Diego Sanchez says champ Benson Henderson's title 'there for the taking'


Diego Sanchez is slated to fight at the upcoming UFC 164 event in Milwaukee, but he’s not just looking for an exciting fight.

Sanchez (24-5 MMA, 13-5 UFC), 31, wants to take one last run at the UFC lightweight belt, and he believes conditions are favorable.

“After watching Benson Henderson‘s performance against Gilbert Melendez, I must say, I wasn’t impressed,” he told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio). “I see a lot of holes in his game, and I feel like that belt’s there for the taking.”

UFC 164 takes place Aug. 31 at Milwaukee’s Bradley Center. Sanchez said he will be part of the event’s pay-per-view main-card.

Earlier this month, lightweight champ Henderson defended his belt a third time with a split-decision win over former Strikeforce titleholder Gilbert Melendez at UFC on FOX 7. The champ is now expected to meet the winner of an upcoming bout between two-time title challenger Gray Maynard and T.J. Grant at UFC 160.

Henderson wants to exceed middleweight kingpin Anderson Silva as the winningest champ in UFC history, but Sanchez doubts he’ll be able to do it.

“I don’t see that,” he said. “I see a man who is growing in his martial arts experience. A great fighter, but I see holes in his game, and I really felt he lost that fight to Gilbert.”

Sanchez fought for the lightweight title at UFC 107, where then-champ B.J. Penn stopped him in the fifth round. Sanchez then returned to the welterweight class, where he went 2-2 and racked up three consecutive “Fight of the Night” bonuses against top-tier competition.

After a decision loss to Jake Ellenberger, he returned to lightweight, where he came in two pounds heavy and narrowly outpointed Takanori Gomi at UFC on FUEL TV 8.

Sanchez admitted he was “undersized” as a welterweight and said he was better suited to a 165-pound weight class.

“But as of now, there isn’t, so I have to do what I have to do and make some sacrifices and get down to 155,” he said. “I feel that when I’m on, nobody can beat me at 155.”

Watching UFC on FOX 7, Sanchez said he noticed several flaws in Henderson’s game that he could exploit.

“He’s strong, but in the Gilbert fight, he didn’t try to do one takedown the whole fight, which I think a champion would see, ‘I’m not dominating this fight in the standup, so let’s work for something else. Let’s try to change it up and at least get some points,’” Sanchez said. “At least try to win some rounds more convincingly, the way he did with Jim Miller. But he was just very content in his striking style and throwing the kicks. I saw it as a mediocre performance, and I think I can get in there and beat this guy.”

By any measure, Sanchez still has a long way to go before he gets that opportunity. But he said he has three to five years left in the sport, and until he quits, he’s going to push for gold.

For more on UFC 164, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.

MMAjunkie.com Radio broadcasts Monday-Friday at noon ET (9 a.m. PT) live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino’s Race & Sports Book. The show is hosted by “Gorgeous” George Garcia, MMAjunkie.com lead staff reporter John Morgan and producer Brian “Goze” Garcia. For more information or to download past episodes, go to www.mmajunkie.com/radio.

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

Related News

  • 21 days ago
  • 43 views

Earlier this week, surging featherweight phenom Conor McGregor promised an eventual move to the lightweight division, because he doesn't like making the brutal cut down to 145 pounds. But I don't thi read news >>

  • 21 days ago
  • 18 views

Norman Parke is out of his fight against Diego Sanchez at UFC 180 with an MCL injury. Will Conor McGregor really take his place? Filed under: MMA Rumors, News, UFC read news >>

  • 21 days ago
  • 17 views

Conor McGregor is calling for a fight with Diego Sanchez in Mexico, but UFC president Dana White may have title shot on his mind instead. read news >>

  • 20 days ago
  • 1 views

A fellow veteran lightweight has stepped in to fight Diego Sanchez at UFC 180 in Mexico.Filed under: MMA Rumors, News, UFC read news >>

  • 20 days ago
  • 11 views

UFC president Dana White denied Conor McGregor's request to fight Diego Sanchez, and now we know why. read news >>

  • 20 days ago
  • 4 views

Fight of the Night? How about Fight of the Century? Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has booked Diego Sanchez vs. Joe Lauzon for the upcoming UFC 180: "Velasquez vs. Werdum" pay-per-view (PPV) fi read news >>

  • 15 days ago
  • 104 views

Former UFC title contender Dan Hardy targets a UFC return in 2015, and wants to 'teach' Diego Sanchez something about Martial Arts. Former title contender and now UFC color commentator, Dan Hardy sti read news >>

  • a day ago
  • 13 views

The hits keep coming for next month’s UFC 180, which has lost another matchup. Joe Lauzon has been forced out of his fight against Diego Sanchez on the main card. Filed under: Featured, News, UFC read news >>

  • a day ago
  • 16 views

Another great Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) match has gone up in smoke. On the heels of UFC 180 getting a new main event thanks to an injury to Heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez (full detail read news >>