Diego Sanchez: I Think I'm the No. 1 Lightweight Contender Right Now

Clay Guida and Diego Sanchez will step into the Octagon in the main event of the Ultimate Fighter Finale Saturday night, and Guida told me that he thinks if he wins, he deserves a shot at the UFC lightweight title. But Sanchez said today that he'd go further than that: He believes he's already the No. 1 contender for the lightweight belt.

"Kenny Florian is coming up on his second title shot, and this is a guy I walked through four years ago," Sanchez said. "I walked through him and it wasn't even a fight, and this is the No. 1 contender. So in my mind, I am the No. 1 contender right now."

Sanchez said he knows the decision of whether he's the next to fight for the title after Florian faces on UFC champion BJ Penn in August isn't up to him, and he obviously needs to beat Guida on Saturday night before he can talk about being next in line for a title shot. But Sanchez does think that he's more than earned it.

"That's up to Dana White and Lorenzo (Fertitta) and the UFC," Sanchez said. "But this is going to be my 15th fight in the Octagon and everyone knows my story: I lost a split decision to Jon Fitch, and I lost a fight to Josh Koscheck when I was sick, and those are my only two losses in my career."

Sanchez added that he'll be pulling for Penn to retain his belt at UFC 101. But no matter who the champion is after the Penn-Florian fight, Sanchez believes he's next in line.

More from MMA Fighting

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join MMA Fighting

You must be a member of MMA Fighting to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at MMA Fighting. You should read them.

Join MMA Fighting

You must be a member of MMA Fighting to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at MMA Fighting. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_5349_tracker