MMAWeekly has learned that Gilbert Melendez is off this weekend’s PRIDE Bushido 13 / Welterweight Grand Prix Finals show in Yokahama, Japan due to an elbow injury.
Melendez apparently injured the elbow in training and will not be able to compete against Shinya Aoki, but word is that Melendez could return to Pride possibly as soon as Shockwave 2006 on New Year’s Eve. Melendez is currently the #10 Lightweight in the MMAWeekly Rankings.
As reported by Sherdog.com, Melendez is being replaced by Clay French, who holds an MMA record of 8-1.
Both Melendez and Shinya last competed for PRIDE succesfully at Bushido: Survival in August, against Nobuhiro Obiya and Jason Black respectively, after both were top-ranked prospects in the Shooto organization.