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Gilbert Melendez Talks Coaching Females On TUF, New UFC Contract

Gilbert Melendez Talks Coaching Females On TUF, New UFC Contract

Former Strikeforce champion Gilbert Melendez didn’t go into detail of his new UFC contract, but “El Nino” sounds happy with his decision.

After months of negotiations, Melendez agreed to a deal with Bellator MMA. However, the UFC held matching rights, and did just that, resigning Melendez and giving him both a future UFC lightweight title shot and coaching spot on The Ultimate Fighter 20.

“I got fair market value on it, and I’m pretty happy,” said Melendez, who was a guest analyst on UFC Tonight Wednesday. “Anthony Pettis is an amazing champion. He’s been part of the evolution of the sport.

“But anyone I fight is going to become an enemy. I’m very competitive and he’s the same way.”

Melendez has gone 1-1 in his two UFC fights since coming over from Strikeforce, dropping a title match to then-champion Benson Henderson and defeating Diego Sanchez.

On the upcoming season of TUF, Melendez and Pettis will be coaching female strawweight competitors, who will be battling to become the first UFC 115-pound champion.

“I have two older sisters. My wife fought for Strikeforce and was a champion there,” Melendez said. “I’ve taught women in jiu-jitsu in my gym. They’re a different breed of people for sure. I enjoy it.

“These are the top-10 women in the world and we’re going to crown a champion. I’m really excited about it.”

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Fight Cards

Bellator 185: Mousasi vs. Shlemenko

Event Date: October 20, 2017
Broadcast: Spike

UFC Fight Night 118: Cerrone vs. Till

Event Date: October 21, 2017
Broadcast: TBD

UFC Fight Night 119: Brunson vs. Machida

Event Date: October 28, 2017
Broadcast: TBD

Bellator 186: Bader vs. Vassell

Event Date: November 3, 2017
Broadcast: Spike

UFC 217: Bisping vs. St-Pierre

Event Date: November 4, 2017
Broadcast: PPV, Fox Sports 1, UFC Fight Pass

Bellator 187: McKee vs. Moore

Event Date: November 10, 2017
Broadcast: Spike