Ask and you shall receive.

After years of trash talk and campaigning to fight each other, the UFC has finally booked the lightweight matchup between  former champion Gilbert Melendez and Eddie Alvarez for the co-main event of UFC 188 in June.

Melendez (22-4), a former Strikeforce and WEC champion, will be looking to get back into the win column after sufferin a second round submission loss to reining champion Anthony Pettis in their title fight at UFC 181 in December. This loss not only marked the first time ‘El Niño’ was finished but also dropped his UFC record to 2-2.

Prior to losing to Pettis, Melendez earned a thrilling decisin win over TUF 1 winner Diego Sanchez at UFC 160. In a bout many consider an all-time classic, both men battered each other for 15 straight minutes en route to one of the most thrilling fights in UFC history. Melendez will enter this bout with 12 career stoppages, including 11 by way of knockout.

Alvarez (25-4), a former Bellator champion, was last seen suffering a decision loss in his UFC debut to Donald Cerrone in the co-main event of UFC 178 in September. He was expected to return against Benson Henderson at UFC Fight Night 59 last month before pulling out with the flu.

This loss to Cerrone was Alvarez’s’ first defeat since seeing Michael Chandler walk away with his belt after a 25-minute war in the main event of Bellator 58 in November 2011. Alvarez would eventually go on to earn back-to-back knockout victories over Shinya Aoki and Patricky ‘Pitbull’ before winning his belt back from Chandler at Bellator 106 in November 2013. This victory would mark the ‘Underground King’s’ final appearance under the Bellator MMA banner after spending more than four years with the promotion. He will enter this bout with 21 career stoppage victories, including 14 by way of knockout.

Also announced for the card was a women’s strawweight bout between TUF 20 alums Tecia Torres and Angela Hill as well as a welterweight contest between hometown hero Augusto “Dodger” Montano and Irish import Cathal Pendred.

UFC 188 is currently scheduled to take place on June 13 at the Arena Ciudad de México in Mexico City. A heavyweight title unification bout between reigning champion Cain Velasquez and interim champion Fabricio Werdum will serve as the main event.

About The Author

News Manager

José began his career as a mixed martial arts journalist while still enrolled at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Arizona State University. Since graduating in May 2013, he has attended dozens of high profile UFC fight cards as a credentialed member of the media, providing live cage side coverage through his articles and videos. His work has appeared on UFC.com, ArizonaSports.com and AZCentral. He is also currently one of the main contributors on Power MMA Show at Arizona Sports 98.7 FM, one of the first all MMA radio shows on a major radio station.