Diego Sanchez, the first ever TUF champion, is currently in the tail-end of his long MMA career. The 38-year-old 43-fight veteran last appeared in the Octagon at UFC 253 in September, there he dropped a unanimous decision to Jake Matthews.
Sensing he may not have much longer in the sport, Sanchez took to twitter yesterday to announce he was most interested in a ‘legends fight’ for his next contest. In the tweet blast that accompanied that proclamation, Sanchez name-dropped a few fighters he has on his radar.
The first person ‘The Nightmare’ mentioned was UFC commentator, and former welterweight title challenger, Dan Hardy.
“If [Hardy] wants his combat death to be by me come on Dan just ask I’ll give you the warriors death you desire,” wrote Sanchez. “Dan if you really want it come get it my reptile eats your weak ass serpent.”
If @danhardymma wants his Combat death to be by me come on Dan just ask I’ll give you the warriors death you desire— Diego Sanchez UFC (@DiegoSanchezUFC) November 5, 2020
Dan if you really want it come get it my reptile eats your weak ass serpent— Diego Sanchez UFC (@DiegoSanchezUFC) November 5, 2020
Other names Sanchez threw out as potential opponents included Donald Cerrone and Demian Maia. Sanchez also said he wanted to fight former UFC lightweight and featherweight champion Conor McGregor, suggesting such a match-up would “break the internet”.
What I know will break the Internet @TheNotoriousMMA let’s go????!!!— Diego Sanchez UFC (@DiegoSanchezUFC) November 5, 2020
It’s common knowledge now, thanks to some leaked text messages, that McGregor was—at one point—very interested in fighting Sanchez. However, UFC President Dana White said he should have his promoters’ license suspended if he went ahead with that booking.
It’s unlikely McGregor still fancies a fight with Sanchez, since he now has a fight with former interim UFC lightweight champion Dustin Poirier on the horizon.
In his tweet storm Sanchez revealed that he probably knows a fight with McGregor, or a bona fide legend, was a big ask at this stage in his career. “If I gotta fight another 26 year old bring it,” he wrote.
Sanchez’s win over Kenny Florian to start his UFC career happened over 15 years ago. Over that time-span he has won 19 fights in the promotion and earned seven Fight of the Night bonuses. In 2008-09 Sanchez pulled off a four fight winning streak, which included a UFC Hall of Fame contest versus Clay Guida, to earn a lightweight title shot versus B.J. Penn.
Sanchez lost by TKO to Penn, thanks to one of the worst cuts the sport has ever seen. His record has been 9-10 since that moment.