Throughout his UFC career, Diego Sanchez has faced more peaks than valleys, but that doesn’t mean the original winner of “The Ultimate Fighter” didn’t face some terrible lows on his way to experiencing some incredible highs.

Winning the reality show was the beginning of a very successful UFC career where Sanchez won his first five fights in a row before falling victim to back-to-back losses. Sanchez also split with his trainer Greg Jackson, a person he had been with since high school, and opted to move to California to get ready for fights.

Sanchez then dropped to lightweight, where he felt great success until it once again came crashing to a halt when he was stopped by then champion B.J. Penn. The result of that fight sent Sanchez spiraling downward, and he fell into a dark and dangerous place.

“I hit rock bottom after the B.J. Penn fight, I really did. I blew through all my money, I made some very bad decisions,” Sanchez admitted recently.

“I had this scam artist scam me real bad. I was embezzled over $175,000. I really got hit rock bottom and I had to come back home. I needed my family love and I just was humbled, 100 percent. I was humbled back down to zero. I had no ego, no nothing, just humble, and that’s what, after the John Hathaway loss, I was still in the funk. I was still in the funk for John Hathaway.”

In the Hathaway fight, Sanchez was rocked and simply outmatched for 15 minutes, which made many people question if he had made the right choice, going back up to welterweight after losing the lightweight title match to Penn.

In reality, Sanchez says it was things going on in his personal life that led to his focus going astray. To get back to the place where he needed to be so he could be great again, Sanchez had to reach out to those he had left behind just a few years before.

Like a great band that made a list of No. 1 hits, only to break up over personal differences, Sanchez walked back into the training room at Greg Jackson’s gym in New Mexico and it was like he had never even left.

Jackson, who had always maintained that the split with Sanchez was never personal, welcomed his old student back with open arms.

“I came back home and I want to be home now. I really am where I belong here in New Mexico. I was born and raised here, my family is here, and me and Greg go back so far. He’s gotten so much better as a coach. And for me, I came full circle there as a fighter,” Sanchez said.

Going back to work at Jackson’s, Sanchez found the fundamental base that he worked on for so many years. He saw familiar faces like Keith Jardine and Joey Villasenor, who had worked with him since his earliest days in the sport.

He didn’t just go back to an old training camp. Diego Sanchez went back to family.

“When I walked in, it was the most amazing feeling because I felt like I was home again, because we’re talking about a gym that kept me out of the streets as a young child. This is somewhere that I went twice a day, and I was 19 years old. I was in Jackson’s twice a day or do the morning classes, or do the night classes. This is something that was just, it was my life. And to go back to, back home, and Greg Jackson that guy has got so much love for me. He just had his arms open, all the doors open, and said this is your home Diego. So, it was a great feeling,” Sanchez said.

“And every day that I walk in there, I get that same feeling. I just thank the Lord that he’s brought me back home and that I finally let my stubbornness go and said, you know what, this is where I need to be, 100 percent.”

Putting all of that together, Sanchez believes he’s got the tools necessary to beat Martin Kampmann at UFC on Versus 3 and build on his last victory over Paulo Thiago. No matter what happens in Sanchez’z next fight, he’s still got a family to go home to now, and that may be the best motivation in the world for him to go fight his fight and leave it all in the Octagon.


Damon Martin is the lead staff writer and radio host for MMAWeekly.com.
Follow Damon on Twitter or e-mail Damon a question or comment.


Follow MMAWeekly.com on Twitter and Facebook.

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

Diego Sanchez Conjures MMA Circa 2005, Wins Again | FIGHTLAND

  • 29 days ago
  • 3 views

Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC Not much of the way MMA was fought circa 2005 could be preserved in amber, revived in 2016, and expected to hold up. Watch fights from the UFC 52 era and even then you’l read news >>

'Real journey' to begin for Alvarez at UFC 205

  • 28 days ago
  • 0 views

Eddie Alvarez says the real journey of his career will begin this Saturday, when he takes on Conor McGregor for the lightweight title at UFC 205 in New York City at Madison Square Garden. read news >>

Alvarez vs. McGregor: Career Stats, Highlights for Both Before UFC 205

  • 25 days ago
  • 29 views

Conor McGregor has the opportunity to send his already notorious legacy into orbit on Saturday, November 12, when he takes on Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205. The UFC featherweight champion will look to bec read news >>

Woodley fine with proving people wrong, again

  • 26 days ago
  • 0 views

Tyron Woodley has been proving people wrong his whole career. Now he's the welterweight champ and is still an underdog and is ready to prove the doubters wrong yet again. read news >>

UFC 205's Tim Boetsch quietly registers his 20th career UFC fight

  • 24 days ago
  • 6 views

NEW YORK – Tim Boetsch has seen a lot during his decade-long career, and he’s thankful the majority of it has come in the UFC octagon.Filed under: Featured Videos, News, UFC, Videos read news >>

UFC 205's Belal Muhammad on career goals: 'I want to be a needle-mover'

  • 24 days ago
  • 5 views

NEW YORK – Belal Muhammad wants to be a fighter that goes down in the MMA history books. That’s why he adopted the nickname “Remember the Name,” and why he fights with a style he knows fans of the sp read news >>

Raquel Pennington Retires Miesha Tate at UFC New York (UFC 205 Results) | MMAWeekly.com

  • 23 days ago
  • 43 views

Raquel Pennington won a unanimous decision and Miesha Tate called it a career. read news >>

Conor McGregor Pretends to Apologize After Winning 2nd Title at UFC 205

  • 23 days ago
  • 19 views

Conor McGregor faced the toughest opponent of his career at UFC 205 and posted what may have been his most dominant win to date. Opposite now-former lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez, McGregor lande read news >>

UFC 205: Raquel Pennington vs. Miesha Tate video highlights

  • 23 days ago
  • 10 views

Raquel Pennington picked up the biggest win of her pro career when she topped Miesha Tate, her former coach on “The Ultimate Fighter.”Filed under: News, UFC, Videos read news >>

Newcomer Gerald Meerschaert gets fill-in duties at UFC Fight Night 102

  • 18 days ago
  • 12 views

Gerald Meerschaert, a 10-year pro with 32 career fights, is finally getting his shot in the UFC.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>