Gilbert Melendez: Rematch with 'Delusional' Diego Sanchez Would Be 'Easy Money'

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UPDATE 11:28 A.M. Eastern Time

It didn't take long for Sanchez to respond to Melendez, and to say he's confident he would win a rematch is an understatement. 

---End of Update--- 

Former Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez is one of the most talented, as well as exciting, 155-pound fighters in the world, so it makes sense he has his eye on another title bout. 

Of course, members of the media still want to ask El Nino about his action-packed "Fight of the Year" candidate against Diego Sanchez at UFC 166 last month. 

While Melendez was happy to reflect on the action-packed scrap, he seemed at least a little bit annoyed that The Dream said he felt the bout should've been scored a draw, per FOX Sports

Here's what Melendez told FIGHT! Magazine (transcription via David St. Martin of MMA Fighting): 

I feel like he got hit a lot. If he's saying it was a draw I think he's a little delusional. You gotta say what you gotta say when you lose to keep yourself in the right mentality and feel like you're still relevant, to campaign for yourself. I could have went two more rounds. I felt like I was on to something. He's the guy that fires away and gets tired and I start attacking. They got a lot of timeouts for him. They weren't going to stop it in the third round, there was no reason to call timeouts. I could go on and say how I feel but I'm just happy I won. I think [Sanchez] is a little silly for saying that but he's a weird guy. Sometimes he's complimenting and sometimes he's disrespectful and I don't think he even knows it ... I think [the rematch] is something they do want to see. They're talking 'World War, lets do it in Mexico City.' To be honest, that's easy money. That was good for me. If he thinks it was competitive I'll be more than happy to bust him up again.

While Sanchez did control the brief bit of action when the fight hit the ground, as well as dropping his opponent with an uppercut in the third round, Melendez proved to be a far superior striker when the bout was contested on the feet. 

Melendez won the bout via unanimous decision, with one judge scoring the bout 30-27 and the other two judges giving Sanchez the final frame, scoring it 29-28 in favor of Melendez. 

With the victory, Melendez has had his hand raised in eight of his past nine matchups, with his only loss coming against then-champ Benson Henderson at UFC on FOX 7 in April—a bout many pundits felt the Cesar Gracie Jiu-Jitsu fighter had won. 

As he awaits the result of Anthony Pettis, the new UFC lightweight champion, vs. Josh Thomson—an old rival of Melendez—at UFC on FOX 9 in December, the Mexican-American competitor will likely have to defeat a top contender to earn another shot at championship gold. 

In the same interview, he lists TJ Grant or Khabib Nurmagomedov as two opponents he would like to fight next. 

Sanchez also anxiously awaits his next fight booking, though he has recently gotten involved in a war of words with ex-teammate Melvin Guillard and featherweight prospect Conor McGregor

Should fate have it that Sanchez and Melendez meet again in 2014, would the gutsy winner of the original Ultimate Fighter stand a chance at pulling off an upset the second time around?

 

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

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