Gilbert Melendez said the altitude played a big part in why he lost to Eddie Alvarez two weeks ago. Had the UFC lightweight contender traveled to Mexico City earlier, much like Fabricio Werdum did, things could have been different.
But Melendez told Ariel Helwani on Monday's edition of The MMA Hour that leaving home for Mexico weeks earlier just was not practical from a financial perspective.
"I wish I could have been there a month earlier," Melendez said. "I wish I had a budget and pay that I could fly out all my training partners. Realistically, you can't just get out there five, six weeks early. Maybe Fabricio [Werdum] did it. It would have been tough to fly all my partners, my coaches who actually have the business at the gym. It just didn't make sense."
LINK: Gilbert Melendez says getting to Mexico City weeks early 'didn't make sense' financially - MMA Fighting
Although Ken Shamrock came up short in Friday’s Bellator 138 headliner against Kevin “Kimbo Slice” Ferguson, the 51-year-old MMA vet still seems to have some willing opponents.
In fact, one is a familiar foe: fellow UFC Hall of Famer Royce Gracie.
Gracie (14-2-3 MMA, 0-0 BMMA), who recently joined Bellator as a brand ambassador, hasn’t entered the cage since 2007. However, the 48-year-old early UFC star, who defeated Shamrock (28-16-2 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) at UFC 1 and fought him to a draw at UFC 5, is apparently willing to come out of semi-retirement.
Prior to Friday’s event in St. Louis, 51-year-old Shamrock spoke to Bellator President Scott Coker and mentioned he’d like to fight Shamrock again. When Gracie was told about the conversation, he was hardly dismissive of the idea.
“That’s good,” Gracie said with a laugh. “When you’re at the top, everyone wants to fight you.”
Admittedly, the possibility took a hit when Shamrock suffered a first-round TKO loss to Slice in the Spike TV headliner. But as Bellator has shown, MMA fans are clearly willing to watch familiar names – no matter their age or lack of recent activity.
Although Gracie talked about the hypothetical Shamrock fight on the condition he’d win on Friday, the loss might not be a deal-breaker. Gracie, after all, seems ready for a challenge.
“Body feels good, not injured, (I’m) healthy and same weight from 20 years ago,” he said.
Check out the above video as Gracie discusses Shamrock, Bellator, the organization’s upcoming single-night tournament, his own tourney history and more.
LINK: Royce Gracie vs. Ken Shamrock III? Gracie willing to do it in Bellator cage | MMAjunkie
The UFC’s newly signed strawweight Jessica Aguilar will have a tough test in her debut at UFC 190 against Claudia Gadelha in Brazil. Not only will she be the interloper in the situation with the partisan crowd in Rio pulling for Gadelha, but she’ll be going up against the woman whom many thought beat the current champion.
When Gadelha fought 115-pound champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk at UFC on FOX 13 last December, the Polish fighter won a narrow -- even controversial -- split decision. Less than three months later Jedrzejczyk dominated TUF 20 and inaugural strawweight champion Carla Esparza to win the belt in Dallas.
With Jedrzejeczyk set to defend the title next week at UFC Fight Night 69 in Berlin against Jessica Penne, Aguilar expects her fight with Gadelha to be for the No. 1 contender spot to face the winner. The erstwhile World Series of Fighting strawweight champ appeared on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour and talked about it.
"I am sure she’s pumped about it, Claudia, and we saw her last fight," Aguilar said. "I mean, in my eyes I think she won the fight. But, I do think that this is a contender fight and I am so pumped and excited about it."
Asked directly if she’s been informed by the UFC that it is definitively a title eliminator, Aguilar said no.
"They have not [told me that], but things can happen," she told Ariel Helwani. "They said it can happen if I go out there and do what I need to do and show my skills and then it might happen. But depending on what happens with Joanna and Jessica in a week, anything can happen and we’ll just go from there.
"But I’m looking at this fight for now, this is my championship fight. I am training like I’m fighting for the title. So, this is the fight I’m looking at right now."
The 33-year old Aguilar, who trains at American Top Team in Coconut Creek, Florida, was a prized free agent pick-up who signed with the UFC last Thursday. She is riding a 10-fight winning streak that spans back to her time with the now defunct Florida-based promotion, G-Force, through Bellator and eventually the WSOF.
Link to full story: Jessica Aguilar on UFC 190 debut against Claudia Gadelha: ‘I do think this is a contender fight’ - MMA Fighting
The head of the UFC in Brazil wants Chris Weidman defending his title in his country.
With six of his 13 MMA wins coming against Brazilians, the UFC middleweight champion will defend his title next against countryman Luke Rockhold, but Giovani Decker, general manager of the UFC in Brazil, wants to see the "Brazilian Killer" putting his title on the line in Brazil.
During the UFC 190 media day in Rio de Janeiro, Decker told the press that his dream match-up for a soccer stadium event at Maracana would be a title bout between Weidman and a Brazilian.
"Chris Weidman against Vitor (Belfort) or Lyoto (Machida) or Anderson (Silva) or (Ronaldo) ‘Jacare’ (Souza) at a sold-out Maracana," Decker said. "It would be the ‘Brazilian Killer’ feeling how is it like to fight at Maracana. Why not?"
Weidman, who has already defeated Belfort, Machida and Silva in the Octagon, faces Luke Rockhold in a yet-to-be-announced event.
"If Lyoto beats (Yoel) Romero, he’s back in the line, and we’ll see what happens with Anderson, and we can’t forget about Thales Leites. It’s a division full of Brazilians. We have to recognize that Weidman is a phenom, but a sold-out Maracana would be tough for him," Decker said.
The UFC is scheduled to return to Brazil on Aug. 1, with UFC 190 taking place at Rio de Janeiro’s HSBC Arena with Ronda Rousey vs. Bethe Correia as main event. According to Decker, the UFC returns to the country next in late September, with location yet to be determined, and early November, likely in Sao Paulo.
LINK to full story: UFC general manager wants ‘Brazilian Killer’ Chris Weidman defending title at Maracana - MMA Fighting
Main Card Results:
Joanna Jedrzejczyk defeated Jessica Penne by TKO (strikes), 4:22 of round 3
Tatsuya Kawajiri defeated Dennis Siver by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Peter Sobotta defeated Steve Kennedy by submission (rear naked choke), 2:57 of round 1
Nick Hein defeated Lukasz Sajewski by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Preliminary Card Results:
Makwan Amirkhani defeated Masio Fullen by submission (rear-naked choke), 1:41 of round 1
Mairbek Taisumov defeated Alan Patrick by TKO (punches), 1:30 of round 2
Arnold Allen defeated Alan Omer by submission (guillotine choke) 1:45 of round 3
Noad Lahat defeated Niklas Backstrom by majority decision (28-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Scott Askham defeated Antonio dos Santos Jr. by TKO (strikes), 2:52 of round 1
Magomed Mustafaev defeated Piotr Hallmann by TKO (doctor's stoppage), 3:24 of round 2
Taylor Lapilus defeated Yuta Sasaki by TKO (punches) - 1:22 of round 2
Kimbo Slice and Ken Shamrock delivered exactly what the fans came to see Friday night at Bellator 138.
Fans didn't come...
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