In front of a sold out crowd at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas, Gilbert Melendez and Diego Sanchez put on a Fight of the Year Candidate that brought everyone in the arena to their feet. While unranked Diego Sanchez rose to the occasion and impressed the crowd and UFC brass alike, Gilbert Melendez was the only one who had his hand raised adding another win to his already impressive record.
At the press conference, Dana White stated that it was a good thing for Melendez that Ben Henderson lost his championship to Anthony Pettis, because now Melendez is right back in the UFC Lightweight Contender mix.
Back in April 2013 at “UFC on Fox: Henderson vs. Melendez”, Gilbert Melendez failed to dethrone then-champion Ben Henderson losing the fight by split decision. Henderson’s next defense would be his last, however, as Anthony Pettis would defeat him for a second time in his career, this time becoming the UFC Lightweight Champion.
Had Henderson retained, it would be unlikely for Dana White to grant Gilbert Melendez a rematch against him after a single victory over an unranked fighter. When taking fighting styles into consideration now, Anthony Pettis vs. Gilbert Melendez is appealing and could lead to major PPV buys.
Melendez lost a close bout to Henderson, then rebounded with an exciting victory over Diego Sanchez. Do you believe he deserves to be next in line for a UFC Lightweight Title shot?