If you’ve heard Diego Sanchez speak during recent interviews, you know that the wild man fans first got to know well during the inaugural season of The Ultimate Fighter has grown into a more mature and self-aware human being; The Nightmare has become The Dream.
Sanchez has experienced the pitfalls of fame and fortune, gotten beat up for it — figuratively and literally — and emerged through to the other side, his mentality drastically altered for it. Though, one thing has and will remain the same about Sanchez: he is a fighter, through and through. As much is evidenced in his assessment of facing the surging Jake Ellenberger in his own backyard this Wednesday, via USA Today.
“I like the idea of fighting him. … It’s just very interesting. I’m just excited (about) how it’s going to play out,” said the 30-year-old Sanchez. “I know that I have a lot of fans that have been following me for eight years. Those people have followed me and I’ve given them some good fights. They honor me because of those good fights. Regardless of being in Jake’s hometown or not, I know that I’m going to have some fans out there in the crowd.”
Sanchez praises Ellenberger as an opponent, admitting that he has his hands full with the 26-5 Juggernaut, who will be riding a five-fight winning streak into their fight.
“He’s a good fighter. I don’t see very many holes in his game,” Sanchez assessed. “I know I’m in for a war. He has power in his hands. He’s like the Chuck Liddell of the welterweight division. I’m willing to face that. I’m willing to face his strengths and go head-to-head with him.”
Sanchez and Ellenberger will do battle this Wednesday in the main event of UFC on Fuel TV 1, which goes down at the Omaha Civic Auditorium in Omaha, Nebraska.