In a battle Joe Rogan described as “the greatest fight I’ve ever seen in my life,” Gilbert Melendez outpointed Diego Sanchez in an incredible three-round brawl at UFC 166 in Houston.
Melendez, a huge (-570) favorite, countered Sanchez well to begin — ripping right hands to the southpaw’s body and head. Sanchez’s takedown attempts were to no avail and he found himself cut by crisp combinations, and eventually knocked to the mat. The second round was better for Sanchez who was able to turn the fight into more and more of a “slug-fest,” but Melendez continued to out-land him by a small margin.
The third round was where the action really heated up, as the two squared off like “Rock ‘em Sock ‘em Robots” and Diego scored a knockdown with a punishing right uppercut to Melendez’s jaw. The crowd chanted “Diego!” as the Ultimate Fighter 1 winner continued to pour it on, and the two slung punches at each other to the final bell.
Melendez last fought to split decision vs Benson Henderson in April, and the victory brings his record to 22-3.
Sanchez won split decision vs. Gomi in March. His record falls to 24-6.
The scored were read as 29-28, 30-27, and 29-28, all in favor of Melendez.
Gilbert Melendez defeats Diego Sanchez by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28).