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Gilbert Melendez and Diego Sanchez produce instant classic at UFC 166

Cagewriter

Gilbert Melendez and Diego Sanchez trade blows during their epic bout. (USA Today)

Gilbert Melendez and Diego Sanchez trade blows during their epic bout. (USA Today)


As Gilbert Melendez and Diego Sanchez’s lightweight battle drew to a close, UFC commentator Joe Rogan said simply, ”This is the greatest fight I have ever seen in my life.”

Considering Rogan has watched and called countless bouts, that's saying something, but it was well-earned praise.

Sanchez and Melendez slugged it out for three rounds, mixing in furious grappling action, in a bloody war that left the UFC 166 Houston crowd wanting two more rounds. Time and again, Sanchez came back after being seriously hurt – by an elbow that cut him badly over his left eye, and by punches that dropped him multiple times – to return fire on Melendez with his own thudding hooks and straights.

Sanchez’s badly bleeding cut forced the referee to temporarily stop the bout twice to have a ringside physician check it. Fortunately, the doctor let it continue and Sanchez made the most of his chance by dropping Melendez in the third round.

The final horn sounded with Sanchez and Melendez exchanging wild hooks to the head. Melendez earned the unanimous decision win but Sanchez proved that he can still hang with the lightweight’s very best.

“I went out for a second,” Melendez admitted in reference to Sanchez dropping him in the third.

“That’s what Mexicans do – we hold our ground.”

A weary Sanchez was slurring his words in his post-fight interview with Rogan, but said, “I was just going for it. That’s all I can say.”

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A cut above Diego Sanchez's left eye had him bloody early on Saturday. (USA Today)

A cut above Diego Sanchez's left eye had him bloody early on Saturday. (USA Today)

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