By Evan Stoumbelis
Lightweight champion Anthony “Showtime” Pettis officially has an opponent set for his first title defense, Gilbert Melendez who will coach opposite Pettis on TUF 20 will step in the cage with Pettis in the UFC’s year end event which is likely to be on December 27th at UFC 182, however this has not been confirmed.
Pettis won the belt from Benson Henderson in August with an armbar submission, but has yet to defend his belt because he has been recovering from surgery to repair a torn PCL.
Melendez hasn’t seen the Octagon since his fight of the night performance against Diego Sanchez in October. After a series of contract negotiations the UFC brought Melendez back and slated him to coach against the lightweight champion on the Ultimate Fighter.