Having recently defeated UFC fan favorite Diego Sanchez via unanimous decision, Gilbert Melendez has been searching for a new opponent for his next fight. Prior to his bout against “The Nightmare,” Melendez sat down in an interview with Fox LA and expressed interest in fighting undefeated Russian powerhouse Khabib Nurmagomedov. Melendez explained to Fox LA:
“I know this up-and-comer by the name of Khabib, I think people would like to see that match up. You know, he’s not the biggest name so business-wise it’s probably not the best move, but I’m intrigued by it. It would be a great challenge, everyone’s hyped up on him. Him and Pat Healy were two guys on winning streaks, and they fought each other and he won. So he’s a guy up there.”
Nurmagomedov’s UFC record is currently 5-0. His overall record is 21-0. The twenty-five year old Russian standout has displayed well rounded skills throughout his career, obtaining seven wins by some form of knockout, another seven wins by submission, and an additional seven victories by decision.
The UFC has yet to officially announce anything regarding a potential matchup between Melendez and Nurmagomedov, so whether this fight will actually happen remains unclear.
Melendez lost a controversial split decision to then champ Benson Henderson back in April earlier this year. “El Nino” is widely considered to be a top contender for a title shot against current champ Anthony Pettis. So in the part of his statement when he says, “You know, he’s not the biggest name so business-wise it’s probably not the best move,” definitely makes sense.