Emmanuel Sanchez Intends to Give Bellator a Reason to Give Him a Title Shot

February 19, 2016

Emmanuel Sanchez took the opportunities given to him last year and made the most of them by picking up two straight wins in Bellator after suffering his only loss in the company to start off 2015.

Wins over Henry Corrales and Justin Lawrence not only got Sanchez back on track, but also quickly established him as someone to watch in the featherweight division.

“I’d say I got my foot in the door,” Sanchez told MMAWeekly.com. “One might say they’d get into the UFC or Bellator with an impressive win, but I’d say I had many impressive wins last year. I got to showcase and the skills and desire to go out there and compete and win.

“They were opportunities I couldn’t pass up. I took two fights and short notice and kept fighting. I’m looking to go out there, put on the best performance and get the finish.”

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Sanchez feels his key to both victories was being able to keep an open mind in his fights and make adjustments rather than stick to one stringent game plan.

Emmanuel Sanchez“I wasn’t anticipating a lot of other things from my opponents, because they were short notice, so you’ve just got to adapt,” said Sanchez. “You’ve got to flow like water.

“I couldn’t make any mistakes, because that could have cost me the fight, so I had to adapt and go out there and let it happen however it happened. I had my moments in each of those fights and I got the wins.”

Sanchez (12-2) returns at Bellator 149 on Friday in Houston, Texas, to face veteran Daniel Pineda (22-11) in a featured 145-pound bout.

“He’s a very dangerous fighter,” said Sanchez of Pineda. “He’s explosive. He’s experienced. He’s got a lot of tools. But I feel I have more tools, more knowledge, and fight IQ to go out there and get the job done.

“I have a lot of respect for him, but I’m not afraid of him, not intimidated by him, not anything. I’m excited to go in there and showcase my skills over 15 minutes.”

Should Sanchez pick up his fourth win in five Bellator fights, he could find himself in title contention. But that’s a bridge Sanchez will cross when he gets there. For now he just wants to keep fighting and picking up victories.

“I go out and put in the hard work and when the bosses say it’s time, it’s time,” said Sanchez. “I’m not a complainer or a drama queen or someone to cry about how they haven’t gotten their shot yet. I have to go out there and give them a reason to give me the shot.

“I gave them the reason to sign me, so now I want to give them the reason for them to say that I’m ready. I want to prove that I’m the real deal and that I’m ready.”

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