Diego Sanchez may have won a controversial split decision over hometown hero Takanori Gomi at UFC on Fuel TV 8 in Tokyo, Japan, but the 31-year-old American also feels lucky just to be back in the Octagon injury free.
“First of all, I just feel fortunate to be back in the cage and off the injury list and doing what I love. I know I only have so much time left in the sport and I want to make the most of it,” Sanchez told Fuel TV post-fight.
“I feel I earned the victory. I went out there, did more damage, got the first round and Takanori Gomi, taking nothing away from him, he is a legend for a reason. This was the Japan version of Gomi. This is Gomi fighting in front of his people, his crowd, and that is the legend that was the Pride Champion.”
Coach Greg Jackson's departing words to Sanchez before he went out for the final round was “go fight for your family,” and Sanchez revealed that it helped him to get the win.
“That was big time man. I'm about to get all choked up. I got my wife and she's pregnant with a baby girl, so that's what this victory was for,” Sanchez said.
He returned to lightweight for his fight with Gomi, but despite missing weight by two pounds and being fined 20-percent of his earnings, he wants to remain at 155 pounds and challenge Nate Diaz.
“He has a fight lined up, but the fight I want is Nate Diaz. I want to be the first one to say I beat both Diaz brothers and I have got the bigger brother on my resume already, so now I want the little brother. Our styles make for an awesome, awesome fight.”
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