Even though he’s had a good amount of success over the last couple of years, featherweight prospect Donald Sanchez felt like there was something lacking, thus he made major changes to his training routine and now he feels like he’s closer to the fighter he wants to be than ever before.
“I switched gyms and coaches and everything and I’m learning different aspects of the game,” Sanchez told MMAWeekly.com. “There’s so many different styles being brought to the table and I’m able to grasp that and not staying in one place.
“I’m just winging it, but I’m able to put things together so I’m doing better than ever.”
Since 2009, Sanchez has won 14 of 17 fights, but still he felt the need for change was coming.
“I’ve been thinking about it for a couple of years, but I couldn’t get myself to do it because I’d become attached to everything I had before and it was just a hard thing for me to do personally,” he said. “But I felt I needed to get out the same circle and learn different things from different people and get different looks.
“I’m a whole new fighter. I’ve taken some time since my last fight to make sure that I’ve adjusted correctly and am not going into a fight as that same fighter I’ve been trying to get away from.”
Currently Sanchez (29-13) is looking to extend a four-fight winning streak when he makes his Legacy FC debut on Friday, April 4 against fellow veteran Flavio Alvaro (46-10) in a 145-pound feature bout.
“We both bring a lot of experience,” said Sanchez. “I really think that (Alvaro) coming to my hometown is a bad decision. My cardio is excellent – it’s better than ever – and he’s coming up in elevation, so I think that’s going to be a key factor.
“I think it’s going to come down to whoever makes a mistake, really. If he gasses out, that’s his mistake and that’s what I’ll take advantage of.”
While Sanchez is happy to be fighting in his hometown of Albuquerque, NM, he does admit that there are some drawbacks as well.
“I can feel everyone’s energy and it helps me in the fight,” he said. “But sometimes it’s a lot of stress though with everybody wanting to talk to me before and all of that; I kind of want to be by myself and everything; so I’ve got to turn my phone off for a couple days.”
After years of fighting in smaller shows stateside and not really getting a push from a larger promotion, Sanchez hopes his time in Legacy will finally allow him to break through to that next level and make him someone to watch in the featherweight division.
“I can only take it one fight at a time, but I hope it progresses and lifts me up a little bit higher,” said Sanchez. “Obviously I want to be on that big stage and that’s what I’m working towards.”
(Photo courtesy of KOTC & Monstro Photography)