What would fans think if Diego Sanchez went to Bellator after his UFC career? Would anyone care if Diego went to World Series of Fighting? How much of a draw is Diego Sanchez? How many people would notice or really care that he was gone from Zuffa's ranks? Are fans getting bored with his fights?
Diego Sanchez lead the payroll of Fight Night 42 pocketing $140,000. Benson Henderson, with a far better record, an uncontroversial finish, and a main event slot, finished $50,000 behind Sanchez at $90,000. Forums exploded with justifiable outrage. At 4-5 in his last 9, and not finishing a fight since 2008, it may be time for the UFC and Diego Sanchez to part ways. Take away the gift decisions over Gomi, Kampmann and Pearson, and Sanchez would be at 1-8.
If Diego Sanchez is the Least Valuable Employee this side of Leonard Garcia, why does Zuffa keep him employed? Jake Shields, Yushin Okami, the list of fighters released from the UFC with better records than Diego isn't relevant. What's relevant is what fans consider as "entertainment". Is throwing wild combinations without landing considered more "significant" than intelligent counter-punching? Is landing 1 of 8 takedown attempts better than defending 7 of 8 takedowns? Do judges ever notice how busted up Diego has looked after his gift decisions?
Sanchez apologists will cry foul and say the fighter is not at fault. They will claim it's the judges who award the decisions. Contrarians will argue that Diego, basically, shows no contrition for his poor fighting style. Diego bragged after winning all three of his recent gift decisions. He agreed with the judges' decisions and never said anything like "I need to improve because I lost that fight". If Diego were to admit his faults as a fighter, and be willing to change, then maybe he would become a better fighter. As it stands, hard core and casual fans are starting to catch on to what a poor fighter he has become. Tell Dana we are sick of Diego!