With Diego Sanchez's recent revelation of his intentions to drop to 155 it seems he is already being called out. The man who has issued the challenge is former Lightweight Champion Sean Sherk.
If this battle were to go ahead it would certainly gather intrigue and promises fireworks.
Diego Sanchez is the first ever Ultimate Fighter winner, albeit in the middleweight division. What is more interesting is the man he beat in the final was the current number one contender to the Lightweight crown Kenny Florian.
Sanchez went on a stampede during his first couple of years in the UFC with dominate wins against Nick Diaz, Karo Parysian and Joe Riggs. All was looking well for the 'Nightmare' and he was destined to get a shot at the Welterweight strap providing he could defeat another man he defeated on the Ultimate Fighter, wrestling sensation Josh Koscheck.
The two rematched at UFC 69, but it did not go well for Sanchez. The relentless onslaught that the fans were use to seeing was not there and instead he was defeated by Decision. However it has been suggested that he had a staph infection days before the fight.
His chance to return to that hellish form occurred at UFC 76 against Koscheck's training partner Jon Fitch. Despite a valiant effort Sanchez appeared to struggle with Fitch's size and strength, losing a split decision. Despite the two consecutive losses Sanchez returned with two tko wins over David Bielkhden and Luigi Fioravanti.
His chance to gain number one conterndership was granted when he accepted to fight Thiago Alves at UFC 90. Unfortunately Sanchez got injured during his preparations and was forced to withdraw from the fight. What is interesting is that despite the fact he did not lose he has decided a move down in weightclass is the best move for his career. Could it be because his replacement the nemesis Josh Koscheck was completely dominated by the huge Alves?
The man who called him out has had an outstanding career. He has a record of 33 wins and three losses. All of those losses to legendary champions BJ Penn, GSP and Matt Hughes. His victories include Karo Parysian(twice), Nick Diaz, Hermes Franca, and Tyson Griffin.
He was on top of the Lightweight world and appeared to be the most ferocious champion in the UFC. That was until after his complete domination of Hermes Franca he tested positive for steroids.
He would soon be stripped off his title and banned for nearly a year. He returned at UFC 84 against BJ Penn, who had done his up-most to get under Sherk's skin. It appeared to work, instead of the Sherk's usual relentless take-down attempts he decided to get involved in a kickboxing match. This resulted in a tko loss at the end of the third round. Was a bad game-plan to blame?
Well at UFC 90 he returned against rising star Tyson Griffin and in a spectacular fight Sherk managed to combine crisp accurate striking with his superb wrestling, resulting a decision win.
Now both men seem destined to collide. But who will win? It is a hard question as both men are evenly matched. Sanchez's new improved stand-up combined with his phenomenal ground skills seem to match up well with—Sherk's insane wrestling and cardio not to mention his own new and improved stand-up.
I would tend to lean towards a Sherk decision, I feel Sherk may be able to control the standup and overwhelm Sanchez should it hit the mat. One thing is for sure if the bought does go ahead it guarantees to light up the Octagon