What’s better: Winning a UFC fight or getting your face punched for 2 ½ rounds until it’s bloodied beyond recognition?
That had to be the question Gilbert Melendez was wondering after UFC 166. He dished out heaps of damage to Diego Sanchez, including opening up a horrendous cut above Sanchez’s left eye. Yet all anyone wanted to talk about after the fight was how tough Sanchez was – including UFC president Dana White.
“He was like ‘Diego, Diego, Diego,’” Melendez told Fight! Magazine. “I was waiting for my compliments and it was ‘Diego.’”
He’s right, of course. Melendez controlled the fight outside of one stretch of the third round when Sanchez knocked him down. There’s no doubt who the better fighter is. But when you look back at that Fight-of-the-Year-caliber bout, what will you remember more – Melendez winning or Sanchez showing an inhuman amount of toughness?
Most likely the latter, which truly makes MMA and combat sports unique.
Losing in exciting fashion can sometimes do more for your career than winning. This isn’t news. It sounds like Melendez is a little upset about it.
“If he’s saying it was a draw I think he’s a little delusional,” Melendez said. “You gotta say what you gotta say when you lose to keep yourself in the right mentality and feel like you’re still relevant, to campaign for yourself. … I think [Sanchez] is a little silly for saying that but he’s a weird guy. Sometimes he’s complimenting and sometimes he’s disrespectful and I don’t think he even knows it.”
Well, yeah. There’s no doubt Sanchez is a different kind of dude. It’s what makes him take all kinds of punishment and ask for more. And then start wildly swinging his fists until he finds skull.
Melendez said if the UFC wants to do a rematch it would be “easy money” for him.
“If he thinks it was competitive I’ll be more than happy to bust him up again,” Melendez said.