As per a report from MMA journalist Damon Martin, a potentially enthralling featherweight bout between Jeremy Stephens (25-14) and Gilbert Melendez (22-6) is being targeted for the UFC’s first ever visit to Edmonton in Alberta, Canada on Sept. 9th next.
Should this bout me made official it will mark the featherweight debut of Melendez (above), the former world title challenger who has now lost three straight (including to then-champ Anthony Pettis) a lightweight. His last outing in the UFC was a unanimous decision defeat to Edson Barboza just over a year ago and will now test the waters in the 145-pound currently ruled by Max Holloway.
In Stephens, Melendez has drawn one of the featherweight division’s more seasoned sluggers though his recent form has seen him lose successive bouts to Renato Moicano and Frankie Edgar.
BREAKING: Jeremy Stephens vs. Gilbert Melendez at featherweight in the works for UFC 215 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada on Sept 9. #UFC
— Damon Martin (@DamonMartin) July 3, 2017
A win is likely crucial for either fighter if they are to have realistic hopes of regaining status as a potential contender at the business end of the 145-pound fold and indeed, if Melendez’s decision to drop a weight class at the age of 35 sparks the type of form which made him a two-time titleholder in Strikeforce.
UFC 215 is also expected to feature a heavyweight bout between Francis Ngannou and Junior Dos Santos, as well as the light heavyweight match-up between Ilir Latifi and Tyson Pedro.