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UFC’s Gilbert Melendez Talks TUF 20, Tension With Anthony Pettis

Kelsey Mowatt

UFC

TUF 20 will debut on September 10th, and while the show will feature a new twist by determining the UFC’s women strawweight champ, it will also feature Gilbert Melendez and Anthony Pettis as coaches.

Sure, pretty much every season’s had coaches that are scheduled to fight each other, but this will set the stage for a bout between the UFC lightweight champ and the former Strikeforce champion. So, that’s an intriguing angle in of itself, if the strawweight competition wasn’t enough to draw you in.

Now, none of this necessarily means that the TUF fatigue many fans have is going to evaporate, but it might make some take a second, third or even fourth look at the show. There’s certainly a ton of talent booked to compete on the season. Guess we’ll find out soon enough.

Melendez appeared on the latest edition of “UFC Tonight” this week, and had this to say about the women and the upcoming season:

“They’re different creatures. These girls are real professionals and it was a pleasure working with them. You could see the emotion and passion. There was some snarling in there, and some bad blood. All these ladies wanted to be there and they delivered.”

And how did things go between him and Pettis? Who he will thrown down with at UFC 181 on December 6th?

“I do my talking in the cage,” said Melendez. “I try to be genuine on the show and focus on the ladies. We were standoffish.”

Melendez certainly is better known for his performances in the cage rather than trash talk, and has notable wins over the likes of Josh Thomson, Jorge Masvidal, and Tatsuya Kawajiri among others.

Then, there was also his mind blowing and unforgettable decision win over Diego Sanchez last October, which was on many people’s “Fight of the Year” lists. “El Nino” is currently ranked #1 in the UFC’s lightweight division.

When Pettis does face Melendez, he’ll be competing for the first time since last August, when he tapped out Benson Henderson to become lightweight champ (if you forgot, Henderson narrowly got by Melendez with a split decision victory last April).

A knee injury has sidelined the highlight reel striker ever since, who has only fought three times now since 2011.

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