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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