ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Diego Sanchez said he feels like a new version of himself. The former UFC fighter, who lost his spot with the organization under the leadership of a controversial trainer, has taken control of his life again and is choosing to only look forward. Sanchez is ready to explore his options in combat sports, but he hasn’t given up on MMA and is hoping UFC President, Dana White, will bring him in for one more retirement fight.
That was how his 16-year career with UFC, highlighted by a Hall of Fame fight against Clay Guida, was supposed to end before a series of unfortunate events led to his release by the UFC. Sanchez was going to face his former Jackson and Wink teammate, Donald Cerrone before the fight was canceled. As mentioned earlier, Sanchez is exploring his options. He wouldn’t mind seeing Cerrone on the bare-knuckle fighting circuit.
“I think Cowboy Cerrone and me have a showdown still and Cowboy if you want to throw down for real, let’s see how cowboy you are, I am willing to take off the gloves because I don’t know any Cowboys that wear gloves,” said Sanchez. “They fight out on the ranch and wear bare-knuckle. If you want to throw down and make some money, I will do that fight in BKBFC, but right now it’s boxing.”
You heard it right. Sanchez is already pursuing boxing and has teamed with Teresa Tapia, the widow of former five-time world champion Johnny Tapia. “I have one professional boxing fight and I am 1-0,” said Sanchez. “I won that fight by first-round knockout. Now, I am back in the boxing business, working with Teresa Tapia and working with both of her sons, little Johnny Jr. and Nico and we are all working on boxing.”
Sanchez won his one and only boxing match back in 2003. Johnny Tapia trained him for that fight. Sanchez is returning the favor as he works alongside Johnny Jr. and Nico. “It comes 20 years later and I told them both today, I believe in both of you and I believe that both of you can be world champions, and be better than your father was,” said Sanchez. “They were like, well he was pretty good, and I was like no you can be better. Your dad was blessed and you guys are blessed too.”
Sanchez is hoping he can get in on the fight craze that has put celebs against real fighters. He’s hoping to team up with promoting legend Don King in the future. Sanchez already has a fight in mind. “The biggest fight out there is Oscar De La Hoya and that’s the fight,” said Sanchez. ” I feel like we are sized up equally and if he is looking for an opponent, I am available and contact Teresa and let’s make it happen for the fans.”