clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Following sour contract negotiations, Dana White says Gilbert Melendez 'better start looking elsewhere'

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Fight fans eagerly awaiting the Octagon return of Gilbert Melendez should probably begin preparing themselves for disappointment.

Melendez's Zuffa contract expired following his win over Diego Sanchez in October 2013, and according to a report from Ariel Helwani on UFC Tonight, after several months of negotiations to hammer out a new deal for Melendez, talks have all but stalled.

"I'm done," UFC President Dana White told Helwani. "It's not going well. I couldn't care less about it anymore. I like Gilbert Melendez, I don't like his management."

Melendez's manager is none other than Rodolphe Beaulieu, the man who also manages former UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre.

"Being Georges St-Pierre's best friend, doesn't make you a good manager," White said of Beaulieu.

"If he (Melendez) wants to fight in the UFC, he better talk to (UFC co-owner) Lorenzo (Fertitta) quick."

Beaulieu did not immediately respond to requests to comment on the situation.

Melendez (22-3) is currently the promotion's No. 2 ranked lightweight and No. 14 ranked pound-for-pound fighter, according the official UFC rankings.

A longtime titleholder in Strikeforce, Melendez saw his seven-fight win streak snapped when he lost an extremely controversial decision to then-UFC champion Benson Henderson in mid-2013.

Melendez earned a reported $175,000 salary to show that night, a carryover from his old Strikeforce contract. He then followed up the performance by staging an incredible three-round brawl against Sanchez at UFC 166 -- a contest White called "one of the best fights I've ever seen."

"In the 13 years of being in this company, we've seen some amazing fights. I don't think I've ever seen a fight like that. That fight was insane," White gushed at UFC 166's post-fight press conference.

Nonetheless it appears as if the honeymoon is over, as White issued some stark advice to Melendez's camp in the event that the two sides remain unable to work out a deal.

"He better start looking elsewhere," said the UFC President.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Fighting Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Fighting