The ordering process for Ultimate Fighting Championship pay-per-views has changed: UFC 239 is only available on ESPN+ in the U.S.
Former Strikeforce lightweight king and former two-time Ultimate Fighting Championship lightweight title challenger Gilbert Melendez isn’t having the best time at this point in his career. He has lost four straight and is in need of a huge victory if he wants to stay relevant.
For his second fight at featherweight, Melendez will duke it out with a young and talented Arnold Allen, who has lost only once in 15 bouts. Expect these two warriors to deliver a great fight at UFC 239, as the numbers below suggest.
Winning streakWith five victories in as many fights, Allen is currently looking unstoppable early in his UFC career. He submitted Alan Omer and Mads Burnell and decisioned Yaotzin Meza, Makwan Amirkhani and Jordan Rinaldi. On top of that, he has two previous wins outside the promotion, making for an impressive 7-0 run. He also had a seven-fight winning streak to start his professional career before suffering his first and only defeat.
As for Melendez, it’s been quite a climb getting back to his old form. As previously stated, “El Niño” is now 0-4 in his last four fights since beating Diego Sanchez at UFC 166. Those four setbacks came at the hands of top-level competitors in Anthony Pettis, Eddie Alvarez, Edson Barboza and Jeremy Stephens. He is yet to have a winning streak in the UFC, but did start his career off with 13 straight wins. He also enjoyed a seven-fight winning streak during his time at Strikeforce.
Wins by knockoutKnown for his excellent boxing, Melendez owns 12 wins by KO or TKO, five of which were at Strikeforce and three at World Extreme Cagefighting. The fighters he knocked out were Gary Quan, Jeff Hougland, Stephen Palling, Olaf Alfonso, Kaynan Kaku, Naoya Uematsu, Rumina Sato, Harris Sarmiento, Gabe Lemley, Rodrigo Damm, Mitsuhiro Ishida and Tatsuya Kawajiri. Melendez has yet to starch anyone in the Octagon.
Allen is no pushover when it comes to the standup game either. The native of Suffolk, England, is in fact a prolific striker who has fought in boxing and kickboxing. His striking translated well into mixed martial arts as evidenced by his five wins by KO or TKO. He has dropped and stopped Nathan Greyson, Kim Tinghaugen, Doni Miller, Tobias Huber and Paul Cook.
Wins by submissionHe may not appear to have much submission savvy inside the cage, but that’s mainly because Melendez relies heavily on his striking. The truth is, the 37-year-old is a Cesar Gracie black belt, much like his “Skrap Pack” peers, Jake Shields, Dave Terrell and the Diaz brothers. However, he has yet to get a submission in his 29-fight MMA career.
By contrast, Allen is a purple belt who has gathered four submissions since turning pro in 2012. He has tapped out Andy Green, Declan Williams, Omer and Burnell.