosterone metabolites that were present from an outside source

Suspended from June 13, 2015 – June 13, 2016

Has also competed for Pride FC, WEC (World Extreme Cagefighting), and Shooto


Injury pullouts

Knee injury (against Aoki in 2006)

Shouler injury (against Pat Healy in 2012)

Shouler injury (against Pat Healy in 2013)


Jeremy Stephens

(Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Age: 31

Birthday: May 26, 1986

Height: 5’9

Reach: 71 inches

Born: Des Moines, Iowa

Fighting out of: San Diego, California

Record: 25-14 (12-13 in UFC)

Head Coach: Eric Del Fierro

Gym: Alliance MMA (Since

Career Disclosed Earnings: $819,000 USD

Notable Wins: Renan Barao, Rafael dos Anjos, Darren Elkins, Dennis Bermudez, Cole Miller, Rony Jason

Currently ranked: #8 at Featherweight (via UFC Rankings)



  • Ultimate Fighting Championship

-Knockout of the Night

  1. Rafael dos Anjos (UFC 91)
  2. Justin Buchholz (UFC Fight Night 19)
  3. Marcus Davis (UFC 125)

-Fight of the Night

  1. Sam Stout (UFC 113, win)
  2. Cub Swanson (UFC Fight Night 44, loss)
  3. Renan Barao (UFC Fight Night 88, win)

-2014 June Fight of the Month vs. Cub Swanson



16 wins via knockout/tko

3 wins via submission

6-10 in fights that go to a judge’s decision

0-1 in five round fights

5-5 since moving down to Featherweight

20-9 at Lightweight

2.83 Significant strikes landed/ minute

40% striking accuracy

2.68 strikes absorbed/ minute

59% striking defense

1.28 takedowns landed per 15 minutes

36% takedown accuracy

64% takedown defense accuracy

Average Fight time: 12:41


Fun Facts

BJJ Purple Belt (since 2014) under Dean lister

Missed weight one time (UFC 189 against Bermudez) 149.8 pounds

Never popped for a banned substance

Never pulled from a fight due to injury

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Nick Peralta

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