Following a tightly contested, and some would say controversial, split decision win over Takanori Gomi, Diego Sanchez has been booked to fight one of the world’s best lightweights in Gilbert Melendez. The betting lines have Sanchez as a sizable underdog in the +450 to +580 range.
Well, despite his underdog status, and the fact most people probably don’t expect Sanchez to be in the title shot mix come Sunday, the confident fighter has relayed he has what it takes to beat champion Anthony Pettis. While speaking to MMA Junkie.com recently, “The Dream” outlined why he believes his skillset is a bad match-up for “Showtime”.
“I love the way I match up with Anthony Pettis,” the 31 year-old Sanchez said.”We’re a contrast in styles, and I feel my style beats his style.”
“I’m a very good wrestler, and I’m a better grappler than I am a wrestler,” Sanchez said. “I feel I’m the best grappler in the division at 155 (pounds), and with my size advantage, I feel there’s not a guy that I can’t take down in that division. So it just comes down to being sharp in my striking and being ready to make a fight a fight.”
Sanchez added that one of his “best skills is catching kicks”, and that he’s “really good” at turning them into takedowns. Of course, one of the champ’s best and most feared weapons is his fight stopping kicks.
So, there you have it. Do you think Sanchez has what it takes to take out Pettis? If he doesn’t beat Melendez at UFC 166, chances are no one will get to see whether he can for quite some time.
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