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.
Here are the new coaches for the next season of The Ultimate Fighter http://t.co/7iUMzsKSc0
— Dana White (@danawhite) February 24, 2014
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.
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.