Former Bellator MMA lightweight champion and newly signed UFC fighter Eddie Alvarez and UFC lightweight contender Gilbert Melendez could have potentially fought before in a couple of different organizations. But the match-up never came to fruition. Alvarez has alleged that Melendez has been avoiding him for all these years.
In an interview with MMAFighting.com in March, Alvarez laid out his evidence to support his claim that Melendez has avoided a fight with him after Melendez opted to re-up with the UFC rather than accept an offer from Bellator.
“Gilbert doesn’t want to come anywhere where I’m at. Gilbert don’t ever want to sign with a company where I’m at,” said Alvarez.
“Gilbert had the opportunity in the Dream tournament, he didn’t. He had the opportunity to sign with Bellator and go into a Bellator tournament, he didn’t. And now he had the opportunity to come to Bellator where I am,” continued the 30-year-old Philadelphia native. “He doesn’t want to come where I am. He’s a phony. It’s a façade. It’s a mask. He says he wants to fight me. He doesn’t want to fight me.”
A bout against Alvarez has long interested Melendez, but the 32-year-old Californian is a prize fighter that signed with the organization that could pay him the most.
“(Alvarez) acts like it’s real personal and stuff. I just wanted to fight him because he was no. 1 in the world. At this point, I don’t feel that’s the case. I haven’t really been thinking about him for the last couple of years, to be honest,” Melendez told MMAWeekly.com.
“Maybe our paths will cross now and we can do it. I’m not scared, at all, of that guy. I think he’s lost a little pep in his step, if you ask me, over the last couple of years. I thought Michael Chandler beat him the last time too. That’s how I see that,” said the top UFC lightweight contender.
Alvarez is scheduled to face Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone in the UFC 178 co-main event on Sept. 27, while Melendez is set to face Pettis in the UFC 181 co-main event on Dec. 6.