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Tag: Gilbert Melendez

Anthony Pettis vs. Gilbert Melendez Lightweight Title Fight Slated for UFC Year-End Event


(Props: Anthony Pettis’s Facebook page)

During a news conference in Puerto Rico* yesterday, UFC president Dana White announced that the Anthony Pettis vs. Gilbert Melendez lightweight title fight will take place at the promotion’s traditional year-end event, which will likely go down December 27th in Las Vegas. Of course, the two fighters will see a lot of each other before then, as they’ve already been booked to coach TUF 20: The Strawweights, which begins airing in September.

Pettis hasn’t competed since UFC 164 last August, when he won the UFC lightweight belt off of Benson Henderson with a first-round armbar. Due to a subsequent knee injury and surgery, he’s been sidelined ever since — meaning that he’ll be taking on Melendez after a 16-month layoff. Melendez’s layoff will be almost as long. He last competed at UFC 166 in October, winning a unanimous decision against Diego Sanchez in a Fight of the Year candidate. Then, he almost wound up in Bellator. Long story.

* So what was the UFC doing in Puerto Rico, you ask? Well, the promotion is laying some groundwork to return there for the first time since UFC 8 — the February 1996 event where Gary Goodridge famously did this to Paul Herrera. An event date hasn’t been established, but Dana White guaranteed the UFC will hold an event in Puerto Rico in 2015, and said that Pettis (who is of Puerto Rican descent) will be involved.

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Nate Diaz Lands Gig at NASA, Requests to Be Released From UFC Contract via Twitter


(Well, at least he didn’t call anyone a fag. Via Diaz’s Twitter.)

If we know anything about the members of Team Cesar Gracie, it’s that they’re a tightly-wound, fiercely loyal bunch. So when the news broke that Gilbert Melendez and the UFC had failed to reach an agreement on his new contract, prompting “El Nino” to sorta sign with Bellator, we figured it was only a matter of time before his Cesar Gracie counterparts jumped ship as well.

Of course, being that Melendez *was* able to reach an agreement with the UFC after calling their bluff, it comes as something of a surprise that former lightweight title challenger Nate Diaz is now asking to be released from his contract. But that’s what happened yesterday, unless Diaz’s Twitter was somehow hacked. Diaz sent out the above tweet last night, stating “It’s time for me to be on my way…?” This of course, can only mean one of four things:

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Gilbert Melendez Re-Signs With UFC, Will Fight Anthony Pettis for Lightweight Title Following ‘TUF 20′ Coaching Gig


(Melendez tags Diego Sanchez during their three-round dogfight in October. / Photo via Getty)

Gilbert Melendez is officially back in the UFC — and he’ll be getting another lightweight title shot later this year. According to a press release distributed last night, Melendez has agreed to a new contract with the UFC, and will challenge reigning champ Anthony Pettis for his belt after the two 155-pounders appear as rival coaches on The Ultimate Fighter 20: The Strawweights. The season will begin filming in May, and will premiere on FOX Sports 1 on September 10th. The date and venue for Pettis vs. Melendez haven’t been announced yet.

Outside of the TUF gig, which almost seems like punishment, Melendez’s brief flirtation with free agency couldn’t have gone any better. Before Bellator tried to snap him up, Melendez was being offered high-risk, low-reward fights against undefeated Russians in the UFC, along with contract terms that were clearly less than he was hoping for. Now, his price has been pumped up in a bidding war, and he’ll be strolling right back into a title fight. (It seems likely that Bellator offered Melendez an immediate title shot themselves, and the UFC was forced to match this perk in order to secure a new contract for El Niño.)

And so, the UFC hangs on to one of the most talented and entertaining lightweights in the world, and the fans get to keep watching Melendez on MMA’s biggest stage. The only loser here is Bjorn Rebney, who was thrilled at the prospect of having Melendez on his roster, only to have the UFC re-sign him, basically out of spite. Ah well. At least he can comfort himself with the fact that he performed a very important role in the marketplace.

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Gilbert Melendez (Sorta) Signs With Bellator—But UFC Can Still Match Offer


(Photo via Getty)

Bellator has reached terms with top UFC lightweight Gilbert Melendez, in what would be the Viacom-owned promotion’s highest profile signing to date if they can wrest “El Niño” from Zuffa.

Notice the word, “if.”

Find out what the deal is after the jump.

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Gilbert Melendez and UFC Fail to Reach Agreement on New Contract, “El Nino” Told to “Start Looking Elsewhere”


(One day, you’re putting on one of the greatest fights in UFC History. The next, you’re fighting Ben Askren at a catchweight in One FC. *cries into whiskey glass* Photo via Getty.)

You guys remember Gilbert Melendez, right? You know, the Gilbert Melendez who was the final Strikeforce lightweight champion and one half of an amazing trilogy of fights with Josh Thomson? The Gilbert Melendez who came over to the UFC and beat then lightweight champ Ben Henderson but lost anyway because Ben Henderson? The Gilbert Melendez who put on a Fight of the Century performance against Diego Sanchez at UFC 166? Thought so.

Well hold onto those memories, Nation, because it looks like we should already start asking what could’ve been in regards to Melendez’s UFC career, young as it was. On last night’s edition of UFC Tonight, it was reported that, after months of attempting to negotiate a new contract with the promotion, Melendez’s management and Dana White have all but reached a stalemate. Said White:

I’m done. It’s not going well and I couldn’t care less at this point. I like Gilbert Melendez very much. I just don’t like his management. If Gilbert Melendez wants to fight in the UFC he better call Lorenzo Fertitta quickly, but he should also probably start looking elsewhere.

Two thoughts:

-At least DW managed to avoid calling anyone a “f*cking scumbag” or something of the like.

-This.

And now, a couple facts…

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UFC Full Blast: One-Eyed Bisping Critiques Machida vs. Munoz, Josh Thompson Freaks Out Over Melendez vs. Sanchez [VIDEOS]


(Props: FOX Sports)

I kind of like these “Full Blast” videos that the UFC has been putting out lately. Usually when I’m watching UFC fights at home, I’m surrounded by my half-wit friends who say things like, “Why doesn’t that guy on the bottom just get up and kick the other dude in the head. Game over.” And I’m like, uggggggggh. So it’s cool to see what people with actual first-hand insight on the sport have to say.

Of course, not every fighter’s approach to a Full Blast segment is the same. As you can see above, heel-superstar Michael Bisping prefers the snarky approach, making sure to remind us how boring Mark Munoz is, and how he could whoop Munoz and Lyoto Machida at the same time. On the other hand, he gives legitimate respect to Machida for his perfectly executed head-kick knockout, and for the gentlemanly way that the Dragon stopped his follow-up punch in mid-flight. Also, Bisping and Conor McGregor are the Scut Farkus and Grover Dill of MMA. Please spread awareness.

After the jump, UFC on FOX 10 headliner Josh Thomson starts out doing color-commentary for the Gilbert Melendez vs. Diego Sanchez slugfest at UFC 166, then switches directly into enthusiastic fan mode. (Can you blame him? That fight was bananas.) Skip to the 2:43 mark to see Thomson absolutely losing his mind.

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Wait Until You Hear What Nate Diaz Said About Dana White [UPDATED]


(Does this look like the face of guy who would duck a fight? / Photo via Getty.)

Remember when the UFC showed they could still book great matches when they paired off Khabib Nurmagomedov and Gilbert Melendez? And remember how they canceled that fight for no reason?

The UFC apparently had other plans for Nurmagomedov—the kind that involved a fight against Nate Diaz. According to Dana White, Diaz wanted none of it.

Needless to say, Diaz wasn’t happy with White’s words. He rushed to twitter to protect his Stockton street-cred.

 

We all probably think our bosses are full of shit to some extent, but saying it in public isn’t the smartest idea.

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Gilbert Melendez vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov Scrapped From UFC 170, Because Dana White Said So


(He may look happy, but everyone knows that is Nurmagomedov’s *sad* afro. Photo via Getty.)

Keeping with the UFC’s recently instituted tradition of announcing a fight and immediately shuffling it to another card or cancelling it outright, it appears that the exciting matchup between top lightweight contenders Gilbert Melendez and Khabib Nurmagomedov has been scrapped from UFC 170. Dana White elaborated on the cancellation in an interview with FOX Sports yesterday:

Not happening.

OK, so maybe “elaborate” wasn’t the best word to use there.

Melendez vs,. Nurmagomedov was made official in the wake of UFC 168 last weekend, but details are still scarce as to why the fight has suddenly been cancelled. Official CP theory: The bears finally had their revenge on the Nurmagomedov family. Both “The Nurm” and Melendez are coming off big wins, over Pat Healy and Diego Sanchez at UFC 165 and 166, respectively, so the fight made perfect sense from a matchmaking standpoint. Be that as it may, the UFC is currently seeking a replacement opponent for the Russian.

Who would you like to see Nurmagomedov fight next, Nation? Michael Johnson? Edson Barboza? Little Moe with the gimpy leg? Give us a shout in the comments section.

-J. Jones

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Here Are Some Awesome Fight Bookings for UFC 170 to Take Your Mind Off Silva’s Leg


(Photo via Getty)

Even though the dust and scattered bone chips have settled, we can’t help but think about Silva departing the cage on a stretcher and screaming.

If you’re anything like us, you want something to distract you from this horrible visual. Fortunately, Joe Silva provided the MMA world with some new food for thought in the form of two excellent bookings for UFC 170, taking place in Las Vegas on February 22nd.

First, Ronda Rousey will defend her women’s bantamweight title against fellow Olympian Sara McMann. This bout will main-event the PPV. Look for the UFC to work the Olympian vs. Olympian angle here, especially since the 2014 Winter Olympics coincide with UFC 170.

Rousey just dominated Miesha Tate at UFC 168 and refused to shake her hand after armbarring her a second time, cementing her role as a heel. She’s now 8-0.

McMann hasn’t fought since an easy TKO victory over Sheila Gaff back in April. Her record stands at 7-0.

Second, 21-0 Dagestani warrior Khabib Nurmagomedov will face his greatest test at UFC 170: Former Strikeforce

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Khabib Nurmagomedov Wants Gilbert Melendez on Epic Super Bowl Weekend Card


(When ‘Thriller’ starts playing, Gil starts dancing. No exceptions. Photo via Getty.)

Begin praying to the benevolent Gods of good health and fortune, Potato Nation, because the UFC’s already stacked Super Bowl weekend card (UFC 169) is about to get even more stacked-er.

Prior to his unanimous decision victory over Diego “Sherm Sticks” Sanchez in a Fight of the Year-nominee at UFC 166, final Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez was asked by FOX LA who he’d like to fight next were he to get by Sanchez. Barring another title shot, Melendez more or less called out fellow top contender Khabib Nurmagomedov.

Seemingly in response to Melendez, Nurmagomedov posted the following to his Instagram account (which is the most intimidating form of social media communication, if you ask me) yesterday:

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