MMA News: Gilbert Melendez, Flyweight Division to UFC and More

During the post-fight press conference for UFC on Versus 6, Dana White revealed that the UFC was looking to bring over Strikeforce Lightweight Champion Gilbert Melendez, and that he may get an immediate title shot. “Yeah, we do want to bring Gilbert Melendez over, and we’re looking at it right now. We’re looking to bring Gilbert Melendez over ASAP…[An immediate title shot] is a possibility. The thing is with that division, it’s so stacked, there are a lot of possibilities. We’ll see what happens with the timing.”

Finally! Melendez was rumored to be fighting Jorge Masvidal sometime in December for Strikeforce, but with White saying they are looking to bring him over as soon as possible, that fight might not happen. And an immediate title shot will probably be predicated on whether or not the winner of Edgar/Maynard walks away relatively unscathed. If that happens, maybe that fight could be added to the year end show with Brocks Lesnar vs. Alistair Overeem. But that may be wishful thinking.

The Flyweight division (125lbs) is coming to the UFC sooner rather than later. This, according to Dana White. “We’re going to go out and start [signing] guys and bringing in guys we want to sign, and we’ll kick that that thing off. I don’t exactly how we’re going to do it yet, but we’re going to do it, and we’re going to do it soon. You’ll see guys from from 135 [lbs.] drop to 125 [lbs.]. Lots of guys will drop. There are lots of guys on ‘TUF’ who can drop to 125.” The eighth and final division is being added. I can see Joseph Benavidez and Demetrious Johnson dropping down another 10lbs to compete for this new title. Should be an exciting time.

Dana White told the press that Dominick Cruz defended his title with a broken hand. “You know one of the things I respect about the kid? He’s got a broken hand and had one the entire fight. He broke his [left] hand and is going to have surgery. Not only did he not stop fighting and keep coming up 100 percent, he doesn’t even [expletive] say anything about it.” That is impressive that Cruz was able to defeat Johnson with a broken hand. That definitely had something to do with his “off” night in the striking department. Kudos to you, Cruz.

The UFC shows that will take place on the same day in February 2012 will be staggered with one leading into the other, according to Dana White. “The fight in Japan would go live on free TV before the pay-per-view [in Las Vegas]. White also promised “stacked” fight cards for both events. It’s exactly as I suspected. No way Dana White was going to expect the American fans to pay for both events. And he said this is going to happen quite often. Full days of fight coming soon. Can’t wait! (Thought it’s going to add a lot more work for me.)

In recent interviews, Kurt Angle has talked about Dana White offering him a PPV slot against Kimbo Slice. But White said that’s simply not true. “What I offered him was, I said, ‘Come over here. I’ll put you on ‘The Ultimate Fighter.’ The season Kimbo Slice was on, I was going to put him on ‘The Ultimate Fighter.’ He wanted to do it…We worked out a deal, but he didn’t pass the medicals…I thought it would be interesting, and I thought it would be cool, but never once did I say, ‘We’re going to set up a pay-per-view match with you and Kimbo.’ That is not true.” I highly doubt Angle was promised a PPV slot against Kimbo Slice. Maybe if they both went through the house and never fought each other there, maybe the UFC would set that up. I think this is Angle’s way of keeping himself attached to his MMA dream.


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