Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Diego Sanchez: This Time It’s Personal

By Daniel S. Archuleta

This is the stuff that movies are made of. Two rivals pitted against each other in combat. The end result can only mean the demise and death of the lesser man … (insert evil laugh). Well maybe not that serious; but this is as serious as it gets as far as mixed martial arts goes.

This Saturday night Diego Sanchez (17-0) will put his unbeaten record on the line as he faces former training partner Josh Koscheck (8-1) at UFC 69.

In the fight game there is always going to be trash talk to hype a fight. This fight has almost reached the level of a Tupac-Notorious B.I.G showdown and Sanchez is not taking Koscheck's smack lightly.

"That just shows what kind of fighter he is," said Sanchez. "If he's thinking with that kind of mentality then obviously I don't know what the hell he's thinking."

Koscheck who fights out of American Kickboxing Academy in San Jose, Calif. had been asking UFC president Dana White for a shot at Sanchez ever since he lost a razor thin decision on in the semifinals of the first The Ultimate Fighter on SpikeTV.

"Kos" is riding a four-fight win streak and was granted his wish. It was rumored that Koscheck said that he would pay matchmaker Joe Silva to make the fight happen.

Sanchez also asked Dana for this same fight. In a meeting with the UFC President he laid out his request.

"I just got the no go on Matt Hughes, so the first person that came to mind was the only person talking a lot of shit about me and that's Josh Koscheck."

Greg Jackson, Sanchez's trainer, feels that Koscheck may have instigated the whole thing.

"Diego doesn't have any real animosity towards Koscheck," Jackson started. "It's Koscheck that has animosity towards Diego. Koscheck I think really feels like it's very personal for him. Diego's just out there having fun."

Jackson thinks that the whole turning point started when Koscheck lost to Sanchez on the show.

"It's hard for him because every time he wins a fight or something people remind him of how Diego beat him on the show," the trainer said of Koscheck.

Sanchez, a product of Albuquerque, New Mexico, said this is a good fight for him because it will prepare him for better opponents.

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