Last year, flyweight prospect Joby Sanchez took a chance by travelling across the country to compete for an opportunity to fight for a nationally broadcasted MMA promotion.
As the winner of the XFC’s open fighter tryout, he was signed to the company and the next step in his career began with his promotional debut last September.
“I was pretty excited to go tryout, especially coming from the Southwest to the East Coast and see how things were on a national level and not just a regional level,” said Sanchez. “I wasn’t too nervous because I didn’t know how big it was. In this sport you don’t want to miss any opportunities, so I went.
“For my first fight in September, I was really nervous. I realized how big this all was and it was the next step in my career, so I was excited for that.”
Sanchez defeated Chris Dunn via triangle choke a minute and a half into the fight, raising his record to 4-0.
It’s been nearly a year since then, and Sanchez hasn’t fought, but that’s not by his own accord.
“I suffered an injury, which put me out for a while, and we’ve been taking it slow building things back up,” he said. “We didn’t want to rush it. I’m still young in my career.
“It sucked when I was injured because I was limited so much because we didn’t want to push things too quickly. But once I was able to get back into things hard, I loved it and I appreciated it a lot more.”
Now back in the cage and healthy, Sanchez returns at XFC 25 on Friday to take on fellow prospect Eric Moell in a featured bout to be broadcast live on AXS TV.
“His stand-up looks like it could be dangerous, but we don’t know too much about it,” said Sanchez of Moell. “His takedowns, he really commits with them, he shoots in and tries with all his might to take you down.
“Honestly, I think I’m better at him in everything; the wrestling, the ground and the stand-up. I think I will be able to control the pace better, put the tempo where I want it and put the fight where I want it. If I want it on the ground, I think I can control it the ground; if I want it standing up, I think I can keep it standing up.”
Sanchez told MMAWeekly.com that he’s thankful for the opportunity he has and he plans to repay his promotion by becoming its best 145-pounder fighter in the coming year.
“The XFC has been very good to me and I appreciate everything they’ve done,” he said. “Without them, I would still be fighting on a regional level.
“Dominating the flyweight division in the XFC, right now, that’s the main goal. I have to get past Eric, that’s the short term goal, then keep getting better as a fighter and then dominating the flyweight division.”