The UFC announced today that Gilbert Melendez and Diego Sanchez have been added to the UFC 166 card (Velasquez / Dos Santos 3), which is set for October 19th in Houston.
“El Nino” is coming off a split-decision loss to lightweight division champion Ben Henderson and a fight that many thought he had won. In turn, “The Dream” is coming off a split-decision win over Takanori Gomi and in what was Sanchez’s most recent foray into the 155 division.
On the face of it this would seem to be a tough fight for Sanchez. Melendez is a very well rounded fighter, has both good stand-up and ground games and is a former Strikeforce lightweight champion. Sanchez on the other hand has a tenacious ground game, decent stand-up, a whole lot of aggression and is as tough as they come. In 29 professional fights the Dream has only been stopped once (BJ Penn TKO 2009). Offsetting that is the fact that Melendez himself hasn’t been stopped in 24 professional bouts, either.
As both are bangers, this could well end up being fight-of-the-night. Particularly, Melendez is the type of fighter that will bring out the best in Sanchez and that could well mean adding another FOTN bonus to the 5 Diego already has. For the record, there are only 3 other fighters in UFC history who have more (1) FOTNs’ (Chris Lytle, Sam Stout & Frankie Edgar).
The announcement of their bout adds yet another good match to an already promising card, as a Lombard / Marquardt fight was announced and added to the event yesterday.