Melendez re-signs with UFC, gets TUF coaching spot and title shot

February 23, 2014

MMA Fighting reports that Gilbert Melendez will remain with the UFC as it has matched the contract offered by Bellator. In addition, Dana White announced that Melendez will be the next coach on TUF opposite Anthony Pettis with the two meeting for Pettis’ title.

Dana White made a subtle announcement via twitter attaching the UFC press release announcing Melendez’s re-signing and that he would be a coach on Season 20 of TUF opposite Pettis.  As you may recall, TUF 20 will feature the 115 pound strawweight women’s division.  The press release states the show will debut September 10th.

MMA Fighting identifies some key issues with Melendez’s new UFC contract:

Per the terms of the agreement, according to several sources, Melendez’s deal guarantees that at least 75 percent of the 31-year-old’s fights will be contested on pay-per-view moving forward. Additionally, income earned from Melendez’s contracted pay-per-view points will kick in at a lower minimum buy rate than for any contract in UFC history, meaning Melendez will still earn pay-per-view point earnings on an event that performs poorly at the box office.

Regardless of Melendez’s placement on the card, he will receive his PPV points.

While no terms of the deal have been released, the article indicates Melendez’s UFC contract will make him one of the highest paid fighters in MMA.

Payout Perspective:

Not only does Melendez get a very good PPV upside package, he ensures that most of his fights will be on PPV and he gets an immediate title shot while getting exposure on TV.

Although Bellator loses out on Melendez, it shows a newfound strategy in attempting to acquire top-notch UFC talent.  The UFC matched the offer which was likely much more beneficial for Melendez than whatever the last offer the UFC gave him before the Bellator signing.  This has to put the UFC on notice that it will no longer have as much negotiating leverage as it once had.

Based on the intriguing contract details revealed in the article, we might see more fighters seeking representation from more traditional sports and entertainment agencies.  It was clear that Dana White was not happy with Melendez’s reps which included Rodolphe Beaulieu (GSP’s agent) and CAA.  Still, they got the job done and the contract terms appear to be advantageous for Melendez since it’s one of the most lucrative in MMA.  Certainly the contract reveal will be taken notice by all others in the MMA business.

MMA Payout will have more as details develop.

16 Responses to “Melendez re-signs with UFC, gets TUF coaching spot and title shot”

  1. Logical on February 23rd, 2014 11:16 PM

    The good news is that this gives more leverage to fighters, and Dana White has to pretty much eat crow at his failed bullying tactics. The bad news is that TUF is up for another season.

  2. michael on February 24th, 2014 12:29 AM

    gil in ufc good.
    gil on tuf bad.

  3. Diego on February 24th, 2014 7:53 AM

    Logical and michael – I agree on both.

    It’s great that there’s another org out there that is willing to compete for talent. It means fighters can get more money and Gil’s contract is proof. (So are Fedor’s, Werdum’s, Overeem’s, Dan Henderson’s, Nick Diaz’, etc.)

    I don’t know what TUF does for Gil or Pettis at this point. It seems that no one is watching anymore, and it means we have to wait forever for the title fight to happen. Also, what the hell happened to Aldo-Pettis? I thought that was a done deal, we have Dana’s word, guarantee.

    Last point: If Dana hates your reps, they’re probably doing their job.

    Last last point: This is why Cesar Gracie should have kept his nose out of it. You never know where your guys are going to end up, and making negotiations more personal and bitter than they absolutely need to be works against everyone. Notice that we never heard in public from Beaulieu and CAA.

  4. Sampson Simpson on February 24th, 2014 8:19 AM

    Shift is happening

  5. Diego on February 24th, 2014 8:40 AM


    Shift to what exactly?

  6. Jeremy on February 24th, 2014 4:12 PM

    Unless his base is over 600k AND his PPVs do huge numbers, it will not make him one of the highest paid. It seems likely the info came from Gil’s camp and they certainly want to present that Gil is a top guy.

    But with the pay of Jones, Cain, JDS, Silva, Weidman and others, does anyone really thing Gil is going to make the same as them?

    Not a chance. More than other LWs? I can buy that, But I don’t, for a second, think that Bellator was offering a couple million dollar signing bonus and 400K+ fight pay. I do think this puts him in a similar position as guys like BJ Penn, who also gets a ppv cut for every fight.

    But just how many guys is Bellator willing to offer big money to? And how many can they afford to actually sign?

  7. Random Dude on February 24th, 2014 4:59 PM

    They put Melendez on TUF so they can limit him from collecting on his new contract. The less Melendez fights, the less money he will get from his contract. Remember Hector Lombard who also gets PPV points? When he bombed in his first UFC fight in the co-main he has never been back on a PPV card again (FS1 for UFC 166).

    Plus they may give him a string of fights they feel he will lose, like his upcoming match against Pettis, so they can give him the boot or make him renegotiate for a lower contract.

    I think Melendez will have a hard time getting the full value out of his new UFC contract.

  8. BrainSmasher on February 24th, 2014 5:59 PM

    The fans get screwed again. Let this sink in fans. You are letting the fake fans out there screw you. When the dust clears they will be gone and it will be us left with the product. A new trend of fighters not wanting to fight on TV and like boxing are only wanting PPV. This punishes the fans and as more fighters do it the UFC becomes unable to give us any good fighters on tv. All whiles the fake fans cheering them on and claim its a good thing. Wake Up!

    I don’t believe Gilbert is getting any record contract. IF he gets his PPV cut at an earlier number. That doesn’t mean he is getting the same amount per PPV sold. Also its a major spin for who ever tries to claim this makes him one of the highest paid. What position on the card does he have to be to get a cut? How much per PPV? How many PPV’s are sold? 1 of these cant be answered to even know what his pay is. If he loses and doesn’t on the main event and or the event doesn’t sell. He makes nothing.

    I also don’t believe the UFC matched the offer of BFC. Why haven’t we heard what BFC offered? Anyone would have to be stupid to leave the UFC. Any amount even in the ball park of BFC would be enough to get someone to sign. The perks of being in the UFC are worth a lot of money and carry on for a lifetime.

  9. AK on February 24th, 2014 6:02 PM

    Though I’m glad he stays, this is a retarded move by the UFC from a business sense. Why, WHY set the precedent, especially with the PPV points? Gil’s not that big of a draw. And let’s not even get started on TUF. Is DFW really that ignorant and blind to all the TUF hate? For one, the fight will take forever to happen because of TUF, and it may never happen at all if Pettis gets injured again. Hence, it keeps both fighters on the sidelines for nothing for 6 months to a year.

  10. zasassin on February 24th, 2014 7:21 PM

    Gil earned $175k flat v Hendo and $175k +60 win bonus v Sanchez. I doubt Belatore or the UFC were offering that, but Belatore could structure a deal that made the UFC pay more than they wanted.
    Educated guess on the contract:
    4 yr 8 fight deal
    $75k/$50k structure with 10k added to both ends after each win. $25k added to front end for title fight, and $50k/$25k immediate bump if he wins the title with contract dropping back down if he loses it.
    He ovs gets money for the TV gigs and a shot on Fox/FS1/Fight path commentating opportunities at a fixed fee.
    The Reem contract started at 250k PPV buys, so this one prob starts at 200k or 225k at a low level with escalations (example $1 per PPV buy over $200k, $2/over 300k buys, $2.5/over 400k buys and $3/over 500k buys.
    With that structure, unless he is the champ he will be put on weak PPV cards (ie the last Rousy card or headlining himself in non-title fight).

    Just my take. Gil thinks he is the next big thing so is looking at the upside while UFC gets flexibility and protects itself on the downside.

  11. zasassin on February 24th, 2014 7:30 PM

    Sorry, likely error. He had 60k FON bonus not win bonus v Sanchez.

  12. Sampson Simpson on February 24th, 2014 7:55 PM

    The inevitable shift. The shift that boxing went through in the early 1900s…

    History will repeat itself except for the fact that MMA has no international legs compared to boxing

  13. BrainSmasher on February 24th, 2014 9:27 PM

    AK, I agree. I don’t think Gil has much value. HE could come in handy in their plans to go to Mexico. But I think he has less appeal than Eddie Alverez. At least Eddie was anew face. Not someone who already has a few fights and didn’t come through in his title shot and hasn’t looked that good at all imo. I wouldn’t pay him more than 150K to show. I also don’t expect him to be getting big money on PPV cuts either. I think he took a lessor amount to get it to kick in sooner. Which is a pretty good idea for him. Because atleast he gets something. But to give him a title shot, coaching spot, and a bigger contract with PPV points when he isn’t even champion. Way to much and not a good precedent to set. He doesn’t have a belt or the fan base to warrant PPV points.

  14. Random Dude on February 25th, 2014 8:53 AM

    The UFC can’t let guys like Melendez go. You can’t claim to be the best MMA organization and let fighters like Melendez leave.

  15. Diego on February 25th, 2014 11:25 AM


    There’s a very simple way for the UFC to encourage more fighters to fight on TV rather than PPV – pay them more. Boxers fighting on HBO or Showtime get 7 figures. If you know you’re getting $1-2M base, it’s not as important to fight on PPV. In fact, contrary to your statement, most boxers don’t fight on PPV. But when you’re getting $55/$55 (like Rousey) you definitely want those PPV points.

    Don’t put the blame on the fighter as if he’s trying to screw over the fans. Gil is smartly trying to maximize his earnings. The promotion bears some of the blame for guys wanting to fight on PPV, in the US, etc.

  16. Sampson Simpson on February 25th, 2014 5:19 PM

    A lot of these HBO fights also get additional international television money as well… UFC gets peanuts for its international rights… nobody wants the lame product

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