Diego Sanchez, who was forced to pull out of an upcoming bout with Matt Hughes due to a broken hand, told MMAWeekly Radio that he would love the chance to be the next coach on The Ultimate Fighter.
Sanchez got his break into the UFC by winning the first season of the show after defeating Kenny Florian. Since capturing the middleweight tournament, he has gone 11-4 inside the Octagon.
“I just feel that’s what I want to do,” Sanchez said. “I want to go on and coach these kids and I want to help make some champions and continue the legacy that I started back in 2005 with being the first Ultimate Fighter.”
That year, both Sanchez and Forrest Griffin won titles on the show, helping spark a surge in popularity for the UFC. The show will now be seen on FX beginning next year after the UFC signed a television contract with FOX Sports.
Sanchez (23-4) even has opposing coaches picked out to go up against in Jon Fitch or B.J. Penn. Both defeated Sanchez earlier in his career, and he would love the chance to avenge one of those losses.
“We had a split decision (and) a close fight,” Sanchez said, of facing Fitch.
As for Penn, the two battled for the lightweight title, but both now compete at the 170-pound division.
“A rematch with him would be awesome,” Sanchez said. “That’s a fight that I really would want to take now that I’m not a weak little 155-pounder, but I’m a strong 170 with a better head on my shoulders.”
Michael Bisping and Jason Miller begin the 14th season of TUF next Wednesday when the show debuts bantamweights and featherweights for the first time on Spike TV.