Gilbert ‘El Nino’ Melendez will look to bounce back from his unsuccessful UFC debut, as he is set to face Diego Sanchez at UFC 166. The bout is my personal lock for fight of the night, and has the potential to be one of the best this year.
Melenez’s promotional debut was a decision loss against the Lightweight boss of the time Ben Henderson. The bout marked the first time that Gil had lost in five years, something he claims did him a world of good:
“I want to do my talking in the cage this time, I’ve got to rebound and do my talking after the fight. After a couple weeks it (the loss to Benson) bit me, but I kinda got over it. It was a learning experience and I moved on pretty well.”
“I think I need to go this road, I need to fight a few of these guys and work my way back up. I need some three round fights, who knows, see how this plays out. I had a big chip on my shoulder, I felt I could have been the Champion (of the UFC) a few years ago. Now I’ve finally been legitamized, I’ve been given a lot of respect. Basically, the loss did wonders for my career”
It’s not the first time, and nor will it be the last, that a fighter learns more in defeat than victory. Quite often the knowledge of one’s weaknesses are far more beneficial than that of one’s strengths.
“(The loss) has taken that chip off (my shoulder) it’s going to allow me to be more relaxed and to perform better. I’ll be taking a little more risk out ther, experiment a little and just go for it.”
“I like to think I’m the uncrowned champ, I think that if the people think I’m a champ then I’m happy. I’m just trying to motivate myself.”
A motivated Gilbert Melendez talking with MMAFighting there, I certainly cannot wait for this card to kick off. Check out the full video interview below and stay tuned to Lowkick!