Things are about to get sticky in the world of MMA. UFC Lightweight Gilbert Melendez was scheduled for an upcoming fight but it mysteriously vanished a few days ago without further word. We heard some talk about Gilbert Melendez being without a UFC contract and was in the negotiation process with them, only for things to fall apart. Dana White confirmed this yesterday and cited differences with Gilbert Melendez’s manger, who he claims is “GSP’s best friend.” This seems like a case where Gilbert Melendez got stuck in between a dispute between Dana White and another fighter, or the UFC just didn’t want to pay Melendez what he thought he deserved.
Bellator just issued a press release claiming that they’ve come to an agreement with Gilbert Melendez and his team, with the UFC still allowed to match the contract. As we’ve seen with Bellator setting things up like this in the past, this will just incite Dana White who will probably shut down and burn yet another bridge.
“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,” said Bellator Chairman & CEO Bjorn Rebney. “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.”