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Gilbert Melendez on UFC 166 Fight with Diego Sanchez

UFC lightweight Gilbert Melendez’s road to the Octagon was a long one but, after years of ruling Strikeforce’s 155-pound talent pool, “El Nino” finally made his debut last April. Though Melendez failed in his bid to beat then-champion Benson Henderson, he looked sharp in the scrap and is poised to impress once again this weekend at UFC 166 when he faces Diego Sanchez. Melendez recently spoke to reporters about the rumble in terms of his mindset entering the match-up, how he can impact his career with a victory, and why Sanchez is an opponent he’s always wanted to face. Fortunately, MMAFighting was on hand and able to capture the conversation. (Photos by USA Today Sports Images)