Gilbert Melendez feels he is better than Anthony Pettis 'In a bunch of different dimensions'

Andrew Richardson-USA TODAY Spor

Gilbert Melendez feels he received 'fair market value' on his new UFC deal, which will begin with a shot at UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis

On October 19, 2013 Gilbert Melendez defeated Diego Sanchez by unanimous decision at UFC 166. The three round contest was labeled an instant classic and captured "Fight of the Night" honors for the event, earning each fighter an extra $60,000. The fight also marked the expiration of Melendez's deal with the UFC.

Several months passed, and when the two sides were unable to come to an agreement on a new deal, Melendez (22-3) dipped his toe in the free agent waters. It didn't take long for Bellator to offer Melendez a contract to fight with their organization. Melendez and his camp must have liked what they saw from Bellator because they signed the deal.

UFC contracts are written with a matching clause, so the UFC had to then decide, do they let Melendez, one of the top fighters at lightweight go to a competitor or do they match the offer and retain his services. In the end, the UFC matched the offer.

Melendez appeared on MMAJunkie Radio and refused to talk specifics on his new contract, but did offer, "You can just say, I got taken care of and leave it at that. I feel like I got fair market value, and there's plenty of fighters out there who deserve fair market value."

The first fight for Melendez on his new deal will be a title fight against UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis (17-2). That fight will come after Melendez and Pettis serve as coaches on season 20 of The Ultimate Fighter.

When that fight does occur, on the UFC's end of 2014 card, Melendez will be out of action for more than a year. That layoff is something that doesn't concern the former Strikeforce champion in the least, "I could see if you're not in the gym and you take a whole year off, and you don't train. Then you can become pretty rusty, but I stay in the gym and help my buddies out, and it's just something I do. I'll definitely be ready - I'm always ready."

When talking about his opponent, Melendez said he feels Pettis is a great fighter with a creative striking game, but he added, "It's nothing I fear at all. I feel quite confident in this matchup, and I think stylistically this is the matchup I've been wanting for a long time."

Pettis' kicks have become his signature, earning him "Knockout of the Night" honors in two of his last three UFC bouts. When the subject of those kicks came up, Melendez seemed unconcerned, "I'm not scared of those kicks at all, and I think I can walk right through them. He's good at what he does, but I think I'm better in a bunch of different dimensions."

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Bloody Elbow

You must be a member of Bloody Elbow to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Bloody Elbow. You should read them.

Join Bloody Elbow

You must be a member of Bloody Elbow to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Bloody Elbow. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_5349_tracker