Gilbert Melendez and Anthony Pettis were given shots to promote themselves and their upcoming UFC lightweight title fight while filming season 20 of the MMA reality show competition, The Ultimate Fighter, but "El Nino" says that both men chose to keep a lid on the drama. Fans shouldn't expect any Ronda Rousey vs. Miesha Tate-esque TUF antics between Melendez and the champ.
“I hope people aren’t too disappointed, but there’s not much interaction between us,” Melendez recently told MMA Junkie Radio.
“We’re kind of guys who don’t talk too much [expletive] and like to fight more. I don’t really want to build a relationship with him. I think he feels the same."
According to UFC president Dana White, Melendez and Pettis are set to fight Dec. 6 for Pettis' lightweight strap. While Melendez said he didn't go out of his way to antagonize Pettis, he also didn't make an effort to be polite to him, since they will soon lock up.
“We’ve had a little bit of words, but other than that, we just keep it separate. Because we ain’t friends," Melendez explained.
"I don’t want to like him, and he doesn’t want to like me, and we’re going to want to beat each other up. Ain’t no joke about that. I just don’t high-five and hug people like other people.”
Melendez went on to say that, while he didn't try to get in Pettis' face during TUF 20 taping, his teammate, friend and assistant coach on the show, Nate Diaz, was another matter. “He’s such a cholo, bro,” Melendez said of Diaz.
“He don’t smile one bit. He don’t say 'hi' to nobody. I like having him around. He has a great intimidation factor. He’s all business. He’s always ready to go.
“Most people just give him his space. They don’t want to call his bluff. [Diaz would tell Melendez of fighting Pettis], ‘Whenever you want, Gil, you let me know.’ I’m like, ‘Nah, Nate, it’s cool.'”
Do you think Melendez vs. Pettis will be fireworks in the cage, come fight night, even though they may not have bought into the reality show drama? Let us know in the comments section!