(Look at it this way, it’s not like it could end any worse than the first time around.)
Diego Sanchez has kind of become the Oprah of MMA. One minute he’s fat, the next he’s skinny, and in the moments between, he’s using a combination of over-the-top enthusiasm and divine right to help amass a cult following that consists of anyone within shouting distance. Perhaps it is ironic that the only fighter in UFC history to jump between more weight classes than Sanchez is the man he managed to beat for the TUF 1 middleweight plaque, Kenny Florian.
In either case, it looks like Diego’s most recent trip up to welterweight, which saw him go 2-2 (or 1-3 depending on how you viewed the Kampmann fight) will not be where the UFC’s go-to YES!! man will call home for long. In a recent interview with MMAJunkie.com, Sanchez stated that he is considering dropping back down to lightweight, because, you know, B.J. Penn is gone now. Fine, he didn’t state that directly, but we can read between the lines. Anyway, after undergoing surgery to fix a nagging shoulder injury, Sanchez feels 155 might become his new stomping grounds…again:
I really try to lift weights, but the shoulder injury sort of set me back. As I heal up, my body’s going to get a little smaller, so I might just go down to 155.
The last time I was at 155, I was just a wreck. Mentally, I was still young and partying a lot, and I was still smoking weed. I was just a wild child. Now that I’m grounded and have my life together and am married, I’m just focused. So maybe 155 might be a better weight for me.
Our question to Diego is: Why stop there? The flyweight division could sure use another contender that gives us the willies.
There’s little denying that Diego has looked a little thick around the waist ever since returning to welterweight, so maybe 155 is the best place for him. And according to Sanchez, UFC President Dana White has no problem with his continuously fluctuating weight:
Like Dana White said, maybe I can jump from either weight class as long as I do it professionally. And I will. If I have to go down to 155, it’s only going to make me more strict with health and nutrition and diet. That’s my hardest part (of training). But at 155, there’s no messing around. You’ve got to do it right.
And when the question of a return opponent came up, Sanchez had a couple opponents in mind, starting with Anthony Pettis, who will be coming off the exact same surgery as Sanchez:
I want to fight a guy who’s a fan favorite and who has a lot of fans and is a big draw. It’d make us both better, the sport better. Plus, the guy has a win over the champ, so that’d bump me up right to the top (of the division).
We’ll be recovering about the same time. I think he got the same surgery as me, so it’d be an event playing field. I told Dana I really liked that fight.
Considering that five of Sanchez’s last seven fights have earned Fight of the Night honors, “The Dream” felt that, if Pettis was not available, Nate Diaz would be just as good an option, because the word “boring” does not exist in the Diaz’s vocabulary. Neither does the word “vocabulary,” but you get what we’re saying:
Them Diaz brothers are just scrappers. It’d be a ‘Fight of the Night.’ You’re going to get the ground game, standup. You’re going to get it all. You’re going to get a real fight with a Diaz.
Though this is undoubtedly true, we’re going to have to ask Diego to pump the brakes a little bit. Like we said, he’s gone 2-2 in his last four, and hasn’t fought at lightweight since getting steamrolled by Penn at UFC 107.
To be fair, he lost to whom he considers “the best B.J. Penn ever,” which is pretty dead on in our opinion, but considering he’s also coming off a loss to Jake Ellenberger at the inaugural UFC on FUEL event, do you think he’s really in the position to start calling out top contenders like Diaz and Pettis? I guess we can all have dreams.