Diego Sanchez has been competing in the UFC for 14 years now. With an 18-11 promotional record, he has had his share of ups and downs, but one thing that has never been questioned is his passion and his drive.
At 37 years old, that drive is still in full gear ahead of his UFC 239 scrap against Michael Chiesa. Diego Sanchez still has lofty goals set for himself and a strong sense of self-belief instilled within him. And one of the reasons he has decided to leave his longtime camp of Jackson-Wink to prepare for this bout is because he did not sense that same belief and attention from his camp (Transcript via MMA Junkie):
“For this time in my career, there was no focus on Diego Sanchez, there was no love on Diego Sanchez,” Sanchez said at a UFC 239 media day scrum. “Maybe it’s because we got two belts fights, Jon and Holly, but I don’t give an (expletive),” Sanchez said. “I am special, I am a Hall of Famer, I’m finishing a 32-fight contract with the UFC. I got all the chips in for this fight. I’m all in.”
He’s all in and here to stay, Sanchez assures, with retirement talks nowhere in his line of sight:
“I’m still here,” Sanchez said. “They couldn’t kick me off the shelf. They couldn’t get me off. I’m that dusty book. There’s some experience in that book.
“This is kind of like that ‘Cinderella Man’ movie. That Diego Sanchez, he’s coming back. ‘Isn’t he too old? Nah, he’s doing it.’ Randy (Couture) did it at 45. Diego Sanchez could do it at 36, 37, whatever he is.”
But of course father time is undefeated, so there will come a day when Diego Sanchez will call it a career. And regardless of when that is, Sanchez wants it to be after he has solidified himself as the greatest mixed martial artist to have ever lived.
“The question that I get asked the most is, how many more you got left in you?” Sanchez said. “I’m going to fight as long as I can. I love to fight, and as long as I can keep beating these 20-year-old men that they keep throwing in there with me, this will be the third in a row.
“I’m here to be the greatest of all time, and that’s what I’m striving for. Always learn, adapt and evolve. That’s what I’ve been doing for the longest time.”
Percentage-wise, what do you believe the odds are that Diego Sanchez will capture UFC gold before he retires?