Diego Sanchez to Gilbert Melendez: 'World War 2 Will Happen' and Be Five Rounds

John HeinisSenior Analyst IOctober 22, 2013

Oct 19, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Gilbert Melendez (red gloves) fights against Diego Sanchez (blue gloves) in their lightweight bout during UFC 166 at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Richardson-USA TODAY Sports
Andrew Richardson-USA TODAY Spor

After a grueling and massively entertaining three-round battle with top contender Gilbert Melendez at UFC 166 on Saturday, Diego Sanchez is already thinking about a five-round rematch with the former Strikeforce champ. 

Check out what "The Dream" tweeted at Melendez last night: 

@GilbertMelendez it was fun going to war, you have pettis and Josh's number get the belt I'll be climbing the rankings WW2 will happen 5rds

— Diego Sanchez UFC (@DiegoSanchezUFC) October 21, 2013

Thankfully for the fans, "El Nino" was quick to respond and made it clear he is also looking forward to a championship rematch somewhere down the line.

@DiegoSanchezUFC looking forward to it! Much respect

— Gilbert Melendez (@GilbertMelendez) October 22, 2013

For any fight fan who still hasn't seen Sanchez vs. Melendez, the bout is a must-see. The Cesar Gracie fighter picked apart the original Ultimate Fighter for 10 minutes, yet the underdog refused to stop coming forward and throwing his own shots. 

Clearly well ahead on the scorecards after two rounds—turning his opponent into a bloody mess in the process—Melendez refused to take the easy way out and continued to trade leather with his fellow Mexican-American adversary for one more round. 

As the fans at Houston's Toyota Center clapped and cheered in appreciation and astonishment, Sanchez nearly scored the comeback of a lifetime by dropping Melendez with an uppercut. 

For better or for worse, Sanchez attempted to end the fight with a guillotine choke. However, it was to no avail, as both fighters ended up swinging for the fences for a few seconds longer after they climbed back to their feet. 

The front-runner for 2013 "Fight of the Year"—and a blatantly obvious choice for UFC 166 "Fight of the Night"—has UFC President Dana White strongly considering giving Melendez the winner of Anthony Pettis vs. Josh Thomson at UFC on FOX 9 in December, per BJPenn.com

Melendez fought then-champ Benson Henderson at UFC on FOX 7 in April, losing a heavily disputed decision. 

While White has been non-committal about what's next for Sanchez, the entertaining brawler has thrown former title challenger Nate Diaz's name into the equation. 

Needless to say, Sanchez doesn't feel three rounds will do this matchup the justice it deserves. 

Im thinking maybe nate diaz for the next fight would be a epic 5 rounder.

— Diego Sanchez UFC (@DiegoSanchezUFC) October 22, 2013

Diaz is booked to face Gray Maynard at TUF season 18 finale next month, entering the bout on a two-fight losing streak with a 3-4 record in his past seven fights. 

Sanchez holds a victory over Nate's brother Nick, a welterweight contest that mostly took place on the ground all the way back in November 2005. 

Does Sanchez have what it takes to work his way back into the title picture at lightweight, or is any hope of Sanchez vs. Melendez II simply wishful thinking? 


John Heinis is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. He is also the MMA Editor for eDraft.com.