Dana White Talks Melendez/Bellator Deal: ‘Good for him… this is what everybody wanted.’
After a recent tirade on UFC Tonight, and the announcement that Bellator MMA and Gilbert Melendez agreed on a deal (though the UFC still retains matching rights), many assumed that UFC President Dana White would not be too happy with Melendez. However, when asked about the situation at a recent media scrum, White had nothing but good things to say about Melendez, stating:
“I like Gilbert, we’ll see what happens…Gilbert’s out there testing the market…Good for him. I don’t have any hard feelings for Gilbert Melendez. Not a big fan of the [management] that I was dealing with, but this happens some times. So you know what happens? I don’t deal with it.
White also took an opportunity to counter some of the recent criticisms of the UFC, claiming:
Here’s the thing that’s funny about that. It’s one or the other,” White said. “‘We’re a monopoly. Guys can’t make more money. [Gilbert] is out there, it’s free trade. He’s out there testing the waters and seeing what he’s worth. And now it’s a big fucking issue… He’s out there testing the fucking waters man, that’s how this shit works. Is it a bad thing? I thought this is what everybody wanted. And now This is a big fucking negative issue? I don’t get it.”
However, White did offer one warning to Gilbert in regards to signing with Bellator: “If [Gilbert] signs a deal with those guys he ain’t going anywhere, nobody can get out of those fucking deals they have.”