Sanchez elected to drop down from lightweight earlier this year, with the hopes of making a title run at 145. In typical, Sanchez fashion, he demonstrated a ton of heart and toughness against Lamas, but the featherweight contender was too much and won a unanimous decision.
After the card, Lamas was asked about Sanchez and his future at 145, and here is some of what “The Bully” had to say (quotes via MMA Junkie.com):
“Diego’s a veteran, man,” said Lamas. “He’s got a future wherever he wants to go.
“He felt good. He felt strong. The weight cut didn’t slow him down, and he kept going the whole time. So it’s really up to him.”
Sanchez was visibly larger than Lamas last night, after all, he did reveal prior to the card that he was already back over 170 pounds…So, clearly the vet is big for the weight class, and since he didn’t appear to fade at all during the bout, one could see why Sanchez would decide to remain at 145.
The larger question is, however, whether the 33 year-old can be a contender at this weight. There’s no shame in losing to Lamas, who is one of the best 145’ers on the planet, but it was a setback for Sanchez nonetheless. If he had won, well then a lot more people would be talking about his title prospects today.
UFC FN 78 took place in Monterrey, Mexico. If you didn’t see Lamas-Sanchez, you might want to check it out. It was one of the night’s best fights.