…and in more awesome news, Dana tells Melendez to “look elsewhere”

Posted: February 13, 2014 in Latest news
Tags: ,

gilbert-melendez2Is it just me, or are things getting weird around here? The latest bit of news in a string of recent bizarre stories is that Dana White is telling Gilbert Melendez to get lost. Melendez is arguably the top contender at lightweight and possibly the only thing keeping us from an unnecessary 3rd fight between Anthony Pettis and Ben Henderson.

Here’s the story. Gilbert’s last fight—a crazy fight of the year candidate against Diego Sanchez—was the final fight under his current contract, which was transferred to the UFC from Strikeforce. But in what should have been a fairly laid back negotiating process (after all, Melendez wants to stay in the UFC; the UFC wants to keep him), things turned ugly.

White has thrown his hands in the air with the contract talks with Melendez’s manger, Rodolphe Beaulieu. He told UFC Tonight “I’m done” with negotiating the contract. “It’s not going well. I couldn’t care less about it anymore. I like Gilbert Melendez, I don’t like his management.”

Beaulieu is also Georges St-Pierre’s manager, so there’s probably some residual harsh feelings. White continued his rant, “Being Georges St-Pierre’s best friend, doesn’t make you a good manager. If he (Melendez) wants to fight in the UFC, he better talk to Lorenzo (Fertitta) quick.”

It’s pretty obvious the issue is money—what else, right? Melendez had a very lucrative contract from Strikeforce. He earned a reported $175,000 in his loss to then-champ Henderson. White is likely campaigning to drop that “show” figure down to a number more in line with other top stars of the division—maybe even half of that amount. Henderson earned $100k/$100k in that fight.

Honestly this issue will likely get resolved in due time. Melendez has nowhere else to go (I don’t mean that literally, but c’mon, he doesn’t want to go to Bellator); and let’s face it, the UFC still needs him. The lightweight division is already a shell of its former self. Melendez is currently one of the few bright spots at the upper end of the 155 pound class. They need each other.

“He better start looking elsewhere,” White warned.

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