"It was all positive stuff. Besides winning the title, it was the best ‘B' scenario for me. The majority of people think I won, 75/25 percent think I won that fight. More recognition than ever, really, nothing to be bitter about aside from not getting the scorecards in a competitive fight. It wasn't the biggest ripoff in history. It was a close fight, I think I won it, I stand by it, but yeah. I thought I won one, two, and I think I won the third round to be honest. I thought the third was competitive and I gave it to him because he's the champ but I honestly think the only thing in the third round was, he didn't even take me down, we tripped on the kick exchange and he fell on top of me, the bell rang and he hit me three or four times after the bell and so that may have been a little with the judges, I think the slip and him landing on the top was maybe the people's tiebreaker for that. So I look back on that and I feel like I did win 1 2 3 and 5. I pushed hard in round three and [in the] fourth round, I tried to get my energy back for the fifth."
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)
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