After 30 professional fights, UFC veteran Diego Sanchez (pictured) has finally discovered that taking countless punches to the dome is no bueno for his longevity.
It took October’s instant classic with Gilbert Melendez, which resulted in a unanimous decision defeat, to really hit home with “Dream” that the face-to-fist defense is not the business. Sanchez promises Myles Jury will see a reinvented and elusive fighter on Saturday at UFC 171.
“Yeah, if I’m in the pocket and I need to bite down on my mouthpiece, I am 100 percent confident that my chin and my jaw and my neck are strong and I can take the blows,” Sanchez stated during Wednesday’s media workouts. “Because, I’ve fought at [170 pounds], I’ve fought at [185 pounds], and I’ll tell you straight honest, honest to God, Gilbert Melendez never fazed me or dazed me once. I was walking through those punches for a reason, because they felt like little nothings. It was little tip-tap Nate Diaz, Nick Diaz punches to me.
“If I have to do it again, I will. But, is that the route I’m gonna go? No. I’m gonna try and be effective. I’m gonna try and move when a punch comes my way.”
It’s interesting Sanchez says Melendez didn’t hurt him, because his face was battered and bruised and there was noticeable slurring in post-fight speech after their 15-minute shootout that had many concerned about his quality of life 20 years from now.
They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. Well, this 32-year-old claims he worked extensively on improving his head and foot movement to avoid the slugfests that helped make him famous.
Floating like a butterfly and stinging like a bee is definitely the way to go. I mean, it worked for Muhammad Ali.