Written by Penny Buffington
Diego “The Dream” Sanchez is ready to fight his first UFC Fight since deserting his previous nickname “The Nightmare” and reinventing himself as “The Dream”.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship and VERSUS announced today that the UFC event airing this Thursday, March 3, will be broadcast in 3D for the first-time ever. The highly-anticipated card, which is headlined by a welterweight clash between Diego Sanchez and Martin Kampmann, from the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Ky. will air live at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.
Sanchez confirmed to Penny Buffington executive producer of MMA2DAY Show he is in fact now known as “The Dream”.
Earlier in the month Diego gave reasons for no longer wanting to be known as “The Nightmare” during an interview with MMA2DAY Show and at a UFC media conference he explained, “I let the Nightmare go because, to me I see some negative in it, And a nightmare, you know, it’s something negative and kind of like – kind of evil and I don’t want to represent that. I want to represent positivity and I want to represent the good and, I look back on my whole career, I’m like the nightmare? The nightmare was myself. I was the – I was my own nightmare. And, all the times that I fell off track, you know what I mean, and got into drinking and, you know, got into smoking weed, got into – you know, the things that brought me down. The partying, that was my nightmare. I was my own nightmare.”
Sanchez has a mixed martial arts record of 24 – 4 – 0. This will be his 3rd. welterweight fight since moving back up from the lightweight division. His last fight in Oct. was a decisive win over Paulo Thiago. “To all the people out there who saw me in my last fight and liked my performance and actual style of how I fought. This time around I have totally reinvented myself. I am settled in now at the 170 pound weight class right now so I am walking around at 195. I have been doing lots and lots of weights and lots of wrestling. I am used to handling the guys who are much larger opponents like Rashad Evans and Andrei Arlovski. I go with those guys on a daily basis: Jon Jones, My roommate is Willie Parks. He was on the olympic team. He wrestled for Iowa State and he is a grunt. He wrestled like 185 and I am wrestling with this guy everyday and honestly we got back to our true wresting roots. The real true wrestling style.”
“If one particular takedown doesn’t work I have 10 different takedowns. I have a lot of different ways to mix my wrestling with my style of striking also.”
“I am one of the people who is blessed with…I don’t know…but when I gain my weight I don’t lose speed. I think speed is something that is within your mind. That is where your speed comes from. When I am at 170 I have to constantly be doing a lot of kettlebells a lot of weight lifting and that makes me more explosive because I am a lot stronger.”
The season 1 winner of The Ultimate Fighter has moved back home near his family, friends and Jackson’s MMA. “That is where I started was at Greg Jackson’s so when I came back I was like you know what this is my gym. I gotta represent. Before I can be a world champion out in the real world I have got to be a world champion at my gym. When I have got the best guys in the world and I am training with them everyday, you see, I keep the mentality, Alright well, I am going to get a takedown every single round and I am going to win every single round. I am going to try to get up on points and win every round. It’s hard over here because most of these guys are 185 pounders 205 pounders and we are banging hard. So you have to have that mentality the number one thing is to be on top of your wrestling and your conditioning.”
Martin “The Hitman” Kampmann has a mixed martial arts record of 17-4-0 and trains out of Las Vegas at Xtreme Couture.
As Sanchez explains he believes he deserves the win, “You know, Penny, mentally in my mind I just feel I’ve earned the W. I just work hard and I feel like I’ve done extra things, like lifting weights after training, like going and running the mountains when I don’t have to. And like the little extra things that even my team mates don’t do: going to wrestling practice with the high school wrestling team, like the little small things that I do extra on top of my regular training are the things that give me the confidence and the mental edge to say, you know what, I sacrificed enough to feel in my heart and so that I earn the victory.”
“With all my fighting experience I’ve had in the ring, that’s what it is, it comes down to the training and that’s all it really is. And, you know, now with Greg Jackson we have a great game plan. And that was something that I never had before, I never had a game plan. I never did game plans. I’d just get in there and scrap. We have a great game plan, we put together a great camp for this fight and I’ve been very very blessed to have all my training partners have fights too. I’ve had plenty of training partners and we all work really hard and I hope they all win and hope I win and I have a lot of respect for Martin. I know he’s a hard worker also.”
After tuff times Diego is feeling mentally strong now. “After the John Hathaway loss, I hit rock bottom after the BJ Penn fight, I really did. I blew through all my money, I really just – I made some very bad decisions. I fell into – I had this scam artist scam me real bad. I was embezzled over $175,000. I really got – hit rock bottom and I had to come back home. I needed my family love and, you know what I mean, I just was humbled 100%.”
“I was humbled back down to zero, you know what I mean? I had no ego, no nothing, just humble and that’s what – after the John Hathaway loss, I was still in the funk. I was still in the funk for John Hathaway. I was training. I was going to the bar and drinking beer after training. I didn’t even take him seriously at all. I though, you know what I mean, I’m going to go in there and I’m going to knock this guy out, I’m going to take him down, and, you know, first round I got hit with the knee in the face real hard and, I couldn’t recover from it.”
“And I wasn’t in the physical shape or the spiritual or the mental. I shouldn’t have been in the ring for that fight period and after that fight I said, you know what, I’m going to get back to what got me there and that was Greg Jackson, high altitude, and just earning it.”
To hear Diego’s interview with MMA2DAY in it’s in its entirety StQTKRJan-A