Gilbert Melendez Says His Negotiations For a New UFC Contract Were Tough
Posted by Jeremy Thomas on 03.03.2014
There were some nerves...
Gilbert Melendez recently spoke about his new UFC contract and negotiating with Bellator during that period, plus more. Check out the highlights:
On the intense scrutiny on him when he agreed to terms on a contract with Bellator: "You stay under the radar and let things play out and roll with the punches, but of course there's some nerves there."
On attempting to secure his financial future during negotiations with the UFC: "I was pretty serious about the decision. Bellator made it interesting. Bjorn was a very professional guy and gave me a great deal in all aspects with fighting as well as being able to brand myself. I knew I could continue my legacy, and (Bellator fighters Michael) Chandler and (Eddie) Alvarez made it real interesting out of the gate. It was nerve-wracking, but I didn't feel like I was making a dumb decision. I was making a tough decision."
On the negotiations: "It becomes real easy when you know you're in the third quarter of your career and you have to think about your future. Once you put your emotions aside and know you have to think about your future, it becomes real easy. My future and security became my priority. Put your emotions aside and go about it as a normal business thing. At times, your emotions win out a bit in the end. You match things up and see what makes more sense. Once you do, it makes things a lot easier."
On his fight with Benson Henderson at UFC on FOX 7: "It was nice stepping in the octagon and doing that, fighting for the title and the experience. Now that I'm in this situation fighting for the title again, you better believe I want it and will do it way better this time. At the time, if I never got another chance again, I was OK with it. But now that I have another title shot, there's no way I'm going to take my foot off the gas pedal. I need that title to cement my legacy."
On a potential fight with Khabib Nurmagomedov: "Definitely, Khabib's on the list. Hopefully he takes a big look at this whole picture and it was never about him. I'd like to win the title and another three or four in a row and take it from there. I'm not trying to duck him. I respect him. Hopeflully our paths cross some day. Aldo's up there. You never know in this sport."