Gilbert Melendez Agrees to Multi-Fight Offer from Bellator MMA
Posted by Jeffrey Harris on 02.14.2014
UFC still has matching rights though...
Bellator MMA has released an official press release stating that Gilbert Melendez, currently ranked No. 2 on UFC's lightweight rankings, has agreed to a multi-fight, multi-year deal with Bellator MMA. The UFC still currently holds a right to match Bellator MMA's offer though.
Bellator Chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney stated in the release: "The moment Gil was legally able to explore the free agent market, Gil's management team reached out to me and we began figuring out how to bring Gil to Bellator. It's no secret that I've been a big "El Nino" fan for many years. Gil was one of the first fighters I tried to sign when I launched Bellator back in 2008, and he's grown and developed into one of the best and most exciting lightweights on earth. Gil has a vision for what he wants to accomplish both inside and outside the cage and we can help make his vision a reality. We are in the business of developing and showcasing the greatest fighters on earth. That's what we intend to do here with Gil and it's what we'll continue to do in the future."
Match rights to Melendez's deal are still held by the UFC. Melendez last fought at UFC 166 in October, defeating Diego Sanchez by decision. He lost a close decision to Ben Henderson at UFC on Fox 7 in April 2013 in his bid to win the UFC lightweight title.