Melendez agrees to new contract, will coach TUF versus Pettis


Last week the biggest news in MMA was that Gilbert Melendez had agreed to terms with Bellator FC after completing his contract with the UFC. The UFC was allowed to have matching rights, but all signs were pointing towards Melendez making a move to the rival promotion.

However tonight the UFC announced that not only will Melendez remain in the UFC, he will coach the next season of the Ultimate Fighter and meet Pettis for the lightweight title later this year.

Las Vegas, Nev. – The Ultimate Fighting Championship® announced tonight that No. 2 ranked lightweight contender Gilbert Melendez has agreed to a new contract with the organization. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Melendez will now coach against UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis on season 20 of The Ultimate Fighter®. The two will then meet for the UFC lightweight title later this year.
The show, which will begin filming in May and premiere on FOX Sports 1 on Sept. 10, features the launch of the UFC women’s 115-pound weight class. The winner of this season of The Ultimate Fighter® will be crowned the UFC strawweight division’s inaugural champion.
The Ultimate Fighter® is the longest-running sports reality show on television, with The Ultimate Fighter Nations: Canada vs. Australia currently airing Wednesdays on FOX Sports 1. The next international edition of The Ultimate Fighter® will feature fighters from Latin America, with the premiere set for summer 2014. Melendez is slated to make a special guest appearance on the show and broadcast plans will be announced in the weeks to come.

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Recent Comments »

RingStinger site profile image  

2/25/14 3:50 AM by RingStinger

Good for Melendez dudes a warrior.Deserves the money and accolades

SeverianB site profile image  

2/24/14 11:47 PM by SeverianB

If the 115 pound women put on the same kind of shows they did at Invicta, there are gonna be some exciting fights on TUF 20.    115 is, in my opinion the best WMMA division by far.     On top of that, we get to see Showtime make a comeback.     Solid.

Kneeblock site profile image  

2/24/14 10:53 PM by Kneeblock

Brilliant move for all parties. Bellator avoids a heavy contract that would've seemed wasteful after 2 fights. UFC gets to build Pettis into a bigger star since he's relatively unknown due to being out on injury so often. Gil also gets built up, but doesn't have too much higher to go. If Pettis wins, they've got a true superfight with Aldo with Pettis as the main draw.If Gil wins, he's locked in a champions clause and we get a potential trilogy with Bendo. A new women's division won't draw the eyes without Ronda as a coach so that season is just going to be a commercial for the fight. The cast has a lot of talent so the fights will probably be more technical, particularly with a title on the line.Still a good deal.

The Sultan site profile image  

2/24/14 10:52 PM by The Sultan

Melendez/Pettis is an awesome fight. Thats a great way to keep him around. Im glad Lorenzo took the helm on this one and made the deal happen. He conducts himself like a businessman and doesnt let emotion cloud his judgement. Plus hes the true big wig in the UFC.

daddy N0 site profile image  

2/24/14 9:24 PM by daddy N0

I hope they showcase the coaches that Pettis, Melendez bring Duke with Diaz brothers or Shields and they probably won't let Ben Askren on Cam or anywhere near the show but it would be nice to have a Tuff show to focus on educating the fans instead of the fake TV drama they put up time and time again.

Briggy site profile image  

2/24/14 9:00 PM by Briggy

Tuf coaches now a days get PAID. Not to mention the TV exposure is huge for your fan base which makes you more marketable and leads to better sponsors. Plus now he's fighting Pettis on a ppv card which will be highly anticipated and heavily promoted due to TUF and their long layoffs. Gil will be making a good 7 figure pay from the start of tuf to his fight with Pettis.

XxLiveBaitxX site profile image  

2/24/14 8:54 PM by XxLiveBaitxX

Melendez makes a better coach than Mira Mira.

andyloveshugs site profile image  

2/24/14 8:18 PM by andyloveshugs

he's fighting late this year (6-10 months later than he would have, 1-2 fights later), for the fight he wanted. title fights are worth literally multiples of what a fight against a guy with no mainstream following like khabib is. not just that, he's getting paid a shitton to coach tuf (or did you think he's doing that for free).  so he's getting paid a lot to coach tuf with a new contract that makes him literally one of the highest paid fighters in all of mma. but according to you, that was bad decision, and he should have passed up a paycheck in the same time period to coach tuf and then get the soonest possible title fight, to actually fight and risk a loss, for "half the money." are you really arguing that was the smart move?  you keep bringing up "if he's as good as he said he is" like this isn't a sport where a tiny mistake can make all the difference, where melendez couldn't have slipped on a kick and sprained his ankle and then not been able to move like he needs to in the cage and lose, or where he could literally be amazing and a killer and destroying everyone he trains with, including top guys above and below his weight class, but pettis is just that good and slightly better. 

Forethought site profile image  

2/24/14 6:57 PM by Forethought

Pettis? Are you serious? I thought we were going to see a Superfight between Pettis and Aldo?Melendez doesn't have anything for Pettis, this is a Joke.

HeHitsMeBecauseHeLovesMe site profile image  

2/24/14 2:19 PM by HeHitsMeBecauseHeLovesMe

I would hate to be on tuf 21. Having 2 titles involved this season is pretty much untoppable.