UFC Matches Offer For Gilbert Melendez, Will Coach “TUF 20″ Opposite Anthony Pettis

melendez

Gilbert Melendez was the first big name fighter to agree to an offer from Bellator and the UFC had the right to match the offer. The question of whether the UFC would match the offer loomed over the MMA world since it was announced that Melendez had agreed to a deal with Bellator about ten days ago.

UFC officials announced late last night that they were matching Bellator’s offer to Melendez. The company also announced that “El Nino” would be a coach of The Ultimate Fighter Season 20 opposite lightweight champion Anthony Pettis. The two will fight later in 2014.

“The Ultimate Fighter 20″ begins filming in May and as previously reported will feature the launch of the promotion’s women’s strawweight division. The winner of the season, which debuts Sept. 10 on FOX Sports 1, will become the first UFC women’s 115-pound champion. The UFC has already signed some of the world’s best fighters for the series, including Carla Esparza, Alex Chambers, Claudia Gadelha, Felice Herrig, Bec Hyatt, Emily Kagan, Juliana Lima, Rose Namajunas, Tecia Torres, Paige VanZant and Joanne Calderwood.

Melendez is also expected to make an appearance on the recently-announced “The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America” series, which debuts this summer. Broadcast plans for that series are expected to be announced shortly.

No terms were announced regarding Melendez’s contract.

Follow Between The Ropes on Facebook and Twitter.

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

melendez

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?

Follow Between The Ropes on Facebook and Twitter.

UFC Fight Night 36 Preview; The Latest On Alistair Overeem And Gilbert Melendez

machida

UFC Fight Night 36 takes place on Saturday night from Arena Jaragua in Jaragua do Sul, Santa Catarina, Brazil. The main event features a middleweight bout with former UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida facing former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion Gegard Mousasi. The co-feature has former Strikeforce middleweight champion Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza battling Francis Carmont.

We talk to Fighthype.com lead writer Percy Crawford to preview the card and the latest on Jessica Eye and Thiago Silva. Also we discuss, the Gilbert Melendez/UFC contract talks, Alistair Overeem/Dana White, the cancellation of the Rashad Evans and Daniel Cormier fight at UFC 170 and much more.

This podcast was sponsored by WarriorDating.com, “The World’s Premiere Dating Network For Martial Artists”. Follow them on Twitter @WarriorDating.

Follow Percy Crawford on Twitter @MrFightHype.

Follow Between The Ropes on Facebook and Twitter.

Play

Between The Ropes MMA Podcast – UFC 166 Recap, Cain is the Man

Brian and Steve look back at UFC 166 from over the weekend including Cain Velasquez retaining the heavyweight championship with a dominating win against Junior dos Santos, the all-time classic between Gilbert Melendez and Diego Sanchez and the rest of the card, who could be next for Velasquez, Daniel Cormier moving to light heavyweight and the upcoming UFC Fight Night show headlined by Mark Munoz vs. Lyoto Machida.

Subscribe to Between The Ropes on iTunes so you can automatically get the latest podcasts. You can also subscribe to Between The Ropes on Stitcher.

You can follow Between The Ropes on Facebook and Twitter.

Play

Video: UFC 166 Weigh-Ins

UFC 166 takes place tonight at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. But before the fighters get into the cage tonight, they had to weigh-in yesterday to make their respective fights official.

Watch the weigh-in video above of all 26 fighters weighing in.

Here is the card for tonight’s UFC 166.

MAIN CARD (Pay-per-view, 10 p.m. ET)
- Cain Velasquez vs. Junior dos Santos – for heavyweight title
- Daniel Cormier vs. Roy Nelson
- Gilbert Melendez vs. Diego Sanchez
- Gabriel Gonzaga vs. Shawn Jordan
- John Dodson vs. Darrell Montague

PRELIMINARY CARD (FOX Sports 1, 8 p.m. ET)
- Tim Boetsch vs. C.B. Dollaway
- Hector Lombard vs. Nate Marquardt
- Jessica Eye vs. Sarah Kaufman
- K.J. Noons vs. George Sotiropoulos

PRELIMINARY CARD (Facebook, 6 p.m. ET)
- Adlan Amagov vs. T.J. Waldburger
- Tony Ferguson vs. Mike Rio
- Andre Fili vs. Jeremy Larsen
- Kyogi Horiguchi vs. Dustin Pague

Follow Between The Ropes on Facebook and Twitter.

WWE Star Daniel Bryan Ignores UFC Star Diego Sanchez Regarding The “YES” Chants

The “YES” chant by Daniel Bryan has been quite arguably the biggest thing in the WWE in the last year. Bryan has been a WWE tag team champion and a two-time WWE champion. The Washington native will be headlining WWE’s Hell In A Cell pay-per-event against Randy Orton for the vacant WWE championship on Sunday, October 27th.

The “YES” chant though wasn’t started by Bryan. The “YES” chant was started by UFC star Diego Sanchez, who battles Gilbert Melendez tomorrow night at UFC 166.

Sanchez did an interview yesterday with MMAFighting.com, the topic came up and stated that Bryan hasn’t gotten back to him after reaching out to him. Sanchez is very happy though for how Bryan has taken the chant to new heights.

Watch the video above as the comments are toward the end of the interview.

Follow Between The Ropes on Facebook and Twitter.

Video: “Countdown to UFC 166: Cain Velasquez vs Junior Dos Santos”

Last night the UFC aired their Countdown show, which previews the key fights to an upcoming pay-per-view. UFC 166 takes place on Saturday night from the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. The main event features the trilogy fight between UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez defending his title against Junior Dos Santos.

This episode of “Countdown to UFC 166″ will go preview Velasquez and Dos Santos, the co-main event featuring heavyweights Roy Nelson and Daniel Cormier and a lightweight bout between Diego Sanchez and Gilbert Melendez.

Watch the videos of all three featured fights below.

Follow Between The Ropes on Facebook and Twitter.

Benson Henderson vs T.J. Grant To Headline UFC 164

Ever since the end of UFC on Fox 7, we were wondering when Benson Henderson would step into the octagon.

Photo from UFC.com

Photo from UFC.com

We have a date and a dance partner for the champion.

It was announced on UFC Tonight on Tuesday that UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson will be squaring off against number one contender T.J.Grant in the main event of UFC 164.

That event will be taking place on Saturday, August 31 from Bradley Center in Milwaukee.

Grant (21-5 MMA, 8-3 UFC) became the number one contender when he defeated Grey Maynard by TKO last month at UFC 160.

Henderson (19-2 MMA, 7-0 UFC) made the third defense of his lightweight title when he defeated former Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez in April at UFC on Fox 7.

Between The Ropes MMA Podcast 2- Percy Crawford

On this weeks MMA podcast, we speak to Fighthype.com lead writer Percy Crawford. We speak to Crawford about the week that was in MMA and boxing. Crawford previews with us this Saturday’s UFC on Fox 7 and the Canelo Alvarez vs Austin Trout boxing fight. Take a listen below and give us your thoughts.

You can follow Percy on Twitter @MrFightHype.

Follow Between The Ropes on Facebook and Twitter.

Follow me on Twitter @S_Muehlhausen7.

Play