Diego Sanchez is a man running scared. Reports are circulating that "The Nightmare" is moving back up to 170lbs after his destruction at the hands of BJ Penn. Is this a wise move or is this fighter running scared of a Champion who seems unbeatable?
Sanchez began his UFC career at Welterweight after winning the Ultimate Fighter Series 1 at Middleweight. He amassed a 17-0 career before running into Josh Koscheck and Jon Fitch. After those defeats he decided that he might find success at Lightweight and decided to drop down. After 2 wins over top 10 competition he was fast tracked to a title shot against BJ Penn.
This was supposed to be the defining moment of his career, it turned into his own personal nightmare. Sanchez was subject to one of the Champions finest displays and most savage beatings. Much was written after their meeting at UFC 107, but not much about what was next for Diego. Personally I didn't see this coming as I felt that he left welterweight because he wasn't going to reach the top in that division, apparently though I was wrong.
Diego Sanchez Twitter; "YES IM GOING BACK TO WELTERWEIGHT IM LOVING MY NEW DIET.I WANT KOS OR FITCH BUT ANY TOP GUY WILL DO JUST WANT TO GIVE U FANS THE BEST FIGHT".
So is this a wise decision and what are the reasons for it? The cut was a hard one for Sanchez and 170lbs is probably a more natural weight for him. However having tasted defeat already to 2 of the divisions elite is it wise to look for a return in that division. I don't think it is, but the manner of his defeat to BJ has probably forced his decision. He was fast tracked to a title shot and lost in a manner that many didn't foresee. I too would probably run scared of BJ.
Calling out Fitch and Kos is typical of the self-confident Sanchez but its unlikely to happen as both are booked for matches and Sanchez really needs a warm up fight at 170. Its hard to think where he might fit back into the division. I think he currently would struggle to make top 10. Fights against someone like Amir Sadollah or Johny Hendricks could work for him. However it seems Sanchez has already made a suggestion himself via Twitter.
Diego Sanchez Twitter @NateDiaz209 "I agree you got robbed... I hear your going up too 170 I would love to welcome you to welterweight lets make it happen"
Calling out the Stockton native is a good move in my opinion. Its a fight that he could and should probably win. Diaz is also the type of fighter that would make the match interesting from both a smack talk and fight viewpoint!
Whatever the reasons for another divisional move I think Sanchez will remain a top level fighter that never quite makes the final step to Champion. I think he seriously needs to look at his fellow TUF 1 finalist Kenny Florian to see the level of improvement that he should be making in his game. Diego's energy and brawling style took him so far, he needs to evolve to become relevant again in a 170lbs division that has only improved since he left it.
What are your thoughts on this news? Will Diego be successful again at 170? I'd love to hear from you guys!