"Right after my fight I was like, ‘Who should I fight next?' Number one was [Donald] Cerrone, Cerrone seemed like a relevant fight. Then he lost to Dos Anjos. Then next was Diego, he has the mystique and the bigger name. ... I kind of figured out myself before they even offered me that this was what I wanted."
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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