United States

Pro Record

"Nightmare"

25-7-0

Diego Sanchez

Diego "Nightmare" Sanchez

Photo Source:   MMAWeekly.com

  • Given Name: Diego J. Sanchez
  • Professional MMA Record: 25-7-0 (Win-Loss-Draw)
  • Nickname: Nightmare
  • Current Streak: 1 Win
  • Age: 32 | Date of Birth: 1981.12.31
  • Last Fight: June 07, 2014 in UFC
  • Weight Class: Lightweight | Last Weigh-In: 155.0 lbs
  • Gym/Affiliation: Jackson's MMA
  • Height: 5'10" (178cm) | Reach: 72.0" (183cm)
  • Career Disclosed Earnings: $983,000 USD
  • Born: Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States
  • Fighter Pages: Sherdog  |  Wikipedia  |  The UG  |  UFC.com
  • Fighting out of: Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • Personal Pages: Twitter  |  Facebook  |  Official Site

Diego Sanchez Wiki Update Wiki

New Mexico native Diego Sanchez is one of the more unique fighters competing in the UFC. His personality, at times laid back and at times volatile and aggressive, causes most fans to either love him or hate him. He has remained one of the most aggressive and complete fighters in the UFC’s lightweight and welterweight divisions for the past several years.


Sanchez first rose to prominence on the local MMA scene in New Mexico, winning the King of the Cage Welterweight Championship after compiling a professional record of 11-0 from 2002-2004, with notable victories over Mike Guymon (by armbar) and Jorge Santiago along the way. Sanchez’s big break came in 2005, when he competed in and won the debut season of Spike TV’s popular reality show “The Ultimate Fighter,” swarming on and overwhelming the smaller Kenny Florian in the live finale to win by TKO in the first round. Sanchez distinguished himself on the star-packed first season of the hit series as much for his eccentric demeanor as for his in-cage tenacity.


After defeating Florian at 185, Sanchez dropped to 170 lbs. and compiled five straight victories, including wins over Nick Diaz, John Alessio, Karo Parisyan, and Joe Riggs, before losing the first fight of his professional career to bitter rival Josh Koscheck in 2007. Since then, Sanchez has alternated between the welterweight and lightweight divisions, defeating the likes of Joe Stevenson and Clay Guida and battling Lightweight Champion BJ Penn in a losing effort in 2009.


Sanchez is a black belt in Gaidojutsu, the fighting style created and taught by MMA trainer Greg Jackson, and he is also highly ranked in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. At the beginning of his career he took most of his opponents to the ground and attempted to finish by TKO or submission, but Sanchez has changed up his game to incorporate more kickboxing and clinch work in recent years. He won a World MMA Award in 2009 for Fight of the Year (vs. Clay Guida), as well as recognition in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter for Fight of the Year in 2006 (vs. Karo Parisyan), and again in 2009 for the Guida fight. Whether or not Sanchez achieves a UFC title, he can consistently be counted on for arriving in the Octagon in top shape, fired up and ready for a war.


After the loss to Penn, Sanchez returned to the welterweight division where he faced up and comer John Hathaway at UFC 114 in a losing effort. Sanchez was able to get his career back on track with a decision victory against Paulo Thiago at UFC 121. The bout went on to win Fight of The Night.


Sanchez next headlined UFC Live: Sanchez vs Kampmann, opposite of Danish fighter, Martin Kampmann. The bout was a hotly contested back and forth bout which ended with Sanchez winning a close and controversial unanimous decision. The bout won Fight of the Night with both fighters receiving an unprecedented $160,000 bonus each.


In his next fight, Sanchez fought Jake Ellenberger in the first UFC event aired on Fuel TV. Ellenberger cruised during the first 2 rounds, but Sanchez mounted a valient comeback in the 3rd and several times put Ellenberger in dangerous positions. The fight would be awarded to Ellenberger and would also win Fight of The Night, making Sanchez the Fight Of The Night winner in his last 3 straight fights.

Sanchez would then face Takanori Gomi at UFC on Fuel TV 8 in Japan. He would earn himself a Split Decision victory over Gomi in a very close fight.  He had one of the toughest tests of his career when he battled Gilbert Melendez at UFC 166. In an epic brawl that will go down as one of the best fights in MMA history, Sanchez came up short, losing a unanimous decision victory. He would fight surging, undefeated prospect, Myles Jury, at UFC 171 in his next fight. He would come up short losing again by Unanimous Decision.

The Ultimate Fighter 1
Episode 4 Sanchez def. Alex Karalexis by Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 1:47 in Round 1
Episode 8 Sanchez def. Josh Rafferty by Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 1:48 in Round 1
Episode 11 Sanchez def. Josh Koscheck by Split Decision
TUF 1 Finale Sanchez def. Kenny Florian by TKO at 2:49 of Round 1


Last updated 04.08.2014, 3:24 PM ET
Wiki Contributors:

Diego Sanchez Lightweight Ranking History

Diego Sanchez MMA Fight Record

Record by Year and By Promotion

Professional Results Opponent Event Date
Win | Decision | Split
3 Rounds, 15:00 Total
Ross Pearson
Ref: Kevin Mulhall
UFC Fight Night 42: Henderson vs. Khabilov
Co-Main Event | Lightweight | 155 lbs
2014.06.07
Odds: +120 Near Even | Disclosed Pay: $140,000 ($70K Base, $70K Bonus) | Weigh-In: 155.0 lbs
Loss | Decision | Unanimous
3 Rounds, 15:00 Total
Myles Jury
Ref: Kerry Hatley
UFC 171: Hendricks vs. Lawler
Main Card | Lightweight | 155 lbs
2014.03.15
Odds: +145 Slight Underdog | Weigh-In: 155.0 lbs
Loss | Decision | Unanimous
3 Rounds, 15:00 Total
Gilbert Melendez
Ref: Kerry Hatley
UFC 166: Velasquez vs. Dos Santos 3
Main Card | Lightweight | 155 lbs
2013.10.19
Odds: +425 Heavy Underdog | Disclosed Pay: $60,000 Fight/Night | Weigh-In: 156.0 lbs
#14 Greatest Fight of All Time
#13 Greatest Lightweight MMA Fight of All Time
#5 Best MMA Fight of the Year for 2013
UFC 166 Fight of the Night
Win | Decision | Split
3 Rounds, 15:00 Total
Takanori Gomi
Ref: Marc Goddard
UFC on FUEL TV 8: Silva vs. Stann
Main Card | Lightweight | 70 kg
2013.03.02
Odds: -225 Moderate Favorite | Weigh-In: 158.0 lbs
Loss | Decision | Unanimous
3 Rounds, 15:00 Total
Jake Ellenberger
Ref: Dan Miragliotta
UFC on FUEL TV 1: Ellenberger vs. Sanchez
Main Event | Welterweight | 170 lbs
2012.02.15
Odds: +305 Moderate Underdog | Disclosed Pay: $50,000 Fight/Night | Weigh-In: 170.0 lbs
#4 Best MMA Fight of the Year for 2012
UFC on FUEL TV 1 Fight of the Night
Cancelled Bout Matt Hughes UFC 135 2011.09.24
Reason: Sanchez Broken Hand
Win | Decision | Unanimous
3 Rounds, 15:00 Total
Martin Kampmann
UFC on Versus 3: Sanchez vs Kampmann
Main Event | Welterweight | 170 lbs
2011.03.03
Odds: +115 Near Even | Disclosed Pay: $60,000 Fight/Night | Weigh-In: 171.0 lbs
#71 Greatest Fight of All Time
#17 Greatest Welterweight MMA Fight of All Time
#4 Best MMA Fight of the Year for 2011
UFC on Versus 3 Fight of the Night
Win | Decision | Unanimous
3 Rounds, 15:00 Total
Paulo Thiago
Ref: Jason Herzog
UFC 121: Lesnar vs. Velasquez
Main Card | Welterweight | 170 lbs
2010.10.23
Odds: +120 Near Even | Disclosed Pay: $170,000 ($50K Base, $50K Bonus, $70K Fight/Night) | Weigh-In: 170.5 lbs
Walkout Music: Roberto Griego - Arriba Nuevo México
#19 Best MMA Fight of the Year for 2010
#21 Greatest Welterweight MMA Fight of All Time
UFC 121 Fight of the Night
Loss | Decision | Unanimous
3 Rounds, 15:00 Total
John Hathaway
Ref: Herb Dean
UFC 114: Jackson vs Evans
Main Card | Welterweight | 170 lbs
2010.05.29
Odds: -205 Moderate Favorite Upset Defeat | Disclosed Pay: $50,000 Base | Weigh-In: 171.0 lbs
#57 Biggest Upset of All Time
Loss | KO/TKO | Injury
2:37 Round 5 of 5, 22:37 Total
BJ Penn
Ref: Herb Dean
UFC 107: Penn vs. Sanchez
Main Event | Title Challenge | Lightweight | 155
2009.12.12
Odds: +225 Moderate Underdog | Weigh-In: 154.5 lbs
#93 Greatest Fight of All Time
#7 Best MMA Fight of the Year for 2009
#7 Greatest Lightweight MMA Fight of All Time
Win | Decision | Split
3 Rounds, 15:00 Total
Clay Guida
Ref: Josh Rosenthal
The Ultimate Fighter 9 Finale
Main Event | Lightweight | 155 lbs
2009.06.20
Odds: -347 Moderate Favorite | Disclosed Pay: $115,000 ($45K Base, $45K Bonus, $25K Fight/Night) | Weigh-In: 156.0 lbs
#7 Greatest Fight of All Time
#1 Best MMA Fight of the Year for 2009
#3 Greatest Lightweight MMA Fight of All Time
The Ultimate Fighter 9 Finale Fight of the Night
Win | Decision | Unanimous
3 Rounds, 15:00 Total
Joe Stevenson
Ref: Dan Miragliotta
UFC 95: Sanchez vs. Stevenson
Main Event | Lightweight | 155 lbs
2009.02.21
Odds: -316 Moderate Favorite | Disclosed Pay: $40,000 Fight/Night | Weigh-In: 156.0 lbs
#38 Best MMA Fight of the Year for 2009
UFC 95 Fight of the Night
Cancelled Bout Thiago Alves UFC 90 2008.10.25
Reason: Sanchez Injury
Win | KO/TKO | Strikes
4:07 Round 3 of 3, 14:07 Total
Luigi Fioravanti
Ref: Josh Rosenthal
The Ultimate Fighter 7 Finale
Main Card | Welterweight | 170 lbs
2008.06.21
Odds: -560 Heavy Favorite | Disclosed Pay: $70,000 ($35K Base, $35K Bonus) | Weigh-In: 170.0 lbs
Win | KO/TKO | Punches
4:43 Round 1 of 3
David Bielkheden
Ref: Jerry Krysz
UFC 82: Pride of a Champion
Preliminary Card | Welterweight | 170 lbs
2008.03.01
Odds: -575 Heavy Favorite | Disclosed Pay: $60,000 ($30K Base, $30K Bonus) | Weigh-In: 169.5 lbs
Loss | Decision | Split
3 Rounds, 15:00 Total
Jon Fitch
Ref: Herb Dean
UFC 76: Knockout
Main Card | Welterweight | 170 lbs
2007.09.22
Odds: +105 Near Even | Disclosed Pay: $22,000 Base | Weigh-In: 170.0 lbs
Loss | Decision | Unanimous
3 Rounds, 15:00 Total
Josh Koscheck
Ref: John McCarthy
UFC 69: Shootout
Co-Main Event | Welterweight | 170 lbs
2007.04.07
Odds: -190 Slight Favorite | Weigh-In: 168.5 lbs
Win | KO/TKO | Knee
1:45 Round 1 of 3
Joe Riggs
Ref: John McCarthy
UFC Fight Night 7: Sanchez vs Riggs
Main Event | Welterweight | 170 lbs
2006.12.13
Odds: -500 Heavy Favorite | Disclosed Pay: $32,000 ($16K Base, $16K Bonus) | Weigh-In: 169.5 lbs
Win | Decision | Unanimous
3 Rounds, 15:00 Total
Karo Parisyan
Ref: John McCarthy
UFC Fight Night 6: Sanchez vs Parisyan
Main Event | Welterweight | 170 lbs
2006.08.17
Odds: -103 Near Even | Disclosed Pay: $32,000 ($16K Base, $16K Bonus) | Weigh-In: 169.5 lbs
#28 Greatest Fight of All Time
#11 Greatest Welterweight MMA Fight of All Time
Win | Decision | Unanimous
3 Rounds, 15:00 Total
John Alessio
Ref: Steve Mazzagatti
UFC 60: Hughes vs Gracie
Main Card | Welterweight | 170 lbs
2006.05.27
Odds: -460 Heavy Favorite | Disclosed Pay: $24,000 ($12K Base, $12K Bonus) | Weigh-In: 169.0 lbs
Win | Decision | Unanimous
3 Rounds, 15:00 Total
Nick Diaz
Ref: John McCarthy
The Ultimate Fighter 2 Finale
Main Event | Welterweight | 170 lbs
2005.11.05
Disclosed Pay: $24,000 ($12K Base, $12K Bonus) | Weigh-In: 170.5 lbs
#39 Greatest Fight of All Time
#8 Greatest Welterweight MMA Fight of All Time
Win | Submission | Punches
1:56 Round 2 of 3, 6:56 Total
Brian Gassaway
Ref: Steve Mazzagatti
UFC 54: Boiling Point
Main Card | Welterweight | 170 lbs
2005.08.20
Odds: -600 Huge Favorite | Disclosed Pay: $24,000 ($12K Base, $12K Bonus) | Weigh-In: 170.0 lbs
Win | KO/TKO | Punches
2:49 Round 1 of 3
Kenny Florian
Ref: Steve Mazzagatti
The Ultimate Fighter 1 Finale
Main Card | Tournament Finals | 185 lbs
2005.04.09
Disclosed Pay: $10,000 ($5K Base, $5K Bonus) | Weigh-In: 184.0 lbs
Win | Decision | Unanimous Jorge Santiago King of the Cage 2004.06.12
Win | Submission | Strikes Ray Elbe King of the Cage 2004.05.15
Win | KO/TKO | Punches Travis Beachler POA 2004.04.10
Win | Submission | Choke Cruz Chacon IE 2004.02.28
Win | Submission | Shoulder John Cronk King of the Cage 2003.08.03
Win | Submission | Armlock Rene Kronvold King of the Cage 2003.06.14
Win | Submission | Armlock Mike Guymon King of the Cage 2003.05.16
Win | KO/TKO | Strikes Jake Short King of the Cage 2003.02.21
Win | Submission | Choke Shannon Ritch King of the Cage 2002.12.15
Win | KO/TKO | Punches Jesus Sanchez AC 1 2002.09.06
Win | Submission | Choke Michael Johnson Ring of Fire 2002.06.21

Diego Sanchez News View All

Could Bellator lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez be UFC bound? According to Sherdog.com, a bo... (5 hrs ago)
Após muito ouvir, chegou a vez de Diego Sanchez responder as provocações do irlandês Conor McG... (22 hrs ago)
The week's most interesting bits from the MMA and UFC twitter world. A few updates on what's ... (1 day ago)
With his fighting status in limbo, Wanderlei Silva remains hopeful he'll get a chance to settl... (1 day ago)
UFC lightweight Diego Sanchez is prepared to drop down to featherweight to get a shot at Conor... (2 days ago)
A reestreia do veterano Joe Riggs no UFC após oito anos de ausência terá que ser adiada. O ame... (2 days ago)

Videos & Highlights

    Documentary  |  Diego Sanchez: From Nightmare to the Dream report dead link

    Watch this short documentary about Diego Sanchez's road to MMA.

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