Diego Sanchez has recovered from a broken collar bone that’s kept him from competing in the UFC so far this year and is now looking to make a new start by dropping down a division to featherweight.
“I’m going down to 145,” Sanchez told MMAJunkie’s John Morgan. “I think there’s some great fights down there at 145. Even right away, I’m going to be a force in the divison – right away. And I know all the 145-pounders are, ‘Oh, that’s if you make weight. If Diego can make weight.’ That’s what they’re going to be saying. But, you know what? I’m going to do it. I’m going to make weight, and I’m going down to this division.”
Sanchez has been a fixture in the UFC’s lightweight and welterweight divisions for many years, but actually first entered the promotion by winning the very first season of The Ultimate Fighter competing as a middleweight.
It’s a little surprising that Sanchez would drop to 145lbs as he wasn’t always comfortable even making 155lbs – even missing weight by a few pounds prior to his fight with Takanori Gomi in 2013 – but he claims to have found a new weight loss regime that should make the cut relatively straightforward.
Sanchez was actually coming off a win over Ross Pearson in his last bout at lightweight in June of last year, but it came via a highly contentious split decision verdict, with most fans and pundits believing that his opponent had clearly done enough to get his hand raised.
Prior to that Sanchez had suffered back-to-back defeats against Gilbert Melendez and Myles Jury.
So, who would Sanchez like to fight at featherweight? He has a few ideas up his sleeve, including a rematch against Clay Guida who he defeated by split decision in a ‘Fight Of The Year’ performance in 2009, while he believes the perfect match-up for him would be Ricardo Lamas due to his “come-forward” style.
Sanchez has also been involved in a war of words over the past year with current title challenger Conor McGregor, and depending on how their next few fights go that could end up being a marketable fight at some stage in the future.
Speaking of the future, despite taking a lot of punishment over the course of his career, the 33 year-old Sanchez still envisages himself fighting for at least another four years before he finally hangs up his gloves.