UFC president Dana White made a bit of a mistake at UFC 168’s post-fight media press-conference, causing some unnecessary problems for former Strikeforce champion Gilbert Melendez.
During the conference White revealed a poster which advertised UFC 170 and revealed some new fights for the card. The main event was announced between women’s champion Ronda Rousey, who defended her belt against Miesha Tate at UFC 168, and undefeated Olympic silver medalist Sarah Mcmann.
One more fight which the poster revealed was likely to be a co-main event bout between top lightweight contenders Melendez and undefeated Russian Khabib Nurmagomedov. Unfortunately for the UFC and Melendez, the fight was unable to be made. Resulting in White cancelling the match.
Somehow, this managed to create rumours among MMA media that Melendez, who Nurmagomedov had recently said he wanted to fight, was “scared” of being booked against “The Eagle”.
According to “El Niño’s” training partner, Jake Shields, Melendez wanted a fight with Nurmagomedov but never planned on fighting that early. Shields explained the situation recently to MMASucka.com.
“He’s okay. That was a fight that was never signed. It’s a fight he wants as well, it just didn’t fit in the time frame. I don’t think he ever planned on fighting that early, he was looking to fight in April. I think that fight is gonna happen, I just think the time frame was off for the February card.”
This isn’t the first time White has booked fighters for bouts without their consent and it probably won’t be the last. Still, it seems very unprofessional for the biggest MMA organization in the world to be booking it’s athletes for fights without their consent. All it does is create confusion for fans and media.
White caught fire from another one of Melendez’ training partners recently, for something similar. Nate Diaz made his feelings about White clear by calling him a piece of s**t on twitter. This came after Diaz found out the UFC president had tweeted saying he had turned down a potential fight with Nurmagomedov, which Diaz said was completely untrue.
For now however, Melendez and Nurmagomedov remain unbooked for their next fight, neither will compete at UFC 170 next month. What do you make of White’s recent actions?