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Road to UFC 228 – Diego Sanchez vs Craig White

Diego Sanchez has been a familiar face and an MMA fan favourite since his appearance on the UFC’s reality series, The Ultimate Fighter (TUF). Diego Sanchez won the first ever series as a welterweight.

Sanchez is loved for his intense stare downs, fight style and mentality. He is not afraid to stand in front of his opponent trading punch for punch. This is demonstrated in Diego Sanchez’s fights against Gilbert Melendez and Clay Guida. Sanchez’s crazy style is what has earnt him fight of the night bonuses on seven occasions and the fight of the year award 3 times.

Diego Sanchez classic stare down

If that wasn't enough for Diego Sanchez to win you over, then surely his offer to make a MMA fan's dream come true will. He did this by fighting Isaac Marquez, who has down's syndrome, and losing by armbar. Isaac Marquez later dedicated his win over Diego Sanchez to his late mother, who had died from dementia.

Isaac Marquez defeats Diego Sanchez in charity match

Holding an MMA record of 21 wins, 11 losses, you can see how he has reached a fan favourite status. However, coming off two consecutive KO defeats to Matt Brown and Al Laquinta, will Diego Sanchez be able to handle the up and coming, British welterweight fighter Craig White?

Craig “The Thundercat” White, aged 28, fighting out of Exmouth in Devon, England – has a MMA record of 14 wins 8 Losses (5 wins by TKO and 9 by submission). Craig White was starting to look dangerous in Cage Warriors, during his four fight winning streak, but was KO’d after taking a fight on short notice against Neil Magny on the Liverpool fight card in May 2018. It has to be noted Craig White took this fight on two weeks notice, had to drop 40 pounds in weight and faced a dangerous Neil Magny, all to make his UFC debut.

Craig White's UFC debut against Neil Magny

There has been a few rumours flying round that this is going to be the aging veterans, Diego Sanchez’s, last fight. He turns 37 later this year and it’s hard to envision him having another winning streak, especially if he loses this fight. If this rumour is true, let us hope he gives us another classic fight to remember him by with a final fight of the night performance.

Diego Sanchez bloody, but pushing on

Optimal MMA predictions

“YES!!” I would love to see Diego Sanchez win, especially if it is his last fight in the UFC octagon. However, I think his much younger opponent, Craig “The Thundercat” White will be hungry to make amends for his last loss.

If Craig White can survive Diego Sanchez’s intense pressure and avoid letting Sanchez set the pace he should win the fight before the third round.

But the longer the fight goes on, the more I favour Diego Sanchez. As UFC commentator Joe Rogan once said; Diego Sanchez is one of the best third round fighters in UFC history. So Diego Sanchez could surprise a few people with a late win. Either way, I am excited for this fight.

Craig White left bloody after Cage Warriors victory

As always, thank you for reading – please share and let us know your thoughts. if you haven't done already, please checkout the build up to Darren Till vs Tyron Woodley by optimal mma below:


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