Gilbert Melendez has not been mentioned recently and I have to say that kind of grinds my gears. When Melendez met Diego Sanchez at UFC 166, the world nearly imploded from the war that the fans witnessed. It was a fight for the ages and one that is in the running for Fight of the Year. The only thing was that when the fight was over, Melendez looked like he went through a stroll in the park and Sanchez looked like he went through a minefield.
The public praised Sanchez’s grittiness and Melendez kind of fell to the wayside. Melendez has just been tapped to fight Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 170, and this is really his time to shine. Melendez won droves of fans for his fight against Sanchez, but now he can really get a quality win and show the public just how good he really is. If Melendez is able to dominate or finish Nurmagomedov, he deserves a title shot.
The timing for this show would be perfect; the UFC can use the war with Sanchez, the win over a quality opponent, and the fact that he came dangerously close to dethroning Ben Henderson in his first UFC fight to promote a title fight. Melendez definitely has the potential to be a star, but the UFC has yet to give him the proper backing for it to happen. If Melendez can get a dominant win over Nurmagomedov, it would seem that the stars have finally aligned for him.