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Is there any chance the UFC lets Gilbert Melendez walk away?

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According to a Feb. 12 report from MMA Fighting, UFC President Dana White seems willing to let fast-rising lightweight contender Gilbert Melendez (22-3) walk away from the promotion.

The UFC has been trying to hammer out a new deal with Melendez for the past several months, but talks have apparently slowed to a near standstill.

"I'm done," White said. "It's not going well. I couldn't care less about it anymore. I like Gilbert Melendez, I don't like his management."

It probably doesn't help Melendez that his manager also manages former UFC champ Georges St-Pierre, a fighter the UFC has recently butted heads with.

"Being Georges St-Pierre's best friend, doesn't make you a good manager," White said of Melendez's manager, Rodolphe Beaulieu.

White apparently doesn't want to deal with Melendez's contract negotiations. He advised his manager to talk to Lorenzo Fertitta about it.

"If he (Melendez) wants to fight in the UFC, he better talk to (UFC co-owner) Lorenzo (Fertitta) quick," White said.

Analysis: Is there any chance the UFC actually lets Melendez test the open market? Probably not.

No matter how much money Melendez is looking for, it would be worth it for the UFC to pay up. The UFC is constantly looking for fighters who have an exciting standup striking style, and that's exactly what Melendez brings to the table.

He's coming off an epic "Fight of the Year" performance against Diego Sanchez, a bout where Melendez threw leather for 15 solid minutes.

It would be devastating for the UFC to let Melendez walk away to a top rival such as Bellator or the World Series of Fighting, just because of a contract disagreement.

This is a deal the UFC needs to hammer out as soon as possible.


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