If Diego Sanchez can get past Gilbert Melendez this weekend, he thinks he has a good shot at the current lightweight champion, Anthony Pettis.
“I love the way I match up with Anthony Pettis,” Sanchez said in an interview with MMAjunkie.com. “We’re a contrast in styles, and I feel my style beats his style.”
“I’m a very good wrestler, and I’m a better grappler than I am a wrestler,” he added. “I feel I’m the best grappler in the division at 155 [pounds], and with my size advantage, I feel there’s not a guy that I can’t take down in that division. So it just comes down to being sharp in my striking and being ready to make a fight a fight.”
“I feel like my style beats Anthony Pettis’ style, and I feel like I can pressure him and it’s all about timing, I feel I have what it takes to win the UFC championship at lightweight.”
The biggest obstacle in Sanchez’s way right now though is his place in the lightweight division. He’s not currently ranked among the UFC’s top ten, although that could change very fast with a win over #2 ranked Gilbert Melendez.
“I [will] get out there and make a huge statement,” Sanchez said. “If I take it to him, and I dominate him in striking, I dominate him in mixed martial arts and I finish this guy that nobody has ever finished, I think it’s a huge statement. It makes a case for a title shot, and it’s going to put me right back to the top.”
Sanchez vs Melendez will take place at UFC 166 on Saturday, October 19.