After last week’s announcement that UFC fighter Diego Sanchez had decided to drop down to the lightweight division, many thought that 155-pound top contender Kenny Florian would be chomping at the bit to avenge his loss to Sanchez. The two squared off in the finals of “The Ultimate Fighter’s” inaugural season, with Sanchez walking away with a 1stRound TKO.
“I don’t want to fight Diego Sanchez to get revenge,” Florian stated on ESPN’s MMA Live. “I want to fight him because he’s a great fighter coming down to 155. I try to forget about my wins (and) forget about my losses and just move forward. Diego Sanchez being the great fighter that he is coming down to 155 — it’s exciting to me. I get a chance to fight a great fighter and that’s why I’d like the fight.”
After their 2005 middleweight bout, the two fighters traveled down different career paths. Sanchez chose to drop down to the welterweight division, while Florian decided to drop two weight classes to compete in the UFC’s lightweight division.
Both fighters flourished in their new weight classes, with Florian winning nine of his next ten UFC bouts, including a current six fight winning streak.
Sanchez won seven of his next nine, however seemed over matched when he faced the division’s larger and stronger fighters.
With Sanchez’ move, the two may be headed on a collision course, however Florian has more important issues to worry about. He is currently first in line for a shot at champion BJ Penn’s title as soon as he returns to the 155-pound division. Penn will be challenging welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre at UFC 94 in one of the most highly anticipated matches in MMA history.