Diego Sanchez grew up watching MMA blossom in Japan, always hoping for an opportunity to compete in the country once he became a professional fighter.
Now, several years into his MMA career, Sanchez will get the chance to do just that, as he takes on Takanori Gomi Saturday at UFC on FUEL TV: Silva vs. Stann. The card goes down from Saitama, Japan and the Saitama Super Arena.
“First of all, coming to Japan was always a goal, a dream of mine,” said Sanchez, during the pre-fight press conference Thursday. “Fighting through King of the Cage, I always had this dream of (fighting in Japan). It’s something I’ve dreamed about.”
Sanchez (23-5) decided to move back down to lightweight after a loss to Jake Ellenberger, and saw a perfect opportunity to fight in Japan with Gomi on the UFC’s 155-pound roster.
“I looked at the opponents (at 155), and what better opportunity than to come out here to Japan, fight one of the greatest fighters to come out of Japan in his own hometown,” Sanchez said. “It’s a perfect situation for war, for a battle; to give you the fans, the company a great showing and a great fight.”