Diego Sanchez: Punches from Gilbert Melendez were 'little nothings' like the 'tip-tap' punches from Nick and Nate Diaz

Andrew Richardson-USA TODAY Spor

If you happen to be driving through the 209 today, be on the lookout for lead balloons.

The Cesar Gracie Academy in Pleasant Hill, California, was home to Gilbert Melendez and Jake Shields, as well as Nick and Nate Diaz. All four of those combatants have competed for a UFC title and three of them have held a Strikeforce strap. There's no question they are talented.

But not exactly known for their devastating knockout power.

That was a point Diego Sanchez was looking to drive home when asked about changing his gameplan in the wake of his UFC 166 war against Melendez, which is one of the best fights of 2013 and perhaps of all time, thanks to its beautiful display of violence.

Sanchez explains why he was not finished in his loss to "El Nino" during this week's media scrum (watch it here).

"He could not hurt me. I felt invincible in there and I landed the big uppercut. I went for the submission when I should've gone for the ground and pound. I've fought at 170. I've fought at 185. And I'll tell you straight honest to God, Gilbert Melendez never fazed me or dazed me once. I was walking through those punches for a reason, because they felt like little nothings. It was little tip-tap Nate Diaz, Nick Diaz punches to me."

Sanchez holds a unanimous decision win over Nick Diaz from November of 2005.

With Melendez in his rear-view mirror, "The Dream" will move on to battle top welterweight up-and-comer Myles Jury on the main card of the UFC 171 pay-per-view (PPV) event, which takes place this Saturday night (March 15, 2014) in Dallas, Texas.

Can he handle "The Fury?"

See our full preview and pre-fight analysis for their 170-pound scrap right here.

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