After having won 11 of his 14 bouts in Bellator and having solidified his spot in the promotion’s featherweight grand prix, Emmanuel Sanchez was looking to have a big year in 2020 when the novel coronavirus put everyone’s plans on hold.
While Sanchez has not been able to fight this year, he will be featured as part of the Bellator MMA: Recharged series on CBS Sports Network, giving fans an opportunity to see what he’s done in his time with the promotion.
“I just wanted to go out and showcase my skills with the best martial artists, the best fighters, in the world, and that’s truly the character that I want to bring: the champion inside the ring and outside the ring as well,” Sanchez told MMAWeekly.com.
“I’m looking forward to having networks and platforms that we can be on for a more worldwide audience than we are.”
When it comes to a performance he feels exemplifies him achieving what he sets out to achieve, Sanchez feels fans should look no further than his win over Tywan Claxton at Bellator 226 this past September.
“It’s kind of cliché to say you’re only as good as your last fight, but I’d like to say my last fight (versus Claxton),” said Sanchez. “I knew going into that fight that the opponent didn’t matter, but I wanted to really kick off the grand prix, and I was, I was the first man to advance.
“Out of these guys, all great fighters, all great fights we have ahead of us, knowing I can beat every one of these guys, wanting to be the first man to finish his opponent and advance in the grand prix was the statement I wanted to make.”
Since lockdown started, Sanchez has done his best to remain active and not only continue to push himself as best he can physically, but mentally as well.
“Thankfully we’ve been getting some decent nice weather, so I’m spending a lot more time outdoors, spending more time running, finding new trails to run, hike, walk, bike ride, spending time with my dog,” said Sanchez. “As far as other forms of training, getting good with my opposite hand and my leg, and more for my brain; playing more brain games; simple games working on hand-eye coordination.
“Just enjoying the outdoors, staying healthy, staying in shape, knowing that my fight will be rescheduled soon, so I’m staying positive and ready for that phone call.”
As someone who chooses to look at things optimistically, Sanchez is certain it’s just a matter of time until he’s able to return to fighting and finish what he started last year.
“This is now the longest layoff I’ve had, but I’m a strong positive man, I’m a man of faith, and I truly believe and know that better days are coming and will come,” said Sanchez. “I still know the call will come to face opponents, I still know I will be victories, get my hand raised, accomplish my goals and achieve my dreams and make them a reality.”