Diego Sanchez received a warm welcome from the Las Vegas crowd as he made his return to 170lbs, but John Hathaway had an even warmer reception for him early in the first round when he crashed a knee into Sanchez jaw which sent him to the floor in a daze.
While unable to finish his opponent Hathaway continued to show his dominance for the remainder of the round on the ground, landing some heavy blows in the process.
Despite this being his first fight on the main card of a UFC event Hathaway looked confident and composed as he entered the second round. This time the action played out almost entirely on the feet, but Hathaway still appeared to have the edge, showing crisper, faster striking and better movement. Sanchez meanwhile seemed less dynamic than we’ve seen him in the past, and struggled to find a way into the fight.
In the third round Sanchez attempted to take the fight to his opponent, rushing forward with strikes, but failed to land anything that would change the course of the fight, while Hathaway continued to find a home for his right hand. ‘The Hitman’ also continued to demonstrate his strength and defensive wrestling abilities to stuff Sanchez attempts to take the fight to the floor.
By the final bell the result seemed to be in little doubt, and indeed all three judges scored it unanimously in Hathaway’s favor.
This was a significant upset for Sanchez who had been looking to make a statement in his return to the welterweight division. Instead he now picks up his second consecutive defeat, and faces a dilemma as to whether to continue on it 170lbs, or make the cut back down to 155.
As for Hathaway, his record now moves to a perfect 14-0, and after this performance the welterweight division will now have stand up and take notice of Britain’s latest emerging star.