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Melendez Comments on Gracie Affiliated Judge

Kelsey Mowatt

gilbert melendez

One of the cageside judges at UFC on FOX 7 may have been an instructor at a Cesar Gracie affiliated school, but according to Gracie trained fighter Gilbert Melendez, he doesn’t know the man who scored the card’s headliner in his favor.

Since UFC lightweight champ Benson Henderson was awarded a razor thin, split decision win over Melendez on April 20th, it’s been revealed that judge Wade Vierra was an instructor under the Gracie jiu-jitsu system. Vierra was also one of three judges who scored the competitive bout for Melendez.

Speaking to MMA Radio, however, Melendez noted that the Gracie school system and brand is extensive, and that he has no relationship with Vierra at all.

“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.”

The former Strikeforce champ also reportedly added that although it’s important to avoid a conflict of interest, at least Vierra’s background demonstrates he’s well versed in jiu-jitsu. Far too many judges can’t say the same.

And does Melendez think he won the fight? Of course. In his opinion, he won rounds one, two, three and  five.


Photo Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports


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