Perhaps the most impressive of his wins came recently when he defeated Matt Comeau via second round TKO to defend his title at KOTC: Regulators.
“I was fighting a guy who had never been finished, who I knew was real scrappy with good boxing and wrestling. So I knew I had to weather the storm in order to take him out,” said Sanchez of Comeau. “I knew I would be able to ground and pound him once I was able to use my size and strength to get him to the ground.
“I had a feeling he’d be relentless with the takedown and hold me down, so that’s where I ended up sweeping him and getting mount and landing some pretty hard elbows and finishing him like that.”
Having primarily relied upon his striking much of his career, Sanchez has begun to develop his ground game more and it’s paid off during his recent run.
“(At my gym) we do a lot of sneaky dirty boxing stuff with a real sticky guard and I feel that works really well for me,” said Sanchez. “I have no worries about being able to get back up or reversing the position or even inflicting some damage from the bottom with the dirty boxing or the submission which is always there.”
Sanchez hopes he’ll be able to continue to face tough opposition, as it gives him something to aspire to, such as the case where he faced two of MMA’s top lighter weight fighters in Hatsu Hioki and Tatsuya Kawajiri.
“Even though I haven’t successfully (risen to their level) yet, I’m going to,” said Sanchez. “It’s going to happen. I’m getting more and more confident and I’m ready for it all like that. It doesn’t scare me (to face that level of competition). It’s a couple notches in my record, but I learn from that, I learn big time.”
When it comes to his goal for 2013, Sanchez told MMAWeekly.com that he feels with the work he’s put in over the last couple of years, now is the time to take that next step in his career.
“I want to make it to the big stage and prove I can fight with all of them,” he said. “I want to be there and I think this is the year to do it.
“I have a ton of fights and it’s been on-the-job training basically because I didn’t have an amateur background. I just kept taking fights, fight after fight, and now I’m there and I’ve been here long enough that I’m ready for it.”