Just when the world of mixed martial arts was getting stable, Gilbert Melendez decided to flip it on its head.
For those of you who have not heard, Melendez has struck a deal with Bellator. He is not on a contract with them, but since negotiations broke down between Melendez and the UFC, he has been shopping around and likes the Bellator deal. Now, there is a clause in Melendez’s contract that gives the UFC rights to match that offer.
This is a serious alpha move from Bellator and changes the landscape of the UFC considerably. Since we are all adults here, let’s get the obvious out of the way; the UFC is better than Bellator, in terms of fighter pay and talent. That is just the cold hard truth. So, why would Melendez want to leave the UFC? It has a lot to do with pay.
The UFC has been blasted for paying their fighters too little and Melendez made it obvious that he wanted more money. Melendez has a family and needs to look out for them. I get that, but the selfish art of me wants him to stay in the UFC.
The top talent in the world is there and he deserves to fight the top talent. Fans have wanted to see him fight in the UFC ever since he competed in Strikeforce, and now that the UFC has him he wants to leave.
From a fans perspective, it is a bit frustrating. If Melendez does accept the deal, he could convince other fighters to go over to Bellator, as well as bring a much-needed promotional push to the organization. No matter what happens, this deal has made the UFC brass raise an eyebrow, and changes will be seen.