Last week it was announced that the UFC had matched an offer from Bellator and resigned number two ranked light weight Gilbert Melendez. Although specifics of the contract have not been revealed, Melendez is now said to be one of the highest paid lightweights, although he is not quite a millionaire:
"Everyone thinks I'm this millionaire or something now," Melendez said on Monday's edition of The MMA Hour. "But that's not the case."
Maybe not, but Melendez sent a jolt of electricity through the MMA world by the way he handled his contract negotiations. Melendez got an offer from Bellator, then received a lucrative counter-offer from the UFC to remain with the company, opening other top fighters' eyes to the notion that there could be a true free market situation for fighters between MMA's top two companies.
"People were encouraging me," Melendez said of other fighters who took time to reach out to him. "I know they were happy for me, their own experiences, my intentions weren't to try to start start anything, I'm glad everyone was behind me, everyone does what they have to do, but my goal wasn't to start any sort of commotion, this was standard business."
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