After getting thoroughly trounced at UFC 114 by undefeated John Hathaway, company president Dana White believes Diego Sanchez’s return to the welterweight division should be a short-lived one.
“I don’t think Diego belongs at 170,” White stated at the post-fight press conference. “I think it’s easier to be at 170. He looked soft. He looked real lethargic and slow and heavy.
“[155-pounds], Diego. Fifty-five!”
Sanchez started his Octagon career five years ago by winning the middleweight tournament on the first season of “The Ultimate Fighter,” however immediately dropped down to the welterweight division upon the completion of the show. After a solid run at 170, Sanchez made the decision to move to the lightweight class in hopes of challenging then-champion BJ Penn for his strap.
After posting two solid victories, Mr. YES was finally granted an opportunity to compete in a championship affair. Unfortunately, Penn opted to slice Sanchez’s forehead open with a violent kick en route to handing him a convincing TKO loss this past December.
Hathaway completely destroyed Sanchez inside the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday, as the normally aggressive Sanchez wasn’t able to mount any inkling of an attack. In essence, his offense was offensive in earning a lopsided 30-27, 30-27, 30-26 unanimous decision thrashing.
“He’s a tough guy,” White said of Sanchez. “I’m not his manager, but I think he should stay at 155. Listen, a loss to BJ Penn doesn’t mean you go back up to 170. It means you stay at 155 and you do what Kenny Florian did. You stay in there and keep grinding it out and beating the top guys, and you get back in line and work your way up to the top again.
“Diego does not look good at 170.”
Although White shared his two-cents on Diego’s fighting future, the promoter added that he doesn’t often try to influence his athletes, so this appears to be Sanchez’s call to make.
“Diego has an incredible chin and amazing skin,” White said. “The elbows he got hit with and never got cut, big shots he took … Diego – and you saw it in the BJ fight, too – Diego’s a tough guy.”
There’s no denying Sanchez is one tenacious hombre. Who else would willingly do something like this on an everyday basis?