Looking back on his 2019, featherweight Emmanuel Sanchez is pleased with how his year turned out, as he picked up back to back wins coming off a loss to close out his 2018.
First against Georgi Karakhanyan in March, then against Ty-wan Claxton in July, Sanchez had two strong performances, and moved himself forward in Bellator’s Featherweight Grand Prix in the process.
“It wasn’t a loss, but I got to avenge a guy (in Karakhanyan) who thought he won (our first fight), so that was great,” Sanchez told MMAWeekly.com. “I got to smash Georgi again at the beginning of the year. It was really to get another dominant win again.
“To fight an up and comer at the beginning of the Grand Prix in Ty-wan Claxton, it was great to go out there and beat a guy who was coming out there to try to prove a point against me.”
While he had good 2019, Sanchez feels his 2020 could be even better now that he’s dealt with an injury which had previously plagued him.
“I had been fighting with that (injury) for a while and didn’t even know about it,” Sanchez told MMAWeekly.com. “I got an MRI, found a slight tear in my knee, got it fixed, and now I’m fighting at a 100% on all cylinders with no issues.
“People will get to see the best Matador that there is now. I’ve got a completely different state of mind. Now I get to go out there and take it all out my opponents.”
On Friday in Uncasville, Connecticut, Sanchez (19-4) will look to advance in the Featherweight Grand Prix when he takes on Daniel Weichel (40-11) in the 145-pound co-main event of Bellator 241.
“I’m looking to make a statement,” Sanchez said. “I finished the first guy in the Grand Prix (in Claxton), and I’m looking to finish the next three guys in the Grand Prix starting with Daniel Weichel.”
For Sanchez 2020 is all about the Bellator Featherweight Grand Prix and the opportunities it can afford him.
“It’s going to be relentless pressure; starting fast, starting strong; putting them away,” said Sanchez. “I’m looking to go 3-0 in 2020 in the three biggest fights in my life.
“I’ve had other great years, great winning streaks, but now what a great platform we’re on here with this Grand Prix. I get to avenge my loss to Daniel Weichel, hopefully avenge my loss to Patricio Pitbull, and then in the Final who I get from the other side of the bracket. It’s going to be truly amazing.”