Gilbert Melendez on signing a new deal with the UFC
Former Strikeforce lightweight champion and the current number two ranked fighter inside the octagon, Gilbert Melendez has been giving his thoughts on signing a new contract with the UFC, as well as explaining that although he respects Bellator as an organisation, there is no other place he wanted to be.
gilbert melendez2Speaking via FOX Sports, Melendez said:
“There was the Bellator offer and right away our team got together and Lorenzo (Fertitta) reached out and really expressed his passion for the sport and his interest for me and how UFC is the place for me. Him and my team got together and just started hashing things out and we came to a great deal. I’m a happy man right now. I’m a very happy man. My legacy means so much to me and being able to prove I’m number one and all that, but sometimes you have to put those emotions aside to think of your future and to think of your family and it’s a hard thing to do, but it has to be done. That’s kind of how everything started, but now I’m able to do the same thing and fight for the title as well and the show.”
“The UFC is the biggest stage in the world, they have the best fighters in the world and the toughest lightweight division in the world. It’s the Mecca for MMA, no doubt in my mind. Bellator’s a great organization as well, but this is where I wanted to be. There’s no other place I wanted to be.”
Melendez made his UFC debut as a challenger to Ben Henderson at UFC on FOX 7. After five rounds, he came up on the short end of a split decision. He followed that up with a fight of the year contender against Diego Sanchez at UFC 166. He took a unanimous decision after three rounds in that fight.