by Ken Pishna – MMAWeekly.com
starting off his professional career with 17 straight victories, Diego Sanchez
last year found himself in the midst of something he had never experienced
before… losing. Not only did he experience his first loss – to Josh
Koscheck at UFC 69 in Houston – but also his second, to Jon Fitch.
It has been
said that the true test of a champion is how he reacts to failure. Though not
yet crowned a champion, Sanchez has taken that saying to heart and put himself
back on the path towards the title. He finished Ultimate Fighting Championship
newcomer David Bielkheden in less that five minutes at UFC 82 this past weekend
in Columbus, Ohio.
“I had to
analyze it a little bit,” he told MMAWeekly.com following the fight, explaining
his reaction to back-to-back losses. “In the end, my confidence was good and I
knew no matter what this guy had done in his preparation for me, he didn’t
train harder than me.
everything I could possibly do to let myself know in my mind, in my heart that
I worked harder than him. This is just a stepping-stone in my destiny.”
fighters would want to “prove” themselves coming off of multiple losses,
Sanchez took the tact of the professional. He did what it took to put himself
in a position to win, not to end up on a highlight reel.
no reason for me to play around with this guy, who was a kickboxer his whole
life,” he commented on his strategy to take the fight to the ground where he
could work position and determine the proper approach.
that’s not to say that Sanchez was looking to play it safe to eke out a win. He
went into the fight with Bielkheden expecting to punctuate it with a finish of
into the fight with the mentality that I was going to finish the fight either
by knockout or submission,” he said. Adding, “With the UFC handing out those
big bonuses, it really is good motivation to finish the fight.”
to such resounding success, MMAWeekly asked Sanchez if he had any plans in mind
for what’s next, now that he is back on track.
would be big for my heart and soul would be Josh Koscheck,” he proclaimed
without hesitation. “The number one question that everyone always asks me is, ‘When
are you going to kick that Josh Koscheck’s ass?’ So hopefully, maybe in June or
July, we can go ahead and set that fight up.”