American took a string of blows to his left leg throughout the fight but managed to last the distance to pocket the Fight of the Night bonus
GILBERT MELENDEZ survived a barrage of brutal kicks to take Jeremy Stephens the distance at UFC 215 on Saturday night.
He was hailed a warrior by fans despite losing on points but the constant blows to his left leg took a severe toll as his wife revealed.
Keri took to Twitter to keep his followers updated over his injury and showed pictures of his hugely swollen leg.
With one picture of Gilbert laying down she wrote: “Hey All. Everyone is asking about Gilbert’s leg. Here is a pic today. He is doing A ok. Thank you to all for the support. We feel the love.”
Keri then revealed that Gilbert, who was making his 145-pound debut, that his leg received no severe damage.
Alongside another image she said: “Gilbert Melendez’s a soldier. He’s gonna heal up quick.
“Thankful there is no knee damage. Again, we thank everyone for the messages.”
Stephens set off from the start attacking Melendez’s leg and it took just one round before it started to swell.
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Anthony Joshua defends his heavyweight titles against mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev on October 28 – here’s our view on the fight…
- DIAMOND – AJ to win by KO, TKO or DQ in the First Round: “AJ is known for his devastating power and boasts an astonishing 100 per cent knockout record.” (10/1 – add to your betslip)
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The 35-year-old from California hit the canvas on more than one occasion because he lost the strength in his left leg.
But he continued to battle through the pain barrier, having to change his tactics throughout, before Stephens eventually took victory.
Melendez’s persistence did earn himself half of the £38,000 awarded for the Fight of the Night bonus.
UFC president Dana White tweeted afterwards: “Much respect Gilbert Melendez you are a tough SOB!!!!!!!”