Gilbert Melendez Agrees To A Deal With Bellator; UFC Can Match The Offer

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UFC President Dana White stated earlier in the week on “UFC Tonight” that he was done with the negotiations involving Gilbert Melendez. White said that if Melendez wants a deal done to stay in the UFC, call UFC CEO Lorenzo Fetitta and if the situation didn’t improve, Melendez better start looking for a new fight promotion.

Melendez took that advice as he agreed to a multi-fight and multi-year deal with Bellator. The UFC does have the right to match the offer, but how long they have is unknown at this time. The former Strikeforce lightweight champion is 1-1 in the UFC with a loss to former lightweight champion Benson Henderson in the main event of UFC on Fox 7 last April by a controversial split decision and defeated Diego Sanchez by unanimous decision in a fight of the year candidate at UFC 166 in October.

“The moment Gil was legally able to explore the free agent market, Gil’s management team reached out to me and we began figuring out how to bring Gil to Bellator,” Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney said in a press release.

“It’s no secret that I’ve been a big ‘El Nino’ fan for many years. Gil was one of the first fighters I tried to sign when I launched Bellator back in 2008, and he’s grown and developed into one of the best and most exciting lightweights on earth. Gil has a vision for what he wants to accomplish both inside and outside the cage and we can help make his vision a reality. We are in the business of developing and showcasing the greatest fighters on earth. That’s what we intend to do here with Gil and it’s what we’ll continue to do in the future.”

Melendez made a statement on Twitter saying what went down.

Will the UFC match Bellator’s offer?

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Steve Muehlhausen

Steven was a Featured UFC Columnist for Bleacher Report and a writer for MMASucka.com. Steven was also the host of the MMA show: The Fight Club Chicago, which aired for three years at various websites. You can email Steve at stevemuehlhausen@yahoo.com.


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