Fans, fighters and analysts alike knew a lightweight scrap between Gilbert Melendez and Diego Sanchez had the potential to be something special, and the two scrappy competitors did not disappoint in the slightest.
The two Mexican-American fighters stood in the center of the cage and traded leather for the better part of three rounds, and although "El Nino" got the better of the original Ultimate Fighter, Sanchez refused to quit and manged to drop the ex-Strikeforce champ with an uppercut in the third round.
Wild, bloody brawls are Sanchez's specialty and Melendez certainly had no intentions of fighting conservatively in this instant classic that most pundits are already deeming 2013's "Fight of the Year."
The victory marks the first inside the Octagon for the Cesar Gracie Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu brown belt, who lost a controversial decision to then-champ Benson Henderson in his company debut at UFC on FOX 7 in April.
The 31-year-old has now won eight of his past nine bouts and is on the short list of contenders to face off with the winner of Anthony Pettis vs. Josh Thomson at UFC on FOX 9 in December.
Should Thomson be able to make "Showtime's" title reign short lived, that could set up a fourth bout between Melendez and "The Punk."
Thomson won his first fight with Melendez in June 2008 and lost the subsequent two matchups, but their May 2012 encounter was a heavily-disputed split decision that many felt Melendez had lost.
However, the judges saw it otherwise.
As for Sanchez, the 30-fight veteran who has been competing for over 11 years now, he showed he can still hang with top-tier competition; however, he is just 3-4 in his past seven bouts.