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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UFC, Bellator And Boxing Join Together For Cleveland Clinic for Fighters Brain Health Study (Video)

Who would have ever thought that we would ever see fighters and executives from MMA and boxing in the same room? We got that today as we seen the personalities took part today in the Support Professional Fighters Study at Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center For Brain Health that took place in Washington D.C.

The notables that attended were UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, number one contender to the light heavyweight title Glover Teixeira, UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta, former Bellator lightweight champion Michael Chandler, Spike TV president Kevin Kay, world champion boxer Bernard Hopkins, U.S. Senators Harry Reid and John McCain.

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UFC Special Announcement Press Conference LIVE On BetweenTheRopes.com Starting At 6 PM ET

The UFC will be holding a press conference at 6 p.m. ET, which you can see live here on BetweenTheRopes.com in the video at the top of the page.

Speculation has been running rampant on what the announcement could be. It could be the formal announcement of the UFC digital network or the rumored return of former UFC Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar. UFC President Dana White CEO Lorenzo Fertitta will be there for the announcement.

We will all find out what it will be shortly.

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Dana White UFC 167 Video Blog: Rony Jason Slicing His Arm

Before every UFC event, Dana White releases at least one video blog to promote the event of that week and goes back to behind the scenes of footage of previous shows. This video blog is no different as UFC 167 takes place on Saturday night in Las Vegas with UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre defending his title against Johny Hendricks.

In the video blog we will see behind the scenes footage of UFC Fight Night 31: Fight For The Troops 3 that took place last Wednesday and UFC Fight night 32, which took place on Saturday. Some of the footage includes the horrific incident of Rony Jason following his loss to Jeremy Stephens punching a backstage wall and slicing open his arm. We also see White and Lorenzo Fertitta scare UFC executives on an airplane.

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UFC Heavyweight Stefan Struve’s Fighting Career Put On Hold

The career of UFC heavyweight Stefan Struve is in jeopardy. A report on Tuesday’s, “UFC Tonight” stated that Struve has been diagnosed with a leaking aortic valve and an enlarged heart.

Struve’s management team sent a statement to MMAFighting.com explaining Struve’s situation, which includes Struve’s desire to return to the UFC and fight again:

Stefan Struve has recently been diagnosed with a leaking aortic valve and an enlarged heart and was hospitalized for a week to undergo testing to determine the best course of treatment. The doctors found that Stefan has a bicuspid aortic valve, wich means that his aortic valve only has two leaflets, instead of three.

The aortic valve regulates blood flow from the heart into the aorta, the major blood vessel that brings blood to the body. In combination with the enlarged heart it causes his heart to only pump 70 percent of the blood into the aorta and then the rest of his body, and the remaining 30 percent ends up back in the heart chamber. After consulting experts in both Holland and the United States, it was decided to treat the condition with medication for the next two months and asses the effectiveness of that treatment protocol. After those 2 months, the doctors will have an answer on what the best treatment options are.

At the direction of his doctors, Stefan has now been released from the hospital and has resumed light cardiovascular exercise. Stefan fully appreciates the significance of the condition he has been diagnosed with, however, he is optimistic about the eventual outcome and fully plans on living a long, healthy, active, happy life and eventually returning to competition in the octagon for his quest to become the UFC heavyweight champion.

Stefan loves the UFC and plans on being involved with company as a fighter and ambassador for years to come. Stefan wants to thank all the fans who have supported him thus far in his career as well as the UFC, Dana White, Lorenzo Fertita, Joe Silva, Dr. Jeff Davidson, the entire staff of the UFC, and his fellow fighters for affording him the opportunity to compete on the biggest stage of the sport of MMA, as well as a tremendous degree of support during this trying time. In particular Stefan wants to thank Dana White, Lorenzo Fertita and Joe Silva for immediately getting engaged with this issue and providing Stefan access to the best possible medical care. Stefan will be sharing his experiences as he deals with this medical condition in the hopes that he can serve as a role model by helping to create awareness and inspire others to fight through adversity.

Struve hasn’t fought since March when he lost to Mark Hunt. The tallest heavyweight in the UFC sent out a tweet thanking all the fans for the support.

We wish Struve the best of luck in his recovery and hope to see him inside the octagon once again. We will keep you updated if any new information arises.

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Report: Anderson Silva Wants His Rematch With Chris Weidman This Year

Well that didn’t take Anderson Silva long to change his tune about facing Chris Weidman again.

MMAFighting.com is reporting that people close to former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva are saying Silva wants his rematch with Weidman sooner rather than later. The former champion had stated immediately to Joe Rogan after his loss to Weidman that he wasn’t going to fight for the title again.

Silva then stated at the post-fight presser that he needed some time to think about it. Apparently it only took about 24 hours for Silva to want his rematch.

The report also states that Silva would like to face Weidman this year and not at the rumored February 1 show in New Jersey in conjunction with Super Bowl weekend.

UFC President Dana White told Lance Pugmire from the Los Angeles Times earlier this week that the company has been thinking about putting the Silva-Weidman rematch for UFC 168 on December 28 and moving the original main event of Ronda Rousey vs Miesha Tate to February 1.

Weidman appeared on a CBS Sports Radio show this morning stating that Dana White and UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta that the rematch will take place in either December or February.

When an announcement is official, we will bring it to you.

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Between The Ropes MMA Podcast 1- Duane Finley

We have decided to not only get more into the pro wrestling side, but we are now getting more into the MMA side as well. We will be doing a weekly podcast with either me and Brian Fritz or one of us with another journalist.

BetweenTheRopes.com talks to MMA Columnist Duane Finley as we preview the UFC TUF 17 Finale that takes place tomorrow night. We also get Duane’s thoughts on the Matt Mitrione/Fallon Fox controversy. We then get into a variety of topics in the world of MMA.

So take a listen below and give us your thoughts.

You can follow Duane on Twitter @DuaneFinleyMMA.

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Follow me on Twitter @S_Muehlhausen7.

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