Diego “The Dream” — formerly “The Nightmare” — Sanchez is no stranger to making history in the UFC as he was the first competitor to win “The Ultimate Fighter” tournament back in 2005.
Now Sanchez is chasing a different dream, one at the featherweight division. A territory that will be new to him and present some opportunities, as well as challenges.
In an interview on the MMA Road Show, Sanchez announced he would now compete in the featherweight division, a first-time foray for the “TUF” winner who has fought at lightweight, welterweight and middleweight. He would be the second fighter to compete in four weight classes, Kenny Florian being the first. Unlike Florian, Sanchez hopes to get a win at 145 pounds and be the first fighter to have a victory in four different UFC weight classes. While Florian has wins in lightweight, welterweight and featherweight, he lost his 185 debut to Sanchez in the finals of the “TUF” tournament.
The UFC’s featherweight division has always been competitive. When the weight class was first brought to the UFC you had stars like Cub Swanson, Chad Mendes and titleholder Jose Aldo. Former lightweight champion Frankie Edgar has found some success. With the addition of Irish superstar Conor McGregor, the featherweight division is generating a lot of buzz.
But is this a wise decision for Sanchez? What factors will come into play before his 145 debut?
One factor is the initial weight cut. Other than coming in overweight for his fight against former Pride champion Takanori Gomi, Sanchez hasn’t really had an issue with cutting weight. In the interview, Sanchez said he recently acquired Instant Knockout Fat Burner as a sponsor and has been using the product, which has helped him drop from 190 to 170. Hopefully, it can help him make a healthy 145-pound cut.
If anyone benefits from Sanchez’s drop to featherweight, it’s the fans. The Dream is a seven-time “Fight of the Night” winner and can put on a show with any opponent. He’s already targeting Clay Guida and Ricardo Lamas as potential foes in his featherweight run. I also think he could have good fights with Edgar and Urijah Faber if the former WEC champion decides to stick to 145.
Some folks wonder how much gas The Dream has left in the tank. He’s won four of his last seven fights – two of those being close, controversial split-decision wins. Despite the record, Sanchez continues to perform well in the octagon.
Will Sanchez capture the UFC featherweight title like he hopes? Fans and critics will have to wait and see. The logical answer is “no” but like Joe Rogan says,”Anything can happen in MMA.”
UFC Announces Liverpool Event, Darren Till Main Event
Scousers are drowning in celebration this evening. Earlier today, UFC officials announced the addition of a Liverpool show to their 2018 event calendar. Liverpool’s, Echo Arena, plays host for the event, which takes place on May 27th.
Liverpool’s own, Darren Till made the announcement this afternoon with Dan Hardy at the UFC Fight Night: Werdum vs. Volkov, ceremonial weigh-in. When asked by Hardy what it means to have the UFC in Liverpool, he had this to day, “Words can’t describe it. It doesn’t do it justice, words. So, it’s coming and I’m going to be the first Scousers to ever have done it. In 200 years they’re going to remember my name in combat sports in Liverpool. I’m gonna take someones chin off in Liverpool, that’s what’s happening”.
He was also quoted in an release from the promotion saying, “I can’t believe UFC is finally coming to Liverpool and I’m going to be headlining Echo Arena. My name is going to be remembered in 200 years time for being part of this historical event and I can’t even describe how much that means to me”. Till will headline the card, his opponent is yet to be announced.
In the official release, it quotes David Shaw, Senior Vice President International and Content, claiming, “The stars really aligned for the Octagon to touch down in Liverpool. We have seen such phenomenal demand from fans in the region for a live event. Pair that with having such a rising, local star in Darren Till it made absolute sense to bring our first live event to this historical combat sports city in 2018”.
UFC Liverpool lands on a date speculated for a different venue, in a different country. Reports swirled last month, specifically one from MMAFighting.com, which claimed the May 27th date belonged to the UFCs return to Dublin. A return to Dublin doesn’t seem to fall completely out of the realm of possibility. For now, it remains to be seen.
The UFC also announced two bouts, both in the Middleweight division, booked for the event. Elias Therodorou takes on Trevor Smith, and Daniel Kelly goes up against England’s Tom Breese.
Marco Reyes Flagged for Potential Anti-Doping Policy Violation
Earlier today, UFC officials announced that Lightweight, Marco Reyes was flagged for a potential UFC Anti-Doping Policy violation. The potential violation hails from a sample collected on March 8th, 2018, in an out-of-competition test.
Reyes made his way into the UFC through The Ultimate Fighter Latin America, season 2. Competing in the lightweight bracket, Reyes defeated Christhian Soto by 2nd rd. TKO of a preliminary round bout. He then went onto to face Horacio Gutiérrez, in the semifinals of the tournament. Gutiérrez defeated Reyes in the opening round by TKO.
Following his elimination from the tournament, the Mexican fighter met Cezar Arzamendia on the series finale, The Ultimate Fighter Latin America 2 Finale. Reyes impressively defeated Arzamendia, whom was the first overall pick for Team Gastelum, by 1st round KO.
From there, Reyes defeated Dong Hung Kim (rd. 1, KO), and Jason Novelli (Split Decision) respectively, before falling to rising contender James Vick. Most recently, the Lightweight fighter dispatched Matt Frevola in the opening round, ruining the Long Islanders promotional debut. His bout against Frevola took place at UFC Fight Night: Stephens vs. Choi, on January 14th of this year.
The UFC statement on the matter reads as follows:
The UFC organization was notified today that the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has informed Marco Reyes of a potential Anti-Doping Policy violation stemming from an out-of-competition sample collected on March 8, 2018.
USADA, the independent administrator of the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, will handle the results management and appropriate adjudication of this case involving Reyes. Under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, there is a full and fair legal process that is afforded to all athletes before any sanctions are imposed. Additional information will be provided at the appropriate time as the process moves forward.
Dillon Danis to make Pro debut against Kyle Walker at Bellator 198
Mixed Martial Arts officially adopted another incredibly talented jiu-jitsu practioner today. Bellator officials announced today the long-awaited debut of Dillon Danis, whom the promotion had signed in the year previous. After zero amateur and countless jiu-jitsu matches, Danis makes his debut at Bellator 198: Mir vs. Emelianenko, against Kyle Walker.
Kyle Walker enters the match up also making his Bellator debut. Walker recently made a resurgence in 2016 after taking off, almost exactly, 3 years. Since returning to the professional scene his record is 0-3, losing each fight by stoppage (2 Sub, 1 KO).
Walker looks to snap his streak yet, his opponent could provide a major challenge. In terms of advantages for Walker, he has a massive and obvious one. His experience. Walkers opponent fights for the first time in the sport of MMA. While Danis competed in many top-level jiu-jitsu tournaments and matches, comparing the competition would stop and end upon examining the rule sets. It is quite obvious, the difference. Danis will have a bit of adversity to overcome, in that respect.
In spite of this, Danis’ team, he trains out of the highly regarded SBG Ireland. Even before his MMA training, he trained under Marcelo Garcia. He earned his black belt in April of 2015, following an incredible 2014. In that year, Danis became UAEJJF World Champion, winning gold in the 82 kg (181 lb.) Brown belt category.
The prospect of what that could look like inside the cage is exciting. He may have developed some striking techniques but, the lack of time dedicated to that training in undeniable. Experience and time is required to develop skills of any kind.
Bellator 198: Mir vs. Emelianenko, takes place on Saturday, April 28th from the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Illinois. Bellator 198 features the third of four preliminary bouts in the promotions Heavyweight Grand Prix, Fedor Emelianenko takes on Frank Mir. It serves as the nights main event. Other bouts on the card feature; Emmanuel Sanchez against Sam Sicilia, Neiman Gracie faces Javier Torres, Rafael Lavato Jr. vs. John Salter, and more.
- Interviews3 months ago
Exclusive: Alexander Gustafsson eyeing summer 2018 return- wants title shot next
- Opinion5 months ago
A list of fighters who fought Michael Bisping – while on steroids
- Interviews5 months ago
Sage Northcutt on Moving to Sacramento and Life at Team Alpha Male
- Rumours3 years ago
Proto MMA History: The Day Antonio Inoki Almost Killed The Great Antonio
- Cage Warriors5 months ago
EXCLUSIVE: Matt Inman Talks Cage Warriors 87, His Love For Fighting And Craig White Possibly Tiring Himself Out.
- BAMMA4 months ago
BAMMA 32: Official Results and Live Stream
- Interviews5 months ago
Tim Means on Lawsuit Against Supplement Companies “I’m Going to Shut Them Down”
- Interviews5 months ago
Exclusive: Derek Brunson: “Anderson was definitely a little lubed up”