UFC News: Gilbert Melendez And Diego Sanchez Targeting Matchup in the Fall

John HeinisSenior Analyst IJune 12, 2013

Feb 15, 2012; Omaha, NE, USA; Jake Ellenberger (left) fights with Diego Sanchez in the main event during UFC on Fuel TV 1 at Omaha Civic Auditorium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Ryerson-USA TODAY Sports
Matt Ryerson-USA TODAY Sports

A former Strikeforce champion and one of the original winners of The Ultimate Fighter are gunning for a 155-pound scrap this fall.

Gilbert Melendez and Diego Sanchez are keen on meeting in the Octagon for their next fight, according to a report by Ariel Helwani for FUEL TV's UFC Tonight.

Report by @arielhelwani, @gilbertmelendez and @diegosanchezufc are interested in fighting eachother this fall. What say you fight fans!?

— UFC Tonight (@UFCTonight) June 12, 2013

"El Nino" made his UFC debut at UFC on FOX 7 in April, losing a close and controversial unanimous decision to UFC lightweight champ Benson Henderson. 

Prior to the loss, Melendez had won seven bouts in a row under the Strikeforce banner, including three (technical) knockouts. 

On the other hand, Sanchez planned to make his return to the 155-pound level at UFC on FUEL 8 in March, but he came in two pounds heavy for the matchup against PRIDE legend Takanori Gomi. 

Sanchez won the bout via a hotly contested split decision.

Prior to the victory, Sanchez was coming off a 2-2 stint at welterweight, defeating Martin Kampmann and Paulo Thiago and losing to John Hathaway and Jake Ellenberger. 

Last month, Melendez told Knockout Radio that he was interested in fighting Donald Cerrone, Anthony Pettis, featherweight champ Jose Aldo, Pat Healy or Diego Sanchez next (via MMA Weekly). 

Melendez is currently ranked as the top lightweight in the UFC's official rankings, while Sanchez is outside the division's top 10.

UFC officials did not comment on the potential matchup between Melendez and Sanchez. 

Would a showdown between the duo be a worthwhile bout to kick off the UFC's fall schedule?


John Heinis is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. He is also the MMA Editor for eDraft.com and contributes MMA videos to The Young Turks Sports Show.