At UFC 171, Diego Sanchez put on the meanest of mugs as he was walking to the Octagon to, what I can only imagine, rip off Myles Jury’s head and throw it into the crowd. When I saw the matchup and both fighters in the Octagon, I expected that to actually happen; this shows that I am not a smart man. Jury simply said “no way” to a brawl with Sanchez and elected to pick him apart. It was a smart move by Jury and Sanchez was unable to touch him the entire fight. Since I have had some time to let this marinate, I came to a scary conclusion — Sanchez is quickly running out of time.
For a fighter like Sanchez, he thrives on madness and wild exchanges. He would rather make you throw technique out the window and just throw punches until someone goes out. Unfortunately, most fighters are choosing to move away from those fights. Jury is a perfect example of a fighter who fought smart against Sanchez. Jury decided to keep space, predict the bull rushes and pick him apart when he could. It flustered Sanchez, made him eager and made him perform poorly.
The tough question is what is the UFC going to do with Sanchez? Clearly, he will never be a contender again, and Jury just laid out the blueprint for how to defeat him. Are they just going to give him crazy fights from now on? I would pay to see that, but it will not give him a career. Sanchez needs to realize that the world is quickly shrinking around him and he needs to perform extremely well in his next fight. Sanchez needs to show that he can evolve past a brawler, and can make changes to his style; because if he does not, then I think Sanchez’s time in the UFC is limited.