Andrew Richardson-USA TODAY Spor
Gilbert Melendez is currently one of the Top 15 pound-for-pound fighters competing inside the Octagon, but he could soon be leaving the UFC for rival promotion Bellator MMA.
The former Strikeforce champion completed his contract with an exciting decision win over Diego Sanchez and has been negotiating since October.
Despite being one of the top contenders in the UFC lightweight division, Melendez recently agreed to terms with Bellator MMA, per the promotion's website. While the UFC will have a chance to match the contract, he might be leaving the world's premier MMA organization.
Although the UFC has many excellent contenders at 155 pounds, allowing a fighter like Melendez to join Bellator MMA would hurt the organization. It could even allow some to argue that Bellator MMA will have a lightweight division that is equally as impressive as UFC's at the top end.
Official UFC Pound-for-Pound Rankings
- Jon Jones
- Jose Aldo
- Renan Barao (+1)
- Cain Velasquez (-1)
- Demetrious Johnson
- Chris Weidman
- Anderson Silva
- Anthony Pettis
- Ronda Rousey
- Johny Hendricks
- Vitor Belfort
- Benson Henderson
- Gilbert Melendez (+1)
- Urijah Faber (-1)
- Alexander Gustafsson
Despite a second loss to Renan Barao, Urijah Faber remains one of the best in the bantamweight division. Still, his position behind Gilbert Melendez is warranted.
Having only lost in a controversial decision against Benson Henderson since joining the UFC roster, Melendez is now closer to a championship than Faber. Of course, he'll be eliminated from the UFC rankings altogether, if goes to Bellator MMA.
Now with two losses to Barao, Faber will need to go on another impressive run to earn another shot at a UFC championship. Even then, he might need someone else to dethrone Barao to be considered an intriguing title challenger again.
There were no bad calls in this edition of the pound-for-pound rankings.
Results and Upcoming Fights
UFC Fight Night 36 Pound-for-Pound Fights
UFC 170 Pound-for-Pound Fights
- No. 9 Ronda Rousey vs. Sara McMann