Diego Sanchez says he’s fighting for his legacy on Friday night.
Sanchez is set to headline Eagle FC 46 in Miami against Kevin Lee in an intriguing matchup. Before the fight came together, he was rumored to sign with BKFC which he says was nearly done until he realized he had unfinished business in MMA.
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“In January, Ali (Abdelaziz) hit me up and said ‘Eagle FC they want you, Diego, they want you, they want your name,” Sanchez said on Just Scrap Radio on BJPENN.com. “We want to bring you to our organization and treat you like the legend that you are.’ I was already in negotiations for BKFC, and that was going really well, I had a nice bag that was ready for me to do BKFC, but the way things ended in 2021 with my career and UFC, I’m a legacy pioneer of mixed martial arts, so being a pioneer I felt like I needed to finish the final chapters I didn’t get to finish. I still have more to give to the MMA community.”
Sanchez is well-aware that he is the underdog but he believes he’s a much different and better fighter since his last fight. He is under a new coach after letting go of Joshua Fabia and hasn’t fought in a year-and-a-half. But, he says he added a ton of new things and will surprise Lee on Friday night.
“I’m 40, Kevin Lee is 29 so that is all I want to do and make a statement. Diego Sanchez is not just a dogfighter, a mentally tough fighter, a physically gifted and tough durable name. Yeah, I have those attributes but I’m also a skilled warrior that has an understanding of mixed martial arts,” Sanchez explained. “I had to go through wars and it wasn’t easy to get what I got. That is why I took a pay cut to go fight for Eagle FC instead of BKFC because it’s about my legacy, Diego Sanchez’s legacy, everything I did from the start to the finish. For me to capitalize with a triumphant victory it will be a statement that can not be denied. I’m going out there to use all my skills.”
With Diego Sanchez believing he is a much better fighter, he’s confident once he starts piecing up Kevin Lee on the feet he will force “The Motown Phenom” to shoot on him. However, he’s confident he will be able to keep the fight on the feet and will pressure Lee the entire time which will lead him to the win.
“Once Kevin Lee realizes, I’m not what he thought I was, when he sees that I can strike, move and fight he will try and take me down,” Sanchez said. “The takedown is coming and I have my counter-attacks and strategies ready to be victorious… I have many tools to win this fight whether it’s by submission or on the feet, all I know is the guy he’s watching on tape is not the guy who I am. I’m a pressure fighter and I will pressure him, get into his face, and hit him with stuff and that is where I believe the fight will change.”
Should Sanchez get his hand raised, he knows it would be a massive win for his career. He also believes it would get him the super-lightweight title shot and the plan for “The Nightmare” is to fight out his three-fight deal with Eagle FC and then likely go to BKFC to end his career there.
“It’s all about the body, I got three fights with Eagle FC so I’m on a mission to get the 165lbs super lightweight title. After that, I’m going to reassess and see what is going on, I might do BKFC after this. I always wanted to do a fight with no gloves.”
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