Gilbert Melendez's October win over Diego Sanchez at UFC 166 was the final fight on his deal with the UFC, and he's been in contract negotiations since then. According to a report from Ariel Helwani on Wednesday's UFC Tonight program on Fox Sports 1, those negotiations aren't going well.
Per the report, UFC President Dana White is having a rough time with the negotiations with Melendez's manager, Rodolphe Beaulieu, who also manages Georges St-Pierre. White had some not kind things to say about Beaulieu, commenting that "being Georges St-Pierre's best friend doesn't make you a good manager."
White says he's "done" dealing with Beaulieu, and says Melendez needs to get in contact with Lorenzo Fertitta if he wants to fight in the UFC or he "better start looking elsewhere."
Penick's Analysis: It would be entirely short-sighted and a detriment to the UFC's lightweight field to not come to terms with Melendez. He's one of the most legitimate challengers they have on the 155 lb. roster right now, and is no more than a win away from title contention. Letting him walk would be ridiculous. This plays like White trying to undermine the job of a manager by trying to get Melendez to contact Fertitta about staying on, but we'll have to keep an eye on what happens here. Melendez needs to stay in the UFC, and they have to find a way to come to a deal with him.
By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief