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UFC's Gilbert Melendez gets 'TUF,' Anthony Pettis and a title shot

UFC's Gilbert Melendez gets 'TUF,' Anthony Pettis and a title shot
Gilbert Melendez (UFC)

Gilbert Melendez, the San Jose-based Ultimate Fighting Championship second-ranked lightweight, has struck a contract deal with the organization.

Melendez will participate in "The Ultimate Fighter," a reality television series, against champion Anthony Pettis, and then the pair will fight each other later this year, according to the UFC.

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The deal was announced Sunday night.

Filming for “TUF” will begin in May, with the show, featuring competitors in the new women’s
strawweight (115-pound) weight class, premiering on Fox Sports 1 on Sept. 10.

Melendez (22-3) earlier this month struck a multi-fight agreement with the mixed martial
arts fighting organization Bellator, but the UFC had time to extend its own offer that obviously exceeded Bellator's.

Melendez, a former Strikeforce champion, lost a split-decision to former lightweight champion Benson Henderson in April, then beat Diego Sanchez by unanimous decision in October.

Pettis (17-2) took the title from Henderson in August by a first-round submission, but suffered a knee injury that he opted to treat in November with knee surgery.

Pettis attended Saturday night's UFC 170 event in Las Vegas, when Ronda Rousey scored a first-round technical knockout of Sara McMann at Mandalay Bay.

Twitter: @latimespugmire

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