Diego Sanchez may have not been ranked in the top ten lightweight rankings heading into UFC 166, but he went on to battle the #2 ranked Gilbert Melendez in what was one of the promotion’s best fights to date. Sure, Sanchez did not pull off the upset win, but he reminded everyone why he’s been a top contender in the past.
After the epic fight Dana White had nothing but praise for Sanchez, who certainly proved some of his critics wrong on Saturday night (comments via MMA Junkie.com):
“Diego’s been out for a while with injuries, and everybody’s been questioning whether Diego belongs in the division, and is he still here,” White said. “He comes right in and fights the No. 2 guy in the world. Diego Sanchez is never out of any fight.”
The bout returned Melendez to the winner’s column, as it marked the first time he had fought since April, when he lost a tightly contested, split decision versus former champ Benson Henderson. As a result of the victory, White had this to say about “El Nino’s” title shot status:
“It’s very fortunate for him that Pettis won, because he just camp off a title shot against Henderson,” White said. “Now that Pettis is the champ, he’s definitely right back in the mix.”
It certainly was an amazing fight, and really, Sanchez gained from the bout even though he lost. Now it will be interesting to see who the UFC books to face both men next.
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