Diego Sanchez is no longer worried about becoming a UFC champion.
Sanchez, who won the first season of The Ultimate Fighter at middleweight in 2005 was poised to be a UFC champion one day. Yet, that never came to fruition. Sanchez went 0-1 in title fights and now at 38-years-old isn’t worried about fighting for gold again.
Now, Sanchez is fighting to be remembered as great as he takes on Jake Matthews at UFC 253. The 38-year-old also says he sees similarties between his youngself and his opponent.
“I have nothing but respect for the young lad that is stepping up to the plate that is living his destiny, doing his thing. I see similarities in young Diego chasing his dream of a UFC welterweight gold belt (and Jake),” Sanchez said to James Lynch of Line Movement. “My destiny has changed, I’m not really chasing the gold belt anymore, I’m chasing greatness. I don’t need it a belt or a shiny gold belt buckle to say that I’m great. I’m transcending just being a fighter and bringing value to (the) human being that I have become and still evolving into.”
Diego Sanchez won his last fight due to Michel Pereira throwing an illegal knee and being DQ’d. Before that, “Nightmare” was domianted by Michael Chiesa after back-to-back wins over Mickey Gall and Craig White.
His opponent in Jake Matthews, meanwhile, is on a two-fight winning streak and 9-4 inside the Octagon. At just 26-years-old the Australian is set to fight arguably the biggest name he has in Diego Sanchez. Matthews is also the biggest favorite on the pay-per-view card.
There is no question Diego Sanchez is a legend of the sport. He has fought and beaten the who’s who at lightweight and welterweight. Even at 38-years-old, it doesn’t seem like he has any desire to hang up the gloves as he is looking to build up his legacy even more.
Do you think Diego Sanchez will be a Hall of Famer?