Michel Pereira better not try too many flips and jumps on Saturday night in Rio Rancho, NM, because Diego Sanchez sounds like he’s not ready to play any games in the cage.
Expected to take on the wild Brazilian in the UFC Fight Night: Anderson vs. Blachowicz 2 co-main event, Sanchez told Combate in a recent interview, that he wishes to make Pereira suffer when they meet. And in Diego’s mind, that means making his opponent feel as much as pain possible before the fight gets waved off by the referee.
“My expectation for the fight is that I’ll get a very clear victory. I worked too hard, spent too much energy and time, really sacrificed myself in order to get where I am right now. I don’t think this fight will go to the judges. This fight will end violently. When you come to New Mexico, with the altitude, with the desert’s dryness, your throat gets dry, you feel like you’re going through the valley of death when you’re cutting weight. So, when we enter the Octagon on Saturday night, I’ll make him feel real pain.”
Although he is 12 years older than Pereira, the ‘Nightmare’ does not feel like the age difference will be much of a hindrance for him. In fact, Sanchez believes that Michel’s eagerness to always put on an exciting show for the fights might end up being his own downfall.
“I know his style. This guys is still learning. I feel like he has a big ego at 25, just like me when I was 25. He wants to be a showman, to win over the fans, be the entertaining guy in the company, he wants people to watch him jump and flip around. He wants to have views on YouTube and likes on Instagram. That just extra work for him, something else he has to do. I know what that means. He’s big, tall and strong, but for how long? For how long can he jump, fip and roll around. You need to know how to manage your energy in this sport.”
In his last outing, in July 2019, Diego Sanchez (29-12) dropped a unanimous decision to Michael Chiesa. The loss snapped a two-fight winning streak for the 38-year-old, who had picked up recent wins over Craig White and Mickey Gall, in September 2018 and March 2019, respectively.
UFC Fight Night 167 goes down Saturday, February 15th in Rio Rancho, New Mexico. The card is scheduled to be headlined by a light heavyweight rematch between top contenders Corey Anderson and Jan Blachowicz.