UFC legend Diego Sanchez is planning on retiring after his next fight, and he has a few opponents in mind for that final walk to the Octagon.
After taking on rising prospects like Michel Pereira and Jake Matthews, Sanchez, who won the very first season of The Ultimate Fighter, is hoping to close out his career by battling somebody of his vintage, like one of the Diaz brothers or Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone.
“I like Nate Diaz, I like Nick Diaz, I like [Donald] ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone,” Sanchez told MMA Fighting. “There’s a lot of guys out there that have the mileage. There are guys on the list that have had those UFC wars. That’s all I’m asking for. In my last four fights, three of those guys were 26 years old, and top of their country.
“Jake Matthews is probably the best welterweight out of Australia,” Sanchez added. “And if you want to joke yourself that Pereira ain’t the best welterweight out of Brazil, [except] maybe Gilbert Burns, c’mon man. I’ve gone out there with real killers, and I haven’t gotten credit for it. You’ve seen a smaller frame, smaller size welterweight.
“I’ve let go of the dream of becoming a UFC champion that I held in my heart my whole life,” Sanchez added. “I just want an OG fight. I want an OG that’s already come from wins and losses and had experience. Experience, that’s it. That’s the untold story of the warrior of the UFC. And I’m the one that’s ending this book, because I was the one who started this sh*t when the UFC was $40 million in debt and The Ultimate Fighter was an explosion.”
While it’s a bit difficult to imagine Nick and Nate Diaz, two of the biggest names on the sport, agreeing to fight Sanchez at this stage of their respective careers, a fight Cerrone certainly makes some sense, as he’s also on the tail end of a long an illustrious career.
Whoever Sanchez ends up fighting in his final appearance, he’s excited to give his body and his brain a chance to recoup in his post-fighting life.
“I need to recover and heal, because this fighting is a real traumatizing lifestyle, it really is, and that’s just being real and honest with the world, because I’ve gone through it, and I’ve got the scars to prove it,” Sanchez said. “Somehow, man, god allowed me to come out of the tunnel. And I’m making it out, and that’s why it’s like, fight this last fight, get out, do other things, and be the guy that got out.”
“I’ve been fighting my whole career with this torn labrum, and my hip, and I’m probably going to retire, get hip surgery done, and focus on my life outside of fighting, as a human being, and the value that I bring to the world just outside of MMA,” Sanchez added.
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