It looks like former UFC lightweight title challenger Gilbert Melendez is ready to return to action. Sources close to the situation tell FloCombat the UFC is working on a bout between Melendez and surging British featherweight Arnold Allen for later this year.
If all goes as planned, the two men will throw down as part of the end-of-the-year UFC 232 card in Las Vegas. The targeted bout would signify the sixth “known” fight for the Dec. 29 pay-per-view event.
Coming off four straight losses, “El Niño” hasn’t competed since his featherweight debut in September of 2017. Despite recent struggles, Melendez has only lost to the most elite of opponents during his losing streak—Jeremy Stephens, Anthony Pettis, Eddie Alvarez, and Edson Barboza.
While Melendez ventures outside the rankings for this matchup, Allen enters his most high-profile matchup to date. The 24-year-old Tristar product is undefeated thus far in his UFC tenure, defeating Makwan Amirkhani, Alan Omer, Yaotzin Meza, and Mads Burnell.
He’ll look to make it five-for-five in his first bout on American soil.
Stay tuned to FloCombat for all of the latest news, updates, and announcements concerning UFC 232.
Current UFC 232 lineup*:
Women’s Featherweight Bout: Cris Cyborg (20-1) vs. Amanda Nunes (16-4)
Light Heavyweight Bout: Corey Anderson (11-4) vs. Ilir Latifi (14-5)
Women’s Flyweight Bout: Jessica Eye (27-9) vs. Sijara Eubanks (3-2)
Middleweight Bout: Uriah Hall (13-9) vs. Bevon Lewis (6-0)
Lightweight Bout: BJ Penn (16-12-2) vs. Ryan Hall (6-1)
Featherweight Bout: Gilbert Melendez (22-7) vs. Arnold Allen (13-1)
* bout list is unofficial and subject to change