On what was meant to be a conference call to promote this Saturday’s The Ultimate Fighter 9 Finale, headliner Diego Sanchez decided to hop on the horn and steal the show. Instead of focusing on his upcoming bout against Clay Guida, Sanchez opted to call out Kenny Florian, the division’s top contender.
“One of the reasons for me dropping to 155 was the fact that Kenny Florian is coming up on his second title shot, and this is a guy that I walked through four years ago,” Sanchez stated on the call. “And everybody thinks that, yeah, we’ve both evolved, we’ve both changed, we’re both different fighters, we’ve both improved a lot. But the fact is that I walked through him and it wasn’t even a fight, and this is the number one contender. So in my mind, I am the number one contender right now.”
Sanchez dominated Florian in the finals of the inaugural season of The Ultimate Fighter. Although the first round TKO earned him the highly coveted six-figure contract with the world’s largest MMA organization, it was Florian’s career that blossomed at a much faster rate than his TUF 1 counterpart.
While Florian will be entering his second 155-pound title tilt, Sanchez has struggled to find a weight class that suits him. After an impressive lightweight debut against Joe Stevenson at UFC 95, Sanchez feels that he has found a home and is already eying the king of the crib.
“I’m rooting for BJ Penn [to win the UFC 101 showdown],” Sanchez said. “I would like BJ Penn to win; that’s a guy I’ve always wanted to fight.”
In regards to the current task at hand, Sanchez feels that he has had the best training camp of his career.
“I’ve got Clay Guida in front of me right now, and that’s the only thing my mind is focused on,” finished Sanchez. “Putting on the best performance of my career, and going in there and actually earning and proving to people that there is a real number one contender here at 155. I’m here for now and I want to dominate.”