Sanchez Back on Track

Written by Tom Ngo
June 26th, 2008

After an impressive finish against Luigi Fioravanti this past weekend at The Ultimate Fighters Finale, Diego Sanchez now feels that he is once again headed in the right direction. His UFC career started out with the highest of expectations, and for a young fighter that type of exposure started to catch up to him.

After reeling off six consecutive victories in the Octagon after claiming The Ultimate Fighter Season 1 title, the two consecutive losses that came after are what caused people to question Sanchez’s abilities, and wonder if his career would now start spiraling in the wrong direction.

“Coming off these two wins now, I feel like I’m back on track,” said Sanchez. “The two losses came with perfect timing. To be honest, if I wouldn’t have had those loses I maybe would have gone on to become the champion, but the timing wouldn’t have been right. Now I feel the timing is right to go and become the champion and hold the belt. That’s what every fighter wants to do, become the champion and stay the champion.”

Sanchez seems determined now more than ever to hold the title belt.  Especially with the uncertainly that is starting to surround the division and its current champion, Georges St-Pierre. 

“Me and my team and my management, we have gone over every possible situation in the 170 pound division,” expressed Sanchez. “It all depends on what happens in the upcoming fights, honestly. We’ve got GSP (Georges St-Pierre) who is stating that he’s going up to 185. Me and (Jon) Fitch was an excellent, close fight. It came down to game plan. I was not hurt once in the fight. It was just a technical points match.”

Welterweight is one of the UFC’s most talented divisions and Sanchez was quick to point out the log jam that is currently being created at one of the top MMA camps in the world, where the 170-pound teammates have vowed to never fight each other.

“There’s also AKA (American Kickboxing Academy), Team AKA,” he further inquired. “You’ve got (Mike) Swick, (Josh) Koscheck and you’ve got Fitch. They’re not going to fight each other, so that right there throws a little something in there.”

If the teammates hold true to their pacts, this may certainly open up a door for Sanchez to leap frog over them and get a title shot. Sanchez has clearly thought this possibility through and is eager for the chance.

“So GSP leaves, what happens? B.J. Penn has stated he wanted to fight GSP. Now GSP is leaving. There’s a lot of stuff that’s going to happen,” said the hungry fighter. “I’m just waiting. I’m ready to fight whoever they put in front of me. I want the title shot.”

Along the way, it is likely that Sanchez will encounter a couple of foes that have blemished his record, and he would like nothing more than to avenge those losses.

“I’ve stated I wanted rematches with Fitch and Koscheck,” Sanchez continued. “That’s the past. I’ve let it go. I look forward to rematching them some day, maybe. If it happens, if it gets put in my path, I’m ready for that. I have my sight on one thing, and that’s UFC gold.”

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