MELENDEZ AGREES TO NEW CONTRACT; WILL COACH THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER VS. PETTIS

Feb 26, 2014
(PRESS RELEASE) -- Las Vegas, Nev. – The Ultimate Fighting Championship® announced tonight that No. 2 ranked lightweight contender Gilbert Melendez has agreed to a new contract with the organization. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Melendez will now coach against UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis on season 20 of The Ultimate Fighter®. The two will then meet for the UFC lightweight title later this year.

The show, which will begin filming in May and premiere on FOX Sports 1 on Sept. 10, features the launch of the UFC women’s 115-pound weight class. The winner of this season of The Ultimate Fighter® will be crowned the UFC strawweight division’s inaugural champion.

The Ultimate Fighter® is the longest-running sports reality show on television, with The Ultimate Fighter Nations: Canada vs. Australia currently airing Wednesdays on FOX Sports 1. The next international edition of The Ultimate Fighter® will feature fighters from Latin America, with the premiere set for summer 2014. Melendez is slated to make a special guest appearance on the show and broadcast plans will be announced in the weeks to come.

For more information or current fight news, visit www.ufc.com. All bouts live and subject to change.

About the Ultimate Fighting Championship® Universally recognized for its action-packed, can’t-miss events that have sold out some of the biggest arenas and stadiums across the globe, the UFC® is the world’s premier mixed martial arts (MMA) organization. Owned and operated by Zuffa, LLC, headquartered in Las Vegas and with offices in London, Toronto, Sao Paulo, Beijing and Singapore, UFC produces more than 30 live events annually and is the largest pay-per-view event provider in the world. In 2012, the UFC burst into the mainstream with a landmark seven-year broadcast agreement with FOX Sports Media Group. The agreement includes four live events broadcast on the FOX network annually, with additional fight cards and thousands of hours of programming broadcast on FOX properties FOX Sports 1 and FOX Sports 2. This also includes the longest-running sports reality show on television, The Ultimate Fighter®, which airs on FOX Sports 1.

In addition to its reach on FOX, UFC programming is broadcast in over 145 countries and territories, to nearly 882 million TV households worldwide, in 28 different languages. UFC content is also distributed commercially in the United States to bars and restaurants through Joe Hand Promotions, in English throughout Canada via Premium Sports Broadcasting Inc. and Australia via Main Event and in French throughout Quebec via Interbox. The UFC also connects with tens of millions of fans through its website, UFC.com, as well as social media sites Facebook and Twitter. UFC President Dana White is considered one of the most accessible and followed executives in sports, with more than 2.7 million followers on Twitter. Ancillary UFC businesses include best-selling DVDs and video games, an internationally distributed magazine, UFC.TV offering live event broadcasts and video on demand around the world, a new franchise in development with EA, UFC GYM®, UFC Fight Club affinity program, UFC Fan Expo® festivals, branded apparel and trading cards.

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