Diego Sanchez is known for having an unorthodox approach to training not to mention his methods inside the Octagon, but doesn’t think much of Michel Pereira’s antics.
The Brazilian made a splash in his UFC debut last year with a spectacular flying knee knockout, but struggled to follow that up when he lost his most recent fight against Tristan Connelly. That night, Pereira tried desperately to employ his unique approach to fighting, which typically includes a lot of movement, flips and spinning attacks.
None of it impresses Sanchez, who looks at Pereira as somebody who enjoys dancing far more than he likes fighting.
“I don’t look at it as time to dance,” Sanchez explained in a pre-fight interview with MMAFighting.com. “Would we dance on the battlefield if I was coming at you with a sword? Hell no. Hell no you wouldn’t. That’s what I’m coming with this mindset. There is no referee. There is no crowd. There is no fans. There are no lights. There is nobody.
“Two men go in and one comes out. That’s all I have on my mind going into this fight. I’m better than I’ve ever been right now. It’s going to be a good night for me in my hometown.”
Sanchez also can’t help but question Pereira’s conditioning after he ran out of gas following the first round in his last performance.
Pereira endured a rough weight cut that week, and while he hit the mark at 170 pounds on Friday, Sanchez is particularly curious to see how he hangs with his intense, non-stop-action pace.
“Unfortunately for him, he’s fighting me on Saturday night,” Sanchez said. “He’s fighting a guy that has a gas tank. He’s fighting the guy who has the experience. He’s fighting a guy who’s healthy with a completely hydrated brain. He’s fighting this guy that’s just cultivating and storing this energy getting ready for battle.
“I don’t know what his plan is, but it doesn’t matter to me. I’m ready for everything that he’s bringing. I’m ready. I’m prepared. I’ve trained. I bring the real true warrior mentality in the cage.”
Sanchez is obviously focused on the victory, but his reason for having a great performance on Saturday night goes beyond wins and losses.
The former “Ultimate Fighter” winner is also competing in front of a hometown audience in New Mexico with his daughter sitting Octagon-side for the first time in his career.
That gives Sanchez even more motivation — and a better reason to put a hurting on Pereira in their co-main event battle.
“Come Saturday night, Michel Pereira will have to learn the valuable lesson that he has to learn,” Sanchez said. “For I have learned my lessons. I have taken the wisdom with me and I have it in my back pocket. I know what I’m doing. I’m on weight. I’m ready to go. No injuries and healthy. Ready to die in that cage if I have to. Truly not fearful of death.
“I know when I step into that Octagon, I’m going to let it go. I’m going to unload the clips. Michel Pereira will not be standing up. He will be on the ground in a pool of blood.”