UFC welterweight legend Diego Sanchez praised his former opponent Michel Pereira while explaining his desire to minimize head trauma.
Sanchez fought Pereira at UFC Rio Rancho earlier this year and won the fight via DQ in the third round after receiving an illegal knee to the head on the ground. Most observers believe that Pereira was well on his way to a decision win before the illegal knee, but after Sanchez couldn’t continue, the referee awarded him the disqualification victory. Some fans and media believe Sanchez should retire, but on paper, he has now won three of his last four fights. He takes on Jake Matthews at UFC 253 in what could be his retirement fight.
On Saturday night at UFC on ESPN+ 34, Pereira defeated Zelim Imadaev via third-round submission to jump into the win column. Sanchez took to social media to praise his past opponent for his impressive, bonus-winning performance, while also suggesting that his win over Pereira is proof that his coach Joshua Fabia’s tactics are working for him. Take a look below at what Sanchez wrote on his Instagram.
Diego Sanchez: With all the current praise on my last opponent I’ll be the first to praise that he’s the fastest, strongest, most explosive man I have ever faced! I expected him to fade in the third due to the 5500ft altitude and extreme weight cut, he didnt… up until the illegal knee to the head on the ground I didn’t have a scratch, bruise or cut everything was blended, blocked and guided away to minimize head trauma! Me and my coach received a ton of hate after the fight, now they have wrote me and my guru @joshuafabiaknowbody off ounce again! 3 weeks out from fight island @jakematthewsufc is -500 on the odds we are ready to make some magic happen! this Aussie ain’t no @michelpereiraufc I am very relaxed and confident ready! tune In to @ufc 253 as I flip the table on the game, it is not chess when all the pieces are on the floor
Sanchez is the longest-tenured member of the UFC roster, having made his promotional debut way back in April 2005 at The Ultimate Fighter 1 Finale. 15 years later and Sanchez is still on the UFC roster and winning fights. However, he has taken an obscene amount of damage in his career, and at age 38 it is good to know that he realizes that he needs to watch how much damage he absorbs in his fights, and that starts with good defense.
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