For Diego Sanchez, his 32-UFC fight career has been both a dream…and a nightmare. Overall, it’s been a rollercoaster ride of a lifetime. Even before he started his career on The Ultimate Fighter reality television program, he had street cred even then when he sported an undefeated record of 10-0 while fighting in Ring of Fire and King of the Cage.
After compiling win after win, Sanchez brought his dominance to the show and went through Alex Karalexis, Josh Rafferty, and Josh Koscheck before defeating Kenny Florian to win at middleweight for Season 1. Since then, Sanchez has had some memorable victories over Nick Diaz, Karo Parisyan, Joe Riggs, Clay Guida, Takanori Gomi, Ross Pearson, and the man with the most UFC fights at 36, Jim Miller. He’s also suffered some tough losses. One of them to Koscheck, as well as Jon Fitch, BJ Penn, Jake Ellenberger, a major bloodbath decision to Gilbert Melendez at UFC 166 in 2013, and Joe Lauzon.
After having a career that has spanned three decades, Sanchez would surely like to try his heavy hands and soul against someone that would not only be a good test, but a dream matchup for any fighter, veteran or aspiring. He mentioned in past interviews that he would like to face men like Conor McGregor or Nate Diaz. With four fights remaining, Sanchez has been in a better mood and in a better position, as he has also been relaxed and remained healthy and calm.
As for McGregor, he will officially square off against boxing legend Manny Pacquiao sometime in the year 2021. Following that matchup, he will return to fight for the UFC again, but the question will linger in everyone’s mind: Would a fight against Diego Sanchez interest a world-renowned superstar in Conor McGregor?
Where Sanchez has been grimy or intense in previous years, he definitely has improved in his relaxation and continues to credit his yoga practice as a key factor. The loss to Jake Matthews last Saturday by unanimous decision was surely a heartbreaker, but knowing the new Sanchez, one can imagine that he is ready to accept his fate if and when the time comes for him to end his career.
As Father Time comes to corner Diego Sanchez, expect the 38-year old to fight for his life, but will these next few fights remaining will make or break what could be considered a Hall of Fame career under the Zuffa and Morris Endeavor umbrellas over the last 17 years?