Diego Sanchez: I see a lot of holes in Ben Henderson’s game, I think I can beat him


Longtime UFC fighter Diego Sanchez has been through some wars, losing a few but winning most. He’s also regarded for putting on some of the most exciting bouts in the UFC, like his battles against Martin Kampmann and Jake Ellenberger. While those fights were at 170, Sanchez has made the return to lightweight and slates his return for this August at UFC 164.

Apparently, he’s going for the belt at 155, because he doesn’t think that champion Ben Henderson is quote all that he’s cracked up to be. Sanchez recently sat down with MMA Junkie Radio to address how he feels about the current lightweight landscape:

“After watching Benson Henderson‘s performance against Gilbert Melendez, I must say, I wasn’t impressed. I see a lot of holes in his game, and I feel like that belt’s there for the taking. I see a man who is growing in his martial arts experience. A great fighter, but I see holes in his game, and I really felt he lost that fight to Gilbert.”

Indeed Henderson’s win over Melendez was controversial, and it marked two split decisions in three title defenses for Henderson, who’s yet to finish an opponent in the UFC. This is quite the strange paradigm, as he has been undefeated while rising to the role of champion. But Sanchez looks for things that the casual necessarily might not see, noting:

“He’s strong, but in the Gilbert fight, he didn’t try to do one takedown the whole fight, which I think a champion would see, ‘I’m not dominating this fight in the standup, so let’s work for something else. Let’s try to change it up and at least get some points.”

“At least try to win some rounds more convincingly, the way he did with Jim Miller. But he was just very content in his striking style and throwing the kicks. I saw it as a mediocre performance, and I think I can get in there and beat this guy.”

A new point of view from a man who’s been there and seen all the angles from inside the UFC Octagon. Sanchez has had mixed results at lightweight, and made his return to the division with a controversial split decision win of his own when he beat Takanori Gomi at UFC on Fuel TV  8. Sanchez missed weight by two lbs. for that fight, but is focused on making weight and challenging for the title.

There’s no argument that Diego Sanchez is a true warrior and one of the grittiest fighters the UFC has ever seen. Does he have enough gas left in the tank to make it to the top and fight Ben Henderson for the UFC Lightweight Championship?

  • "Ok"

    • deigo are dumb or just playing dumb, u even got tko'd by bj penn and bj was beaten twice by henderson, another fighter which career is going down. Nothing to do in his life just like patrick star.

      • by the way deigo cant even finish gomi, in his last performance he was so lame and boring.

  • sanchezzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  • I used to be a serious Diego Sanchez fan, picking him from the 1rst episode of TUF to win and the few years after. It's been a while since I'd call myself of fan of his but now I think he's just delusional. He hasn't evolved as a fighter since his early days. I'd argue he's gotten worse. Bendo would demolish him in every area of MMA

  • I like Benson and I do see what Diego is saying but it is more in my opinion that Benson is too comfortable in any situation that he never feels threatened and therefore never puts out until the other guy does and that seems to make his fights close. I think Benson needs to go in there like he is behind sometimes and then we will see him destroy opponents like Miller.

  • every fighter sees holes on everyone… the problem is that when the time comes to fight they do nothing about it and always say if they fight again i will beat him bla bla bla….

    • Like the Great Ear Biting Mike Tyson said, "Everyone has a plan til they get punched in the face"

    • He may be referring to a different hole on Bendo….

  • Sanchez has always had okay stand up but it was his grappling that let him run through everyone but since his title runs everyone has caught up on wrestling… even Gomi pretty much nullified his wrestling so what would Ben Henderson do to him??
    Ben Henderson is a rangey/atheltic fighter and that is the exact kind of opponent Diego does worst against.

    I like to go back to stats to point things out and in Diego's last 6 fights he has only looked good in one fight (against Paulo Thiago who's latest UFC record is 1-4) and while he has been gifted a few wins lately, "The Dream" could arguably be 1-5 over the last 4 years.

    But of course he can beat Ben Henderson…

  • I don't know about Sanchez, but one thing that drives me nuts about Bendo is he constantly has to "fix" his frigging hair during every fight. If he spent less time tucking his phucking locks behind his ears, maybe he could finish a fight.

    A fighter with really good hand speed could time that and catch him clean while he is playing with his hair. It is obvious when he is about to do it, and does it about 200 times per fight.

  • Ben Henderson by split decision

  • hahahaha!!! benson would murder sanchez!!