Sanchez Moves Past The Nightmare

Diego Sanchez UFC 121

photo by James Law/

Sanchez “The Nightmare” no more

When he walks out to the cage against Martin Kampmann at UFC on Versus 3, fans shouldn’t be planning on calling on the man they have known a long time as “Nightmare.”

Former lightweight top contender Diego Sanchez says the negativity of the nickname was something he had to put in the past.

“I totally restructured my whole life,” Sanchez stated today during the media conference call for the March event, explaining how he picked himself back up after his devastating loss to B.J. Penn.

While Sanchez found solid success in the lightweight division when he debuted in the weight class against Joe Stevenson, winning via unanimous decision, and his exhilarating fight against Clay Guida. But the loss to Penn took its toll on the energetic competitor.

Yet even after he had time to move past the loss to “The Prodigy” and reenter the 170 lb. division, he still found himself struggling to move on, failing to take his opponent John Hathaway seriously and drinking after practices.

And that brings up what Sanchez’s “restructured” life entails apart from him dropping his nickname, as he has decided that his 155 lb. fighting days are permanently behind him and he is refocused on his career fighting under Greg Jackson.

“The options are closed for me to ever go down to 155 (lbs.) again,” Sanchez stated simply, now focusing on continuing his rise in the welterweight division after earning an impressive victory over Paulo Thiago at UFC 115.

Sanchez has the opportunity now to build upon that victory and advance forward in a division desperate for contenders when he faces off against Kampmann on March 3.

Still, regardless of the outcome, it appears as though Sanchez has battled through his personal demons to set his life straight, which is perhaps the greatest victory. And now he is happy with where he stands in his career.

“I’m at a good place in my career … I’m where I belong.”

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