Diego Sanchez announces he will retire following next UFC fight

The final competing member of the original season of the UFC‘s Ultimate Fighter is about to call it a career. The season one winner, Diego Sanchez (30-13), announced on Twitter yesterday that his next fight will be his last in the octagon.

Sanchez has been competing in the UFC for almost sixteen years now. His official debut came back in 2005 when he defeated Kenny Florian to win the UFC‘s first six-figure contract that they handed out for the Ultimate Fighter.

Sanchez fought in the middleweight division during that tournament. His career inside the octagon has seen him compete in four different divisions. Most notably the lightweight division where he had his best run.

After starting taking off in the UFC‘s welterweight division, Sanchez decided to drop to 155 pounds. Sanchez looked like a monster when he moved down to lightweight in 2008. He had two standout wins over Joe Stevenson and Clay Guida.

The Guida fight has actually been inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame. Following those two impressive wins, Sanchez got his lone shot at UFC gold against BJ Penn. Sanchez was completely dominated by Penn and decided to move back to welterweight after the loss.

Sanchez’s Incredible UFC Run

Since 2010, it’s really been a journey all over the map for Diego Sanchez inside the UFC. He’s competed at welterweight, lightweight, and even a one-fight stint at featherweight in the last decade.

The Nightmare has competed 19 times since 2010 and has gone 9-10 in those 19 fights. However, it’s worth noting that he won one of those fights by DQ in a fight that he was completely getting dominated in.

After all of the wars that he’s been in, the 39 year old Sanchez is ready to hang it up. Sanchez took to Twitter yesterday saying, “It’s time to heal not hurt! One more Nightmare to give!” He then stated it’s up to the UFC on who he will face.

There’s no telling on what the promotion will do for Sanchez’s final fight. There’s no secret that Dana White has a soft spot for the TUF one guys. He’s been very vocal about his love for Diego Sanchez over the last 15 years.

I’m honestly not sure what the UFC should do with Sanchez’s last fight. If he’s willing to cut to lightweight, it could be fun to see him in there with Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone (36-15-1, 2 NC). Winnable or not, Sanchez needs to go out with an entertaining opponent. He deserves that.

Diego Sanchez ready for the final stretch of UFC career

It’s been quite the ride for UFC veteran Diego Sanchez (30-12). A career that has seen him win the first season of the Ultimate Fighter, and a career that has seen him spend 15 years in the octagon. Sanchez is heading towards the final few fights of his career.

Sanchez started his MMA record at 17-0. Primed for stardom, Sanchez ran into a speed bump back at UFC 69 where he lost to Josh Koscheck. Since then, it’s been a career of highs and lows for the nightmare. The high point came in 2009.

After competing in the UFC at middleweight and welterweight, Sanchez moved down to lightweight. After winning four straight contests, he got his lone UFC title shot against B.J. Penn back at UFC 107. Sanchez was overwhelmed by Penn and lost by a doctor’s stoppage.

Since that defeat, Sanchez has gone 9-9 over the last 11 years inside the UFC. Last year, he signed a four fight deal which would be the final new contract he would ever receive. Sanchez is ready to ride off into the sunset once the contract is up

A UFC Legend

“I’ve let all those dreams of trying to become a UFC champion go. I’m just trying to enjoy the experience and finish out these last four fights on legendary status,” Sanchez told the media today. It’s been quite the career for Sanchez.

Sanchez already has a spot in the UFC‘s Hall of Fame for his legendary fight with Clay Guida. The two men had an absolute war and the fight was inducted into the Fight Wing of the UFC‘s Hall of Fame last year.

Sanchez has always been entertaining and a bit of an odd duck. However, he’s been loved by fans for a very long time, and it will be a sad day to see him go. Earlier this week, I thought of a very good fight for Sanchez regardless of the outcome this weekend.

I think that the promotion should really look to book fun fights as Sanchez finishes out his UFC career. Who wouldn’t want to see a fight with Cowboy Cerrone? Sanchez will compete this weekend against Jake Mathews.

A realistic matchup for Donald Cerrone after UFC Vegas 11

Donald Cerrone

Saturday night at UFC Vegas 11, Donald Cerrone (36-15-1, 1 NC) fought to the first draw of his career against Niko Price (14-4-1, 1 NC). However, Cowboy was looking at it as the fifth straight loss for him inside the octagon.

If it had not been for a point deduction in the first round, Cerrone would have lost a split decision. The fight was close, but it should have been a fifth straight UFC loss for Donald Cerrone. Many thought it was do or die for Cowboy leading up to UFC Vegas 11.

Cowboy, who is notorious for staring slow, almost appeared to be out before the fight even started. Price blitzed him to start and nearly got a finish, but Cerrone hung in there. He battled back and even won the third round on all scorecards.

Cerrone was clearly dejected after the fight was over. Dana White suggested that the UFC needed to have a talk with Cerrone which could signal the end. However, Cerrone isn’t ready to give up. He’s looking for one more chance to prove himself.

Intriguing matchup for the UFC to consider

I kept trying to wrap my brain around who I would pair Cerrone with in his next fight. Who could the UFC give him that would make for a compelling fight, but it would be a winnable fight for Cerrone?

It’s crazy to think, but we are just a little over a year removed from Cerrone being a win away from a UFC title shot. Cerrone’s fight with Tony Ferguson at UFC 238 was considered a title eliminator. If Cerrone had won that night, he would have fought for the title.

Instead, that night started this steep downhill tumble for Cowboy. I think I’ve come up with the perfect opponent for Cowboy and it’s an opponent who’s going to be fighting this weekend at UFC 253. That opponent is Diego Sanchez (30-12).

Sanchez will be taking on Jake Mathews this weekend, but regardless of the result, a fight with Cowboy makes sense. Both guys are obviously past their primes, and there’s a little history there. Sanchez really wanted to fight Cowboy back in 2018.

The options for the UFC and Cerrone are relatively limited. I don’t think the promotion should book him with a top contender or an up and comer. Give him someone with a name, but someone that he can fight competitively with. The original ultimate fighter makes a lot of sense to me.