Jesse Holland (MMAmania.com): Can losing a high profile match or back-to-back matches make a fighter question whether or not he belongs in a certain weight class?
Diego Sanchez: I don’t know, I think it depends on the way that you lose. Look at some of these other guys getting their jaw knocked into the fifth row. You have this guy who is supposed to be unbeatable, an MMA God and Matt Serra went in there and knocked him around.
Jesse Holland (MMAmania.com): That tone leaves me with the impression that you’re not entirely sold on GSP’s immortality.
Diego Sanchez: Oh no. You know what? I respect him, he’s a great warrior who is very strong, but I don’t fear him like some of the other guys at 170. He’s just a man. I could have went down to 155 to avoid him but my dream started at 170 and I’m gonna see it through. He’s out at my old camp now.
Jesse Holland (MMAmania.com): He’s now with Greg Jackson and you’re not. Based on what you’ve said thus far I’ll assume that’s more than just a coincidence?
Diego Sanchez: I have so much respect for the Jackson camp. Keith Jardine, Nate Marquardt, all those guys, they’re still my boys. My loyalty was very strong. But GSP could have gone to any camp he wanted. He knew that place was my home, my dream. That took a little something out of my heart. He’s training in the cage that I bled in, that I sweat in and cried in.
Jesse Holland (MMAmania.com): Did you feel pushed aside when he arrived?
Diego Sanchez: Put yourself there for a minute. You’re an undefeated fighter coming off two of the biggest wins of your career (Parisyan/Riggs). Now they’re bringing in the champion of your weight class to train with your guys? For three months I was telling Greg that my heart wasn’t feeling it. Greg kept telling me “Trust me, trust me, you guys are going to make each other the best” but I kept feeling like their true intentions were to make me go down to 155. I mean most of the Jackson fighters cut a lot of weight and that’s not me. I wasn’t going to do it. I wasn’t bowing down to Georges St. Pierre. I ain’t riding nobody’s coattails. I’m Diego Sanchez and just because I had two decision losses – one while I was sick and one controversial to a top five welterweight – does not mean that I’m gonna give up on my dream, my dream to be welterweight champion. Maybe me and GSP will throw down in Albuquerque somewhere in the future. Dana told me there is going to be a show in Albuquerque. I don’t want to fight him unless it’s for the title. I want him for five rounds.
Jesse Holland (MMAmania.com): What would you do to prepare for that fight?
Diego Sanchez: The way GSP destroyed Matt Hughes I said to myself the only way I’m gonna beat this guy is to outwork him. I have something in my heart that he doesn’t have. Maybe he has something that I don’t, but you know what? That’s what we’re gonna put against each other in the ring. I just pray that it’s a five round fight. I don’t want it to be about points. I want him to be the champion at the time and have to fight me for five rounds. Believe me if Koscheck and Fitch had to go five rounds things would have been different. I’ll never get tired. It’s genetic with me, all in my DNA. I’m here to fight.
Sanchez needs to be focussed on his next fight and nothing else. After two consecutive losses, he still has something to prove before he gets in the cage for a shot at the title.