UFC: Diego Sanchez Should Return to Lightweight

Tim McTiernanCorrespondent IMarch 1, 2012

Diego Sanchez is one of the best fighters to ever come out of The Ultimate Fighter. Sanchez was featured on season one of The Ultimate Fighter, and he won the show in the middleweight division when he defeated Kenny Florian.

Sanchez has beaten great fighters, such as Jorge Santiago, Nick Diaz, Karo Parysian, Joe Stevenson, Clay Guida, Florian and more.

Sanchez had his first fight in the lightweight division on Feb. 21, 2009 at UFC 95, and he defeated Joe Stevenson by unanimous decision in a fight that earned Fight of the Night honors.

He followed that up with a split decision victory over Clay Guida in a bout that earned both Fight of the Night and Fight of the Year.

He then earned his shot at the UFC lightweight title and at "The Prodigy," BJ Penn.

At the time, Penn had won four of his last five, all by finish, and the lone loss being to Georges St-Pierre at welterweight.

He was able to beat Sanchez badly, and at 2:37 of round five, the fight was called to a stop due to a cut suffered by Sanchez.

After that loss, Sanchez moved back up to the welterweight division and faced off against John Hathaway. He lost the fight to Hathaway, and has even said that he didn't feel like he belonged in the cage for that fight.

Sanchez rebounded with two straight wins before finally dropping a unanimous decision to Jake Ellenberger.

Now that Sanchez has lost at welterweight to a top opponent, it's time for him to move back down to lightweight.

BJ Penn remains the only person to have beaten Sanchez at lightweight, and Sanchez also has a win over a fighter—Clay Guida—who is considered by many to be a top five or six lightweight.

With BJ Penn out of the picture, the sky is the limit for what Diego could accomplish at 155.

He can make the weight, and he can make some noise in the division.