ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Diego Sanchez already has a hall-of-fame UFC career. He has already proven his abilities against some of the best fighters in the world, but now he is taking on a new adventure: bare-knuckle fighting.

BKFC is coming to Albuquerque on February 17 for Knuckle Mania 3, which is co-headlined by Sanchez and former WBA champion Austin Trout. Both Sanchez and Trout are set to make their bare-knuckle debuts and are excited for the challenge.

“He is a tremendous champion-level boxer, and that is why I love this fight so much,” Sanchez said. “We are taking off our UFC gloves, we are taking off our boxing gloves, and we are getting primal.”

Coming into the fight, Trout is considered the favorite. Sanchez, 41, has taken criticism due to his age and striking ability, but he is ready to silence the haters.

“There is a lot of people out there that are afraid for me, like I am going to get hurt, like if I am Rocky going into the Apollo Creed fight. This is really what they are saying on the internet, and I have to refute it.”

Overall Sanchez believes that his accomplished career has prepared him for what he might see against Trout. He is excited to be fighting in front of his home crowd and hopes to put on a show.

Story continues below:

“We are the Johnny Tapia roots of Albuquerque and come February 17th, I am putting it down. This is a ‘Burque street fight, and I am extremely confident, and I am motivated.”