Michael Chandler Calls out Gilbert Melendez to Bellator Title Fight

Dan HiergesellFeatured ColumnistFebruary 13, 2014

Nov 2, 2013; Long Beach, CA, USA;   Michael Chandler during his Bellator lightweight world championship fight against Eddie Alvarez (not pictured ) at the Long Beach Arena. Alvarez won the fight. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Spor

Gilbert Melendez is not finding it easy these days to sign a contract with the UFC.

As one of the very best lightweights in the world, "El Nino" is caught in a storm of epic proportions.

Hailing from his Strikeforce days, it took Melendez so long to get into the UFC.  So much so that people thought it would never happen.

Oct 19, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Gilbert Melendez (red gloves) fights against Diego Sanchez (blue gloves) in their lightweight bout during UFC 166 at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Richardson-USA TODAY Sports
Andrew Richardson-USA TODAY Spor

Two fights later, including a championship showdown with former divisional king Benson Henderson and a three-round barn burner opposite crazy-eyed Diego Sanchez, and Melendez is caught up in contract negotiations.

Now I'm sure the UFC is going to do everything in their power to retain one of their biggest draws at 155 pounds, but that hasn't stopped other world-class lightweights not gracing the UFC roster from adding their two cents.

Former Bellator titleholder Michael Chandler has done just that after taking to Twitter early Thursday morning:

If you remember, Chandler recently lost his lightweight belt to Eddie Alvarez back in November via split decision.  This of course came after Chandler submitted the 30-year-old Alvarez back in 2011 to capture his first world title.

The two are expected to cap off their scintillating trilogy sometime later this year, which will more than likely headline Bellator's first ever pay-per-view event.

But outside of Chandler vs. Alvarez III, how enticing would Chandler vs. Melendez be?

Honestly, very enticing.

Chandler is one of the pound-for-pound best athletes in the sport today with sensational wrestling skills and budding knockout power.  Not to mention he can submit an opponent when the opportunity presents itself.

As for Melendez, he's arguably the best technical boxer in the game right now, outside of maybe Junior dos Santos.  But as good as he is on his feet, the former Strikeforce standout possesses outstanding takedown defense and has never been finished in any one of his 25 professional bouts.

So while the UFC is the biggest platform in the world of mixed martial arts, Melendez does have options.  Outlets like Bellator have the talent and wallet size to grab his attention and hold it.

Stay tuned for more Melendez news as his contract dispute with the UFC plays out.


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