Diego Sanchez will take on the promotion’s #2 ranked lightweight at UFC 166 in Gilbert Melendez, and as any big MMA fan knows, “The Dream” is no stranger to important fights at 155. After dropping down from welterweight in 2009, Sanchez scored wins over Clay Guida and Joe Stevenson to earn a title fight with BJ Penn.
Of course, veteran fans also know that Sanchez eventually returned to welterweight, after failing to unseat Penn at UFC 107. The resilient fighter earned victories over noted welterweights like Paulo Thiago and Martin Kampmann, but after losing by UD to Jake Ellenberger last February, Sanchez is back at lightweight. So, is the TUF 1 winner committed to 155 now? While speaking to the the media recently, here’s what Sanchez had to say (comments via MMA Fighting.com):
“My goal is to be the best 155-pounder in the world,” Sanchez said. “I always made excuses that I wasn’t a 155-pounder, that I was stuck in between 170 and 155, that we needed a 165-pound weight class. I was always adjusting and going back and forth, and creating more difficulties in my training. Well now I just accepted that I have to do extra to be a 155-pounder. I have to work harder on my nutrition. I have to contain my weight at a certain weight. I can’t let myself blow back up after fights. I’ve just embraced the fact that I am a 155-pounder.”
As far as becoming the “best 155-pounder”, Sanchez also relayed the following:
“(Melendez) has never been stopped. He avenged two of his three losses. His only loss is to Benson Henderson in a split decision that I felt went his way, so in a way I’m fighting a guy who’s almost untainted. And if I go in there, and I stop this guy, I think it makes a real case for a title shot.”
Not sure people like TJ Grant and Rafael dos Anjos, among others, would agree, but a win at UFC 166 would almost certainly move Sanchez into the top ten ranks.
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