Why on this sweet earth would Diego Sanchez change his name from, the ultra-awesome, “Nightmare” to “The Dream”? I mean, I know that Sanchez wanted a more positive image towards his life and his training, but come on! “The Nightmare”, at the time, fit him perfectly! Sanchez won the initial Ultimate Fighter and then went on an impressive run at Middleweight before dropping to Lightweight and really finding his groove. Sanchez was on an absolute warpath when fighting his way to a title-shot; he was decimating guys at every turn and putting on some of the craziest fights we fight fans have ever seen. Who can forget his berserker round one against Clay Guida? That was a time when Sanchez fought like a nightmare.
As of late, Sanchez has seemed a little hesitant in the Octagon. The rule in the UFC is “You’re only as good as your last fight” and Sanchez’s last one, a split decision win over Takanori Gomi, was a poor performance. His level-changes were slow, he missed weight, was throwing half-hearted takedowns in the wrong spot. Did the losing streak really send his life in a spiral and he is only now trying to put everything back together? I just want to see “The Nightmare” of old. I want to see Sanchez running full speed at his opponent throwing uppercuts like he was ripping the ground open to dig an early grave for his challenger. Is it so much to ask? Against Gilbert Melendez? Yeah, it may be.
Sanchez is meeting Melendez tonight, at UFC 166. Could this turn out to be a war? You know it! It could also turn into a hesitant striking game. It’s a coin toss. Both of these athletes can throw some serious leather, but seeing as Melendez was a breath away from taking the title against Ben Henderson, I’m going to say he is coming out with something to prove; plus, Sanchez could be really angry about his last performance and might come into this fight with a chip on his shoulder. I am hoping against hope that these guys decide to make this competition a battle of wills, a competition to see who can dig deeper. I hope that Melendez will make “The Nightmare” come back out, if only for a short time.