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Gilbert Melendez returning in May, camp wants B.J. Penn or Anthony Pettis

Cesar Gracie knows a lot about MMA, apparently including when Strikeforce lightweight champ Gilbert Melendez will fight next. One of Melendez’s core coaches, Gracie revealed the date of the 29-year old’s next fight.

“Gil is fighting May 19,” the BJJ wizard wrote on Twitter, adding two names he’s crossing his fingers for though neither actually happens to be signed to the organization’s roster. “I hope (B.J.) Penn or (Anthony) Pettis.”

The date lines up with the final of the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix between Josh Barnett and Daniel Cormier, rumored for San Jose, with Nate Marquardt also expected to debut at the summer event.

UFC President Dana White has been stated repeatedly the 20-2 Melendez was not likely to join the UFC anytime soon.  As such, Melendez may be hoping for a big name like Penn or even Pettis to help raise his stock in the division. Penn, a former double-divisional champion, has stuck to his retirement since losing to Nick Diaz last October while Pettis has become the odd man out at 155 in the UFC with champion Benson Henderon taking on Frankie Edgar in a rematch and Nate Diaz-Jim Miller fighting for top contendership in May.


  • Rece Rock says:

    Pettis is on track for another shot at the UFC LW championship if he can get another win while Bendo & Frankie rematch… why would he take on Melendez and risk losing and getting sent backwards and starting all over again? plus why would UFC risk sending Pettis to SF and risk a contender losing to the champ of a smaller promotion?

    and as far as Penn goes..if Zuffa can convince him to come back out of “retirement” the last thing they are going to do is give it away for free…

    As usual Gracie should stick to training fighters and NOT talking to media or Tweeting…

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  • AlphaOmega says:

    If Penn couldn’t be convinced to come back out of retirement for the Hawaii card, I don’t think he can be convinced to come back to fight Gilbert.

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  • fanoftna33 says:

    I dont see either happening, but damm would I like to see Gilbert vs Pettis, Gilbert vs Penn I have no interest in as we do not even know if Penn could be motivated enough to train hard for this. Pettis would make it a fight for 5 rounds and has the Power to end it quick.

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  • Paulo says:

    After the Dana and Showtime drama about production value on Strikeforce’s last card, I think it’s safe to say Dana would not do anything to help Showtime. Especially by loaning out a name as big as Penn to increase their viewer numbers. At this point, I think Dana is just hoping for Strikeforce to fail so he can take in the rest of their top fighters.

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  • MCM says:

    Agree with both Rece and Paulo. Gracie needs to keep his mouth shut, cause he comes across as knowing less about the MMA business side that most keyboard warriors *points to self*. And Paulo is dead on is saying that Dana won’t allow anyone over to SF on account of Showtime. Showtime is the only real reason that Gilbert isn’t in the UFC now anyway and unfortunately, Melendez will be the one who suffers for it.
    The next time we see Gilbert defend his belt with be a rubber match with the Punk.

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  • Richard Stabone says:

    Since we don’t get Pettis vs. Bendo for the next LW title bout, as I’d prefer, then I guess the next best thing will be Pettis vs. the winner of Diaz/Miller. And then I’d like to see Gil come over and take on Maynard.

    Problem is, this immediate rematch crap continues to jam up the LW division, so these other contender matchups leave the winners essentially running in place.

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  • MMA-LOGIC says:

    Why do people keep saying Gracie should watch his mouth? He is trying to get a fight for his fighter or at the very least promote his fighter. Hey guess what, it worked didnt it? Just look there is an article about him and we are all talking about him. Gee maybe he is not stupid.

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  • Rece and MCM…’re right, Gracie wont get either fighter for Gil’s next fight

    Logic-you’re right too, there’s nothing wrong with him Volleying for his fighter and promoting his fighter but not all promotion is good promotion. This article is a waste of bandwith in that way. Gil wont get anything out of this and he’ll be defending in a rubber match against Thomson….which is awesome.

    I would love to see Gil fight either guy and I hope that after Dana got into it with showtime that he’ll find a way to legally snatch Gil away from their jaws whether he wins or loses against the punk….neither one of those guys belong in SF, they belong with the best 155ers in the world, in the UFC

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