• Gilbert Melendez picks UFC over Bellator, will coach opposite Anthony Pettis on The Ultimate Fighter 20

  • Earlier today the UFC announced that Gilbert Melendez, who is currently ranked no.2 in the lightweight division, has agreed to a new contract with the Ultimate Fighting Championship and will coach opposite current lightweight champ Anthony Pettis in Season 20 of The Ultimate Fighter. The two will then meet for the lightweight title later this year.

    After much speculation around whether or not Melendez would leave the UFC and join rival organisation Bellator, we now have confirmation that “El Niño” will be staying with the Zuffa owned powerhouse.

    When he first joined the UFC back in April 2013, the former Strikeforce champion got an instant title shot against Benson Henderson, who was champion at the time, but unfortunately he lost the bout via split decision. Many MMA fans and media who watched the fight felt that Melendez was robbed that night, but as they say, you should never leave it to the judges.

    Next up for Melendez was fan favorite Diego Sanchez. In a fight that was considered by many to be the “Fight of the Year” for 2013, Melendez stood toe-to-toe with Sanchez and engaged in a slugfest that will not soon be forgotten. Both men performed really well in the bout but Gilbert was able to win the judges over, scoring points with a more technical style of striking then his adversary, earning himself a unanimous decision victory.

    Being part of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 20 reality show will give both Pettis and Melendez some good exposure, it will also give the fans at home a chance to get to know the fighters personalities a bit better. I am definitely looking forward to seeing the guys on the show and witnessing how they perform as coaches, it should be an interesting season.

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    Jay Cee – @JayCeeMMA

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