UFC 107: Diego Sanchez - The Nightmare Before Christmas
Christmas season has finally come.
It is now time for Christians all over the world to observe and celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, my Savior.
I'm from America, and unlike many countries, we are blessed to have the right to express our religous ideals and beliefs to the fullest.
Thats why I have decided to take this time to honor another man of faith, regardless of how "strange" B.J. Penn thinks he may be..
A True Christian Warrior
Sanchez grew up in an impoverished Mexican-American family.
He first got into combat sports in his late teens, wrestling for his highschool in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Instead of pursuing a college career after highschool, he landed a job with the United Postal Service (UPS) and began training in MMA.
While others would give in, Sanchez prevailed.
Eventually he joined the well-renown Jacksons Submission Fighting, while still working for UPS managing the time between work and training.
His UFC debut finally came when he was chosen as a participant on the first season of The Ultimate Fighter.
After weeks of blowing through all competition he won a contract with the UFC, becoming the middleweight winner for the first season of the show.
Shortly thereafter, Sanchez dropped to welterweight, defeating some of the best the UFC had to offer, including: Nick Diaz, John Alessio, Karo Parisyan, and Joe Riggs.
Christians aren't perfect, we all make mistakes.
Upon knocking out Joe Riggs, Sanchez failed a post-fight drug test where he tested positive for THC, the agents found in marijuana.
He was then cleared to fight Koscheck after gladly serving his three-month suspension for his mistake.
Sanchez ended up losing by decision to Josh Koscheck at UFC 69, ending his undefeated run, in a fight that was virtually all stand up.
The fight was one of the most anticipated bouts of 2007, but turned out to be very slow paced, with very few exchanges.
Significantly down on the judges score cards at the end of the second round, Sanchez was expected to advance in aggression in order to attempt a win, but instead he remained calm, throwing very short, soft jabs.
Koscheck managed to keep Sanchez at bay in the third round with superior hand speed and footwork until the bout timed out, to take the win on all three judges' cards.
Several weeks after the fight, Dana White announced that Sanchez was sick on the eve of the fight, and almost had to retire when a test came back indicating he had Hepatitis C.
Luckily the doctors eventually concluded the test results were not correct, but could not diagnose his sickness, so the fight went ahead as planned. The day after the fight Sanchez had a hole in his thigh the "size of a coffee cup" and was diagnosed with a staph infection.
Move to Lightweight
After accumalating an impressive 19-2 record at 170 lbs, Diego found it in his best interests to drop to 155.
He then overwhelmed both Clay Guida and Joe Stevenson with superior size and strength, along with his great wrestling and newly improved striking skills.
However, Sanchez will be relying much more than that when he squares off with B.J. Penn next Saturday for the Lightweight Championship.
Mark 9:23 "Everything is possible for him who believes."
Known by many throughout the MMA world as "The Nightmare" for bashing opponents faces in the octagon, Diego Sanchez is taking the meaning of faith to a whole new level.
He often thanks Jesus for granting him the ability to fight on national television and is proud to be a born-again Christian.
After beating Joe Stevenson in a very entertaining "Fight of The Night" worthy bout, Sanchez smiled at the camera and proclaimed, "All the glory to God and Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior."
The power of faith can do many wonders.
From healing the sick, to feeding the hungry, and even rising from the dead, Jesus Christ my Savior has done it all.
And through faith in him alone, Diego Sanchez and human kind can do so as well.
Even if it means beating the undefeatable Lightweight Champion who many say is the "Prodigy".
Merry Christmas everyone.
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