Diego Sanchez to Lightweight? YES!

By Raphael Garcia

It looks like the UFC’s lightweight division is going to become that much tougher in the coming months. According to reports, former lightweight title challenger, Diego “The Dream” Sanchez is pushing for a return to 155 and has called out a high-level fighter in Anthony Pettis. Along with Pettis, a number of very interesting bouts await the former Ultimate Fighter champion, and here are some of the best that fans would love to see:

Anthony Pettis 
Since Diego went out of his way to call out “Showtime,” this is where we will start. Pettis versus Sanchez would be a great fight not only for the title contention argument, but for the excitement factor as well. Neither Sanchez nor Pettis have shied away from a back and forth battle, and this is exactly what this bout would become. Sanchez would be a staunch test for Pettis to see if he truly deserves the spot as number one contender. At the same time, the return to lightweight is exactly what Sanchez needs for his career, as many people believe this is the weight class that is best suited for him. This is a must see bout for any fan of mixed martial arts.

Edson Barboza 
Edson has been tearing up the lightweight ranks as he has pushed his undefeated streak to 10 victories. He has gone on record that he feels he should be considered a contender to the lightweight title. While some will refute that thought, he has been impressive during his time in the Octagon. Placing Sanchez across the cage from Barboza would be a staunch test to see if he deserves to stand among the elite in the weight class. It would be interesting to see how Barboza would fare against an opponent who presses him for the entire bout. It is very well-documented that Barboza’s striking can leave his opponents prone at a moment’s notice. The same could be said for the fact that Sanchez has a very tough chin that has not failed him at all during his MMA career. Putting these two fighters against each other is the exact type of fight that would thrive as a main event for live television.

Nate Diaz 
Just mentioning a possible Diego Sanchez versus Nate Diaz fight would get people talking about the event in anticipation. Diaz and Sanchez would stand in the middle of the cage trading punches and kicks with reckless abandon. Diaz would have the technical advantage on both the feet and the ground, but Sanchez has the abilities to keep up with him throughout a whole 15-minute bout. It would be interesting to see what strategy Sanchez would use for this fight, because going straight forward, as he has done against so many other opponents, would play right into Diaz’s strengths. Nate is working to make a run towards the UFC lightweight title, and going through a former contender would be a huge boost to his resume.

Melvin Guillard 
Diego Sanchez versus Melvin Guillard would be an important fight for both personalities, even more so for Guillard than Sanchez, because Melvin is at a low point in his career coming off of two one-sided losses. Sanchez has the abilities to place Guillard in very bad positions, because his grappling weakness is very well attributed. Guillard has powerful punches and the ability to land shots from many different angles. Placing him against Sanchez would create a strong bout to reintroduce Diego to the lightweight division. While a win may not do much to bolster Sanchez’s resume at lightweight, it would still be a matchup that would invoke excitement, and it would be a must see undercard matchup.

A return to the lightweight division would reinvigorate Diego Sanchez’s career in a way that is truly needed at this point. Out of place as a welterweight, he jumped from 155 too quickly after being defeated by BJ Penn. Coming back is not only wonderful for “The Dream,” but MMA fans would surely have something to look forward to seeing.

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