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‘Time to heal, not hurt’ - Diego Sanchez to leave opponent for retirement bout in White’s hands

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Diego Sanchez reiterates his desire to have one last UFC fight.

Diego Sanchez got released from the UFC and his coach/guru/manager Joshua Fabia is under fire again. Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC

Diego Sanchez says his next bout will be last. After almost 19 years competing in mixed martial arts — 16 with the UFC — the original Ultimate Fighter winner reiterated that he will be putting a close to his fighting career.

Earlier in December, Sanchez noted that his retirement fight “needs” the proper opponent. Before that, he’s asked for “legend fights” against the likes of Conor McGregor. Now “The Nightmare” says he has no choice and is leaving it to Dana White to decide his final opponent.

The 39-year-old hasn’t exactly looked great in the last couple of years, and his controversial coaching decisions has been heavily criticized during that span as well. He lost his last bout to Jake Matthews on September 2020, and confirmed shortly after that his next fight will be his final.

Fighting as high as middleweight, and all the way down to featherweight, Sanchez has had a long and impressive career. Without counting his wins in TUF, Sanchez has fought 43 times in his MMA career, 32 of those coming in the UFC.

Although he never really won a UFC title, Sanchez has had a hall-of-fame worthy career. His impressive resume has wins over the likes of Nick Diaz, Kenny Florian, Joe Stevenson, Clay Guida, Takanori Gomi, Jim Miller and Karo Parisyan.

He is also the last remaining fighter from Season 1 of The Ultimate Fighter, and his retirement will indeed mark an end of an era for the reality show credited for saving the UFC.