Diego Sanchez Overcame Obstacles; Continues to Seek ‘Super Big Fights’

February 16, 2012
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Diego Sanchez at UFC Versus 3

A battle worn Diego Sanchez at UFC Versus 3

UFC welterweight Diego Sanchez may have lost the battle on Wednesday night at UFC on Fuel TV 1 in Omaha, Neb., but he hasn’t lost the war. Head held high, he was rather upbeat following his latest fight.

Even though Jake Ellenberger took the unanimous nod from the judges – and Sanchez doesn’t begrudge him that – the New Mexican felt he performed well, despite having to overcome a severely sprained ankle just three weeks ago.

“It was a great challenge and a great effort. I had a lot of obstacles to overcome, coming into this fight,” Sanchez stated on the UFC on Fuel TV post-fight show.

“I pulled out of the Matt Hughes fight for my broken hand. I got a family to take care of. I refused… I wasn’t pulling out of the fight. I did what I could do. I came into the fight and went to battle.”

Following the event, UFC president Dana White declared that all main event fights – not counting previously contracted three-rounders – whether or not they are for a title, would be five rounds.

Sanchez only wishes that White had made such a declaration before this fight, which was a three-round, non-title affair.

“I wish the fight would have been five rounds. I think I had some momentum if there would have been going into the fourth. I went for the stoppage; I should have went for the choke.”

Sanchez, who trains under coaches Greg Jackson and Mike Winkeljohn in Albuquerque, N.M., said that the ankle was no excuse for the losing the fight. It didn’t really bother him during the bout, but it severely limited his ability to train the way he’s accustomed to.

He couldn’t do much of the cardio training he likes to do leading up to a fight. He couldn’t run, sprint, or jump rope as he normally does.

“I just had to basically work around the injury and do what I could do to prepare,” he said. “I came in with the best possible Sanchez that I could be and I came close to getting it there in the end.”

As for what is next, Sanchez didn’t have a specific answer, although most fighters don’t typically no what’s next immediately following a fight anyway, unless of course they have just won a No. 1 contender’s bout.

Sanchez has moved from 185 pounds down to 170 pounds down to 155 pounds and then back up to 170 pounds in his career. So it’s not unrealistic to ask if he would consider dropping back to lightweight.

He didn’t rule it out, but Sanchez’s plans aren’t tied so much to a weight class as they once were when he was hunting belts.

“I’m gonna take the fights that propel me to the biggest stage, get these main events, super big fights,” he responded. “155 is never out of the question.

“I’m gonna talk to my coaches, talk to my manager, and talk to Joe Silva, Dana White, and see what fight we can put together. But more than likely, I’ll probably be staying at welterweight.”

Sanchez and Ellenberger’s efforts earned them the Fight of the Night honors at the UFC’s inaugural live event on Fuel TV. So as long as he keeps putting performances like that together, it’s unlikely that fans will care what weight class he fights in.

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  • illcall77

    One of my favorite fighters along with Torres..Diego and Miguel always deliver a good show,performance and leave it all out there…good fight and job tonight Diego.

  • D-rail

    He puts on a good show with an injury for all those in-breads, and they boo him like he took their first born. Ingrates

  • bryanadams

    The “ingrates” we’re cheering him until he started talking about his injury. I think they misinterpreted it as an excuse whereas Diego was just trying to relay his faith and appreciation that he was able to perform despite the injury. I honestly don’t think he would’ve won a 3 rd fight injury or not, but he definitely showed his heart out there. Nothing to boo about after a fight like that.

  • pooby

    Sanchez has been consistantly hard core through all his many fights. I just wish he’d quit the weird crap like the vampire hunter thing he did last night with the cross.

  • me vs you

    i can’t believe that bible thumpin’ weirdo is considered one of the top contenders in the welterweight division. diego sanchez is a sideshow freak that gave us a couple of minutes of excitement last night, but that was it. that fight was far from the “war” that both fighters said they would put on. the diaz/condit fight was a much better battle than that lackluster show last night.
    and what’s with the love fest for diego. the guy’s a rude, outspoken asshole, not much different than nick diaz that you all hate so much. do you guys love the dude so much because of his faith? i believe a person’s faith should be personal. i’m sick of all of these pro athletes using the stage of their sport to push their religion on everyone else. god isn’t going to love you more if you start tebowing.

    • pooby

      There is so much stupidity in that post, I wouldn’t know where to begin…..please find another sport in which to spectate.

      • me vs you

        golly, you really got me with that one. it was just my opinion pooby-pants, but i’m sorry and i won’t watch mma anymore. i know when i’m not wanted.
        i’ll just take my ball and go home.

  • KBEsq

    Yeah, this was an awesome fight. I can’t remember the last time I was actually cheering for someone and jumping out of my seat, but I had to cheer for Sanchez in that third round. All of a sudden, I wanted him to win, and I don’t really even dislike Ellenberger. I was hoping the judges would give Sanchez a 10/8, but It wasn’t enough.

    This showing shouldn’t be too much of a set back for Sanchez. He almost beat a guy who people see as a probable title holder in the division. He didn’t get submitted or knocked out, and finished the fight by putting Ellenberger in a position we’ve never seen him in in the UFC.