Diego Sanchez told Sherdog last week that Conor McGregor was his inspiration for making the move down to featherweight.
“It all started back when I saw Conor McGregor making weight. And seeing him out of camp, and how big of a guy he is – I was like ‘man, it’s possible'”.
And so it was.
On Friday last, “The Nightmare” weighed-in at exactly 145lbs ahead of his fight with Ricardo Lamas at UFC Monterrey. Less than 24 hours later it was widely reported that the Albuquerque fighter had inflated to 171.2lbs. The cut and the re-hydration had gone exactly according to plan.
The fight itself, however, did not.
Sanchez had the legs literally kicked out from underneath him over and over again throughout the 3 round fight. His left leg took such a beating that he was handed a 180 day medical suspension that will only be lifted if he provides a “negative x-ray” of the limb, according to MixedMartialArts.com.
Lamas’ decision to attack the leg was the core component of an intelligent game plan that the 33-year-old Chicago native executed to perfection. Even Sanchez himself couldn’t help but be impressed by the approach.
@RicardoLamasMMA the honor was all mine! Your a class act! That low right kick was serious I'll be in Chicago to train in 2016
— Diego Sanchez UFC (@DiegoSanchezUFC) November 23, 2015
So impressed was Sanchez, in fact, that he felt he should contact UFC featherweight champion, Jose Aldo, and recommend that he utilize a similar strategy in his upcoming battle with Conor McGregor.
— Diego Sanchez UFC (@DiegoSanchezUFC) November 25, 2015
It isn’t exactly surprising that Sanchez is offering advice to the Brazilian on how to solve the McGregor riddle. Despite finding inspiration in the discipline of McGregor, Sanchez has never been a big fan of the Irishman.
Actually that might be putting it mildly.
— Diego Sanchez UFC (@DiegoSanchezUFC) January 11, 2015
The pair waged a fairly intense war of words on social media shortly after Conor’s arrival in the promotion, and there was even talk of them being matched together at UFC 180 in Mexico City.
Obviously the bad blood remains.