Diego Sanchez explains choice to change nickname to “Lionheart”

March 1, 2017 7:39 am by Tom Taylor
Diego Sanchez

Diego Sanchez, who is one of the most experienced veterans in the UFC today, has typically fought under the nickname “The Nightmare.” Apparently, however, that is no longer the case. Several days ago, The Ultimate Fighter season one veteran took to Instagram to announce that he was changing his nickname from The Nightmare to “Lionheart.”

THE NIGHTMARE IS NO MORE!!!!!! "Diego Lionheart Sanchez" era starts right now 2/26/2017 there is no going back it is finished

A post shared by Diego Sanchez (@diegonightmaresanchezufc) on

At a glance, the reasons for this nickname shift seem pretty straightforward. If there’s one thing Sanchez is known for, it’s heart – heart that he has displayed in riveting, back-and-forth brawls with fighters like Gilbert Melendez, Martin Kampmann, Clay Guida, and others.

Last night, however, Sanchez posted a video to Instagram explaining a deeper reason for this nickname change. Apparently, the lightweight veteran hopes to encourage his legions of dedicated fans to tap into their own lion-heartedness – whether they are aspiring fighters or not.

“I’m really, really embracing this Lionheart thing,” Sanchez says in this video. “I know some of my fans out there are going to be disappointed [with the nickname change], but what this is about is a movement, about brining the lion heart out of millions. It’s inside every one of you guys. The lion heart is inside, you gotta let it out.  You gotta let it out, and that’s what this is about. So today, I ask you, if you like my posts, Retweet me, repost me, and let’s get this movement going right now, today.” 

It is worth noting, of course, that Sanchez has changed his nickname before. Several years ago, he briefly changed his nickname to “The Dream,” before eventually reverting back to The Nightmare.

Sanchez’s first fight under this new monicker will occur at UFC Nashville on April 22. His opponent will be talented New Yorker Al Iaquinta, who is returning from a short-lived retirement.

What do you think of this new Diego Sanchez nickname? Sound off, PENN Nation!

This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 3/1/2017.


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