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View Full Version : 8 things we can learn from Gilbert Melendez signing with Bellator


VCURamFan
02-19-2014, 03:42 PM
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From MiddleEasy.com (By Zeus onSaturday, 15 February 2014 09:42):
Now that I'm single, especially on Valentine's Day, I have an abundant amount of time to write pseudo-analytical pieces on MMA while taking occasional breaks to spy on my neighbors. Whenever you guys see an article from me after 3:00 am, it's solely due to being up late trying to listen in on what my adjacent-door neighbors are up to. From what I can discern in the weeks of my half-assed surveillance, they're either working in conjunction with Dr. Wily to recreate a life-sized Bubble Man to terrorize Beverly Hills, or they've just stumbled upon a surplus of the greatest hybrid marijuana Southern California has seen in the past decade.

Earlier today Bellator announced the promotion has entered into a deal with former (current?) UFC lightweight animal Gilbert Melendez, a deal contingent only if the UFC denies to match Bellator's offer. Naturally this sparked more than a few 'OMG' and 'WTFs?!' all across the interwebs. Before you develop your opinion on the ordeal and drunkenly tell your MMA buds over the weekend, perhaps you should check out this list of what I believe are eight things we can learn from Gilbert Melendez signing with Bellator.

8.) Gilbert Melendez is a genius negotiator

Hey guys. As soon as I was a free agent, I had my team call Bellator, and Bjorn made an amazing offer that would allow me to reach my goals
- @GilbertMelendez (https://twitter.com/GilbertMelendez)If the UFC wants me they have the right to match. Ill let the fans know more as soon as it's settled.
- @GilbertMelendez (https://twitter.com/GilbertMelendez)
The phrase 'Win/Win' gets thrown around a lot in MMA, especially when one option is clearly a gargantuan loss. Some people said that Fedor getting atomic dropped on his head by Kevin Randleman was a 'win/win' for The Last Emperor because it showed: 1.) How impossible to defeat he was in Pride FC 2.) Created one of the most memorable moments in MMA history. Sure that's great, until people realize that regardless of those two scenarios, it still does not negate the fact that Fedor was friggin' slammed directly on his head. Fedor probably cleared every Aspirin bottle in Stary Oskol, Russia that month.

For Gilbert Melendez however, it is truly a win/win. When the UFC purchased Strikeforce, Melendez's contract rolled over into the UFC which meant he was getting pretty decent six-figure paydays per fight. Naturally the UFC wanted to pay less, which forced this entire contractual dispute. Melendez has an offer he feels comfortable with in Bellator and he still has a chance to fight two 155 lbers that are top five in the world -- or he could go back to UFC for more of what he wanted from Bellator and still have a chance to fight at least two 155 lbers that are top five in the world.

7.) The entire Cesar Gracie camp are genius negotiators

The Cesar Gracie team = savviest in MMA. Nick leveraged boxing, Shields leveraged Strikeforce, Gil leverages Bellator. Title shots for all.
- @RJcliffordMMA (https://twitter.com/RJcliffordMMA)
This isn't some one-time phenomenon with Melendez getting the upper hand on UFC and Strikeforce. Those Cesar Gracie guys have been doing it for years. Remember when Nick was toying around with the idea of leaving MMA for boxing until Scott Coker placed a large sum of cash directly in his vicinity? What about when Jake Shields was trying to get more cash from Strikeforce and even appeared at the WEC Aldo vs. Faber event (http://cdn2.sbnation.com/imported_assets/440569/shields-white_medium_medium.jpg)with Dana White? Oh, and what did they get for their crafty behavior? Title shots. All of them.

6.) Unfortunately the UFC will probably not match Gilbert's contract offer

Can't remember UFC matching a contract offer. Only guy they ever missed was Arlovski and didn't match his offer in 2008.
- @FrontRowBrian (https://twitter.com/FrontRowBrian)

The last time the UFC bowed to a promotion, it was Pride FC and they eventually bought them out, cherry picked their fighters, and let the entire promotion collapse in the ultimate 'F You' to the former owners. In the promotion's ZUFFA history, there has never been a time when the UFC has matched a contract from any competing organization. The general consensus is once you're trying to get a better offer out of the UFC by using a second party, you're out the door -- and usually forever.

5.) The MMA world's perception of Bellator just shifted dramatically

Crazy to see how fast perception changes in MMA. Bellator "sucked" at the end of their last season. Now they're heroes.
- @cagepotatomma (https://twitter.com/cagepotatomma)
This time last year everyone wanted to throw Bjorn Rebney in The Bog of Eternal Stench (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lG__upqGgRY) when it was revealed that he refused to let go of Eddie Alvarez in hopes that he would stay with Bellator. Alvarez missed out on a potential seven-figure payday from the UFC because of it, and there was nearly a boycott of Spike TV (MMA fans are ravenous -- if Jesus came back to Earth, MMA fans would just kill him again).

Now in 2014 with Bellator signing Gilbert Melendez, everyone sees Bellator as a safe haven for fighters that are essentially disgruntled workers of the colossal corporate machine known as UFC. People are actually rooting for Bellator to succeed. Imagine that.

4.) Are we seeing the rise of Bellator?

Makes you wonder where @BellatorMMA (https://twitter.com/BellatorMMA) is going to be a year from now...
- @Shamownage (https://twitter.com/Shamownage)
Great question. No one thought Bellator would still be in the MMA scene by the end of 2011 -- but here they are, well into their triple-digit events and they're starting to build some recognizable talent and acquiring established fighters. Could 2014 be the year Bellator shifts the MMA landscape in their favor? No idea -- but Spike TV really should just go with the science show that I pitched to them a few weeks ago. Now work on that, Viacom execs. You heard me.

3.) Bellator is aggressively going after free agents

@SBNLukeThomas (https://twitter.com/SBNLukeThomas) Best thing to happen for UFC fighters is Bellator aggressively going after free agents.
- @davemeltzerWON (https://twitter.com/davemeltzerWON)
We're not sure what came first: Gilbert Melendez openly talking about how disappointed he was in his UFC contract negotiations or Bellator swooping down and offering him a deal. Both events happened rather simultaneously, which just goes to show that Bellator is interested in acquiring talent by any means necessary, and their free agent game is strong right now. We're talking about Patrick Ewing vs. Dikembe Mutumbo in the paint (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SkW90yNoQPM)strong.

2.) Now is the perfect time to get rid of the tournament format

I would love for Bellator to 1. Get rid of the stupid tournaments and 2. Make big offers to free agents. Livens everything up.
- @jeremybotter (https://twitter.com/jeremybotter)@jeremybotter (https://twitter.com/jeremybotter) 1. STOP WITH THE TOURNAMENTS!!!!!! 2. SERIOUSLY, STOP WITH THE F'IN TOUNRMENTS!! 3. i like pizza.
- @ekc (https://twitter.com/ekc)
Hey guys, we all know Gilbert Melendez isn't signing with Bellator to take place in a friggin' lightweight tournament, so let's stop kidding ourselves. Bellator tournament participants get $7,000 a fight, and a hope at getting $100,000 if they win their next three fights. While $7,000 a fight is pretty standard for lower-middle-tier professional MMA fighters across the planet, the same will simply not apply to Gilbert Melendez. In the scientific world, if one law does not apply to everything, then it's thrown out completely and disregarded. Bellator should apply that same principle to their tournament format and dispose of it immediately. While we're at it, let's get rid of the concept of 'seasons.'

MMA is not Project Runway.

1.) If Melendez is let go, the UFC doesn't care about the best fighting the best

Letting Melendez go to Bellator means the UFC doesn't care about the best fighting the best.
- @cagepotatomma (https://twitter.com/cagepotatomma)
Not saying Melendez is No. 1 at LW, but he's among the best. If Bellator lands him, it will alter the landscape in a significant way.
- @jeffwagenheim (https://twitter.com/jeffwagenheim)
The MMA world should have questioned if the UFC was truly concerned with the best fighting the best when in 2008 (and all the way up until 2011) the UFC simply could not sign the greatest in the world, Fedor Emelianenko. Sure M-1 had a lot of knucklehead demands, but there was an extraordinary amount of ego from the UFC's part that prevented the GOAT from proving that he was truly the GOAT.

He would have Fujita'd Brock Lesnar (http://i1080.photobucket.com/albums/j338/MysticNinjaJay02/overeem_ko_fujita.gif), if you're still wondering.

Last year we also saw an indicator that perhaps entertainment reigns over talent in the UFC when the promotion refused to sign Ben Askren, a guy that has dominated every opponent he's faced (although Jay Hieron may have umbrage with that) in the welterweight division. Now in February 2014, we see relatively the same thing with Gilbert Melendez packing up his stuff and moving to Bellator. El Nino is a top-five lightweight, and he has been since he ruled the mountain in Strikeforce. With Gil erased from the UFC 155 lb division, it will leave a void in the promotion -- but more importantly it will leave a giant question mark in this current era of MMA history.

Bonus: Oh, and we can finally see the EA Sports MMA prophecy fulfilled: Gilbert Melendez vs. Eddie Alvarez

But really we already saw Gilbert Melendez defeat Eddie Alvarez, and he was five shots of tequila in when he did it.

http://youtu.be/7ga9ABnpyE8

rearnakedchoke
02-19-2014, 03:48 PM
i think the ufc are going to tie this up again in court ... its the smart move ... put an offer they feel is a match, same thing they did with alvarez ... it will have the potential to be tied up in the courts that gil won't get paid and will have no choice but to move back to the ufc ... or the ufc could just let gil go ... we'll see

VCURamFan
02-19-2014, 03:55 PM
i think the ufc are going to tie this up again in court ... its the smart move ... put an offer they feel is a match, same thing they did with alvarez ... it will have the potential to be tied up in the courts that gil won't get paid and will have no choice but to move back to the ufc ... or the ufc could just let gil go ... we'll see
You've got it backwards, RNC. Bellator's the one that tied it up in court last time. Eddie wanted to come to leave, UFC made him an offer, the Eddie & Bellator went to court over whether or not the terms actually matched. UFC had nothing to do with it after making him an offer.

That doesn't mean that they won't end up doing the same thing to Gil, just that the roles are/might be reversed. Honestly, though, the UFC's never held people to the matching before & I don't think that the UFC's gonna make a big stink about it.

rearnakedchoke
02-19-2014, 04:24 PM
You've got it backwards, RNC. Bellator's the one that tied it up in court last time. Eddie wanted to come to leave, UFC made him an offer, the Eddie & Bellator went to court over whether or not the terms actually matched. UFC had nothing to do with it after making him an offer.

That doesn't mean that they won't end up doing the same thing to Gil, just that the roles are/might be reversed. Honestly, though, the UFC's never held people to the matching before & I don't think that the UFC's gonna make a big stink about it.

yeah ... bellator is the one who tied it up ... somehow i don't think its cut and dry about matching rights etc ... on another forum they are talking about gil getting ppv points at bellator .. when is the last time bellator had a ppv? the ufc imo would be able to get around that pretty easily ...

VCURamFan
02-19-2014, 05:16 PM
yeah ... bellator is the one who tied it up ... somehow i don't think its cut and dry about matching rights etc ... on another forum they are talking about gil getting ppv points at bellator .. when is the last time bellator had a ppv? the ufc imo would be able to get around that pretty easily ...
That's what the problem was last time. Bellator took the UFC's contract & just replaced "UFC" & "Zuffa" with "Bellator" & "Viacom", but they'd never done a PPV & so Eddie was trying to prove that there's no way it could be an equal match.

In this case, if Zuffa does the same thing in reverse, it'll be a much stronger offer to Gil. A huge step-up for him. It'll be interesting to see if they try to low-ball him and, if taken to court, claim that whatever they offered is worth more than Bellator's imaginary PPV points.

rearnakedchoke
02-19-2014, 07:26 PM
That's what the problem was last time. Bellator took the UFC's contract & just replaced "UFC" & "Zuffa" with "Bellator" & "Viacom", but they'd never done a PPV & so Eddie was trying to prove that there's no way it could be an equal match.

In this case, if Zuffa does the same thing in reverse, it'll be a much stronger offer to Gil. A huge step-up for him. It'll be interesting to see if they try to low-ball him and, if taken to court, claim that whatever they offered is worth more than Bellator's imaginary PPV points.

i hope the ufc makes him an offer ... i understood not making an offer to askren, but gil is proven .. i think gil wants to stay in the ufc .. he just needs cesar to stop flapping his gums right now and just let the ufc deal with the ball as its in their court!

VCURamFan
02-19-2014, 07:31 PM
i hope the ufc makes him an offer ... i understood not making an offer to askren, but gil is proven .. i think gil wants to stay in the ufc .. he just needs cesar to stop flapping his gums right now and just let the ufc deal with the ball as its in their court!
Well Caesar's not his manager: his manager's the same dude that manages GSP. Which is prolly why Dana's already so ticked with him.

rearnakedchoke
02-19-2014, 09:34 PM
Well Caesar's not his manager: his manager's the same dude that manages GSP. Which is prolly why Dana's already so ticked with him.

haha .. true ... i was more talking about how cesar tweeted that dana needs to watch out or his whole crew might up and leave for bellator .. something like that .. this should be fun to watch ...

VCURamFan
02-19-2014, 09:37 PM
haha .. true ... i was more talking about how cesar tweeted that dana needs to watch out or his whole crew might up and leave for bellator .. something like that .. this should be fun to watch ...
O snap, I didn't read those tweets! Hahaha
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