Diego Sanchez: Recent Fights by Teammates Clay Guida and Carlos Condit 'Sucked'
Greg Jackson operates one of the most highly regarded MMA gyms in the world, producing countless champions over the years.
However, the world-renowned coach has faced heavy criticism in recent years for producing "safe" fighters who look to outpoint opponents instead of looking for the finish.
Former UFC lightweight title challenger Diego Sanchez, one of Jackson's students, agrees with the criticism, at least to some degree.
On Monday's edition of The MMA Hour, Sanchez told MMA Fighting's Ariel Helwani that he did not agree with with the way teammates Clay Guida and Carlos Condit approached their most recent fights.
"I thought both of those fights sucked," Sanchez said of Carlos Condit vs. Nick Diaz and Clay Guida vs. Gray Maynard."My coaches might get mad at me for that, but that's my opinion and I'm allowed to have my opinion."
Condit fought Diaz at UFC 143 for the UFC interim welterweight title, with "The Natural-Born Killer" winning a disputed unanimous decision. As a matter of fact, Sanchez personally believed Diaz won that fight.
I thought Nick Diaz won the fight with Carlos. When you're not engaging and you're not fighting, that takes away what this sport is. That's my opinion, that's why I want to fight someone like the Diaz boys who will come and step in front of you and fight you. I guess that's all opinion, but the fans, they have my back on this, and that's what fighting's all about. It's for the fans, and Dana White knows this. That's why he gets so pissed off when there's crappy fights like that. Us as fighters, we must step it up if we want to get taken care of and get paid right and grow this fight into the biggest spot in the world, above all other sports, we have to get in the cage and we have to leave it all in the cage every time.
Sanchez won a fairly one-sided decision over Diaz at The Ultimate Fighter 2 finale, all the way back in Nov. 2005.
Guida, who lost a closely contested "Fight of the Year" effort against Sanchez in June 2009, lost another split decision in his most recent effort against Maynard at UFC on FX 4 in June.
The difference was that the bout with Maynard din't have the slightest bit of action, largely because of Guida's game plan: run around the cage until "The Bully" gets tired.
Not only did the plan not work, "The Carpenter" greatly disappointed the fans who are used to seeing the perennial lightweight contender put on highly entertaining fights.
Before the interview was over, Sanchez, who also owns the 2006 "Fight of the Year" honor for his war with Karo Parisyan at UFC Fight Night 6, blames Guida and Condit for the lackluster fights.
"It's on that fighter," Sanchez said. "In the end, they lock the door and the coaches aren't in there with you. In the end, if you're in the UFC, you are a professional, you paid your dues, and you know exactly what this job entails. You should go in there as a professional and do what you do. ... I'd rather go out swinging, fighting like a warrior, those last 30 seconds. I'm going to leave it all out in the cage and know that I'm trying to finish my opponent, even knowing that most of my time it ain't going to be a finish."
Before concluding, Sanchez also noted that there are plenty of entertaining Jackson's MMA fighters on the UFC roster who consistently put on a show in the Octagon.
"Don't give Greg and Coach Wink the hard rap," he said. "There's so many Jackson fighters like me, guys like Jon [Jones], there's so many guys who are just straight-up warriors, who leave everything in the cage."
Also worth noting is that a rematch with Guida is now possible, as Sanchez also announced his intentions to move back down to 155 pounds last week after a recent 2-2 run at welterweight.
In 28 career fights, Sanchez has fought at lightweight three times, going 2-1. After impressive and entertaining wins over Guida and Joe Stevenson, he was thoroughly beaten by BJ Penn at UFC 107.
Although Nate Diaz is already slated to face the winner of Frankie Edgar vs. Benson Henderson for the lightweight title, Sanchez said he would like the younger Diaz brother to be his next opponent.
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