Along with Forrest Griffin, Diego Sanchez is the earliest success story to come from The Ultimate Fighter. The 29-year-old won the first season as a middleweight and has gone on to compete at both welterweight and lightweight in the UFC, mostly with impressive results.
During his run at lightweight, Sanchez faced then-champion BJ Penn for the title, losing via lopsided decision. Back at welterweight and on a two-fight winning streak, Sanchez is looking to return to his “TUF” roots and avenge that loss to Penn, who has been competing at 170lbs. as of late.
“My thing right now is to coach that show,” Sanchez recently told FightHubTV of The Ultimate Fighter. “I know that a title shot for me is going to happen, one day it will but I would love to coach that show right now. I would like it to be against BJ (Penn); he is back at welterweight, let’s go do it and have a rematch, I think it would be great. I have a lot I can show these guys and Jesus Christ has blessed me with an ability that needs to be shared.”
After losing to Penn and John Hathaway consecutively, Sanchez rebounded to defeat Paulo Thiago and Martin Kampmann. He was scheduled to face UFC Hall of Famer Matt Hughes this past September, but broke his hand in training and was sidelined.
32-year-old BJ Penn announced his retirement from MMA immediately after being thoroughly beaten by Nick Diaz this past weekend at UFC 137, but his comments since indicate that a possible return to competition may be in the cards for The Prodigy.