An injury to Bobby Green had left Al Iaquinta without an opponent for a little less than 24 hours. It was announced late Wednesday on Fox Sports Live that Gilbert Melendez will step in and face Iaquinta at the UFC Fight Night card in San Diego on July 15. The fight will be a quick turn around for Melendez who had just previously competed at UFC 188 this past Saturday.
Melendez (22-5) lost a hard-fought battle to former Bellator MMA lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez via a spilt decision. It was a fight that Melendez felt he won which would explain why he would want to make a quick turn around and get the bad taste of that defeat out of his mouth. The lose to Alvarez was Melendez’ second consecutive, he had previously lost a lightweight championship bout to then title holder Anthony Pettis. Since joining the UFC in 2013, he has only had one win in four bouts with losses coming to Benson Henderson to along with the ones to Pettis and Alvarez.
Iaquinta (12-3) has made a splash in the UFC’s lightweight division of late with his four fight winning streak. Of those four wins, three have come by way of knockout. He also made a bit of a splash after he cursed out the fans in attendance of his last fight after they did not agree with the split decision victory that was given to him over opponent Jorge Masvidal. Since joining the UFC in 2012, Iaquinta has gone an impressive 7-2 and his currently ranked 13th in the division. A win over Melendez would be the biggest of Iaquinta’s career and could propel him into the division’s top 10.
UFC Fight Night in San Diego will be headlined by a heavyweight bout between Frank Mir and Todd Dufee. The event will take place on July 15 from the Valley View Casino Center in San Diego, California and will air live on Fox Sports 1.