This was originally posted over at fellow SBN site Head Kick Legend. We'd surely appreciate if you folks would stop by and show some love.
There's a term that gets used in this sport a lot called "evolution". Earlier today in fact, Jack brought up the de-evolution or over-evolution of Rampage Jackson into a mostly one-dimensional fighter. Throughout the past few years, we've witnessed Diego Sanchez roar into the octagon 17 times, and 17 times it's been pretty much exactly the same Diego Sanchez. It got him some measure of success - he won TUF1, and got a title shot at lightweight, but ever since then, real success has eluded him. It's easy to say that B.J. Penn took his soul, but that's just a fun meme. What's really happened is that the top levels of the division are just better than Diego Sanchez.
Diego hasn't added anything to his arsenal since 2005 and it's gotten painfully clear that if he ever wants to find success in this sport in the small time that he has left, he needs to change, and fast. I don't mean finding Jesus and renouncing weed, because quite frankly in my opinion, it's just going all-in from one addiction to another. He can be a sucker for women, weed, booze, religion or whatever he wants, but unless he starts really incorporating some MT, BJJ and better technical boxing, he's going to fail to those that out-physical him. Personally, I think his best chance for success is to drop back down to lightweight where his size-disadvantage becomes an advantage. At 170, he sports a muffin-top and sports an 0-3 record since 2007 to Josh Koscheck, Jon Fitch and Jake Ellenberger - three people who are just better MMA wrestlers than he is.
To be quite honest, I don't think he will ever be a champion in the UFC, and if his dream is to truly have gold around his waist, he needs to swim in shallower waters. That said, I'm going to assume that he continues to fight in the UFC, he probably won't ever change up his style, regardless of the losses, and will never be more than a gatekeeper. Perhaps he goes and proves me wrong, but personally, I think that unless he wants to stop having broken parts in his face, he needs to seriously change his stubborn style, fight lesser competition, or just hang them up.