UFC Lightweight Gilbert Melendez is coming off the toughest loss of his career, and no matter if you scored the bout for him or UFC Lightweight Champion Benson Henderson, it was a close fight. We later learned that Judge Wade Vierra had ties to a jiu jitsu academy that is franchised by Cesar Gracie, Melendez’s head coach. Melendez recently spoke about finding out about the judges, and how he has never met Vierra before. Melendez also frankly admitted that it was good to know judges were out there training and learning about jiu jitsu.
He told MMAJunkie:
“I don’t know the guy, but it’s good to know someone is training out there that’s a judge. I don’t know the dude. I don’t know Wade Vierra. I don’t. I can’t say I haven’t shook someone’s hand or something. I’ve met a lot of people in my life. But do I know Wade Vierra? Is he in my phonebook? Do I see him or do I know him? No. I don’t know who the guy is. I don’t know him.”
“I think it’d be a bigger deal if I won, but either way, I lost. Either I lost the split or the unanimous. It doesn’t matter. I lost, dude. I lost. It doesn’t really matter. Benson is still the champ.”
“The positive thing is that if the guy is training, that’s a good thing. Yeah, you’ve got be selective about [any potential conflicts of interest], but some judges just don’t know what’s going on. I wish they’d get on the mat and train and really feel what it’s like and do some boxing or some muay Thai and visit some gyms.”
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