When fans think about the season of »The Ultimate Fighter, » Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar immediately come to mind as a consequence of the instant classic. Therefore, its only suiting the very first ever Ultimate Fighter be the last to depart the UFC. No, I am not talking about Forrest Griffin. The struggle between Bonnar and Griffin throughout the TUF’s Season 1 Finale single-handedly helped bring the UFC to the mainstream. Dana White later called it Zuffa’s »Trojan Horse ». Nonetheless, in doing this, it overshadowed the fact that Diego Sanchez was actually the first ever Ultimate Fighter winner, with defeated Kenny Florian to take home the middleweight TUF crown before in the evening. With all of the former cast members on the show either retired or no longer used with the UFC, the sole exclusion remains to become Sanchez. The first to be crowned remains to be the last to grace the Octagon. After the contestants were announced for »The Ultimate Fighter 1, » Sanchez was the fighter with the most hype surrounding him. Since the undefeated King of the Cage champion, he backed up that poetry in the Octagon winning all four of his fights, with three first-round stoppages such as a entry over Florian from the Finale. Even the true main event of that card has been fully overshadowed as Rich Franklin scored the biggest win of his career at the time over Ken Shamrock. For the average battle enthusiast Sanchez dominance of the show is easily forgotten as TUF 1 appears like it was forever ago. Lots can happen over a decade, and Sanchez’s lengthy r??sum?? proves it. He has won a bunch of fights and dropped some, hopped branches, got sailed for bud, made six »Fight of the Night » bonuses along with two »Battle of the Year » (2006 Karo Parisyan, 2009 Clay Guida) honours, missing a lightweight title tip to then-champ BJ Penn, changed his nickname from the »Nightmare » into the »Fantasy » and back to the »Nightmare » again and let’s not forget about him inventing the Yes! Cartwheel, simply to name a couple. Overall going to war within the Octagon on 21 separate occasions amassing as 14-7 record. Based on his age and durability it was almost expected that Sanchez is going to be the last fighter we see within the Octagon and rightfully so. Much has been said about the whole cast of this show to the extent that Dana White stated that he was basically looking to induct the entire TUF 1 throw to the UFC Hall of fame. It’s been a well documented success story deserving of fairy tale type end. But what remains to be seen from the die hard MMA lovers is… IMG_1728Will Diego Sanchez venture out with a swan song of epic proportions in hopes of building upon The Ultimate Fighter Seasons 1 cemented legacy? Diego Sanchez would tell you YES! YES! YES! Considering Sanchez’s recent time as a fighter, it’s more unlikely that anything of importance will come out of the rest of the time of his formerly famed career. The likely scenario and ultimate end game is equal to that of the majority of the rest of the TUF 1 cast members. The consensus is that many of the TUF 1 cast members moved outside with a whimper facing exactly the same troubling realities that Sanchez currently faces a daily basis: injuries and age. Nearly all the contestants essentially were forced into retirement. As fans of this UFC, let us expect Diego Sanchez can break this trend and go out with a bang as it is likely he will not go out anywhere close to the top. Finishing on a winning note is the best case scenario for »The Nightmare » at this stage in his career. Taking a snapshot of Sanchez’s professional career, it’s likely he will depart the UFC kicking and screaming like many others before him. What remains to be informed is the how and when. One can’t deny it. The writing is on the wall with no true hope of championship aspirations in the near future. Settle back and enjoy the last of this TUF 1 showcase. But, dependent on Diego’s Sanchez most recent turns of a events in his career prepare for a sad ending. The falling down in weight courses and layoff due to rehabbing injuries it’s developing a recipe for disaster. Essentially it will not be a fantasy come true for the nightmare. Quoting Connor McGregor in 2013: »The man really is a has-been. » IMG_1727Sanchez is expected to face Ricardo Lamas in a featherweight bout on November 21, 2015 at The Ultimate Fighter Latin America 2 Finale. This will be Sanchez debut at featherweight despite the fact he was the middleweight TUF 1 winner. Sanchez is expecting to take a run at championship glory despite facing the longest layoff of his professional MMA career (1 year 4 pm ) and at 33 years old. The layoff is due to a broken collarbone suffered in training. Many pundits credit the statement he’s falling a weight class as a way to get an eventually fight against Connor McGregor. However, lots of MMA handicappers see this because of weakness as an attempt by Sanchez to stay relevant. Though many MMA mainstream enthusiasts fail to crown Diego Sanchez as the first Ultimate Fighter, he has out lasted them all. Being the youngest of the TUF 1 fighters it continues to function in his benefit but he’s fighting the age old issue of time. Irrespective of how durable Sanchez might be, it remains to be seen if he could pass this final test. As his admirable career rolls , it is evident Sanchez is no more immune from the injury bug. However, there has to be something said to be the last of a dying breed. That feat alone is worthy of our admiration since it has left us without a doubt he will always remain to be the toughest of the TUF. The initial Ultimate Fighter to be crowned inside the Octagon and the last to leave.
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