In a showdown between the old guard and new guard of the lightweight division, Diego Sanchez faced off with Myles Jury.
Jury entered the fight with an undefeated record and a big win over Michael Johnson. Sanchez, meanwhile, was coming off his 2013 Fight of the Year candidate opposite Gilbert Melendez.
It was a big fight to determine who would keep their spot in the UFC lightweight rankings and when push came to shove, Jury took a handy decision win. So what did we learn?
Myles Jury May Be a Legitimate Contender
Myles Jury beat Diego Sanchez. Easily. Like...really easily.
At no point was he seriously threatened and at no point was the fight not taking place precisely where he felt like. That kind of control over a successful veteran means a lot in terms of figuring out where Jury stacks up in the division.
That said, he didn't ragdoll Sanchez in the same way that, say, Khabib Nurmagomedov ragdolled Pat Healy. That means--let me find my sunglasses--that the jury is still out...
Diego Sanchez is Done
Does Diego Sanchez still have fight in him? Obviously he does.
Hearing him struggle to cut a promo tape for this fight, though, was genuinely disheartening. Watching him get absolutely dominated by Jury simply by having a modest amount of footwork? That didn't feel great, either.
Myles Jury is making this look super easy. A little movement, basic striking and Diego Sanchez is flummoxed.— Jonathan Snowden (@mmaencyclopedia) March 16, 2014
Sanchez is still a fun fighter and a name brand and, unfortunately, that means the UFC is almost certainly willing to ride him all the way into a casket. The reality, though, is that Sanchez has an outdated skill set and fighting style that will only result in more blunt force trauma to the skull.
What's Next for Jury?
Jury, stupidly, finds himself ranked outside the lightweight top-15 in spite of beating no. 11 Michael Johnson just 18 months ago. As such, he will likely find himself getting an opponent closer to the top-10 next time.
There are plenty of options. The winner of Jim Miller vs. Bobby Green is a great idea. Other names that make sense are Edson Barboza, Rustam Khabilov and Ross Pearson.
What's Next for Sanchez?
I wish retirement, but I doubt that's the case.
Sanchez, as stated, won't beat any up-and-comers like Jury. He just won't. Having good cardio and thoughtlessly plodding forward just doesn't get you wins like it used to.
There are plenty of established veterans, though, that are in the same boat as Sanchez. Jamie Varner, Melvin Guillard and Joe Lauzon would all be excellent potential opponents for him.