The recent announcement that Diego Sanchez was moving back up to the UFC’s welterweight division all but confirmed what many had already felt, Sanchez knows he has no chance to beat BJ Penn.
“The Nightmare” could’ve stayed at lightweight and wallowed in a division that Penn comfortably dominates, however nobody wants to settle for always being second best.
Sanchez was in the same predicament that former UFC middleweight champion Rich Franklin found himself in after two decisive losses to reigning king Anderson Silva.
Franklin has since fought in three separate weight classes following his losses to Anderson – Franklin faced Wanderlei Silva in a 195lb catchweight bout at UFC 99 – and will likely stay at light heavyweight moving forward.
The motivation behind Sanchez’ decision is the same as Franklin’s in that they would prefer to continue their careers without having to fight a person they have no shot at beating.
Everything that Franklin and Sanchez are good at, Silva and Penn do much better and that’s why the change for Sanchez makes sense.
However, if Sanchez is able to make his way up the welterweight division, does he really stand a chance against the baddest welterweight on the planet in Georges St-Pierre?
Yes, the very same GSP that defeated Penn twice, thoroughly humbling him the second time around.
Probably not, however St-Pierre may have vacted the strap by the time Diego works his way up the totem pole and maybe he can back his way into a belt.