After a Fight of the Year candidate was turned in by former Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez and Diego Sanchez, the former may be done with the promotion after just two fights.
After the bout with Sanchez, Melendez’s contract expired on this fight with negotiations starting soon after. According to Ariel Helwani on UFC Tonight though, they aren’t going smoothly.
“I’m done. I couldn’t care less anymore,” UFC president Dana White told Helwani.
Melendez also shares a manager with former UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre who is currently in a messy (yet dimming) dispute with the UFC after an unorthodox semi-retirement. That man is Rodolphe Beaulieu who White also spoke about in saying, “being GSP’s best friend, doesn’t make you a good manager.”
There was no official word on why exactly negotiations were falling through.
Melendez was unofficially slated to take on Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 170 but the bout was never finalized. Melendez has been out of the spotlight since the aforementioned October bout with Sanchez and according to White, if Melendez doesn’t act soon, it could mean the end of his tenure with the promotion.
“If Melendez wants to fight in the UFC, he should talk to Lorenzo quick.” Melendez’s debut in the UFC was highly anticipated as he was billed as a very likely candidate to be the next lightweight champion until a controversial decision loss to former champ Benson Henderson dropped his stock to a fight outside of the top-10 in the division against Sanchez.
Melendez is currently ranked #2 in the division but if he doesn’t, “he better start looking elsewhere.”
For updates on this situation as they become available visit SciFighting.com