UFC 121: Can Diego Sanchez prove to Dana White he's not 'soft' at 170?

Diego-Softchez

Will the welterweight division be a "Nightmare" for Diego Sanchez?

After up-and-coming prospect John Hathaway steamrolled him at UFC 114 back in May, UFC President Dana White was vocal about the original "Ultimate Fighter's" spot in the 170-pound weight class.

Simply put, White didn't believe he had one.

"I don't think Diego belongs at 170. I think it's easier to be at 170. He looked soft. He looked real lethargic and slow and heavy. [One] fifty-five, Diego. Fifty-five. He's a tough guy. I'm not his manager, but I think he should stay at 155. Listen, a loss to B.J. Penn doesn't mean you go back up to 170. It means you stay at 155 and you do what Kenny Florian did. You stay in there and keep grinding it out and beating the top guys, and you get back in line and work your way up to the top again. Diego does not look good at 170."

Sanchez (21-4) is coming off back-to-back losses for the second time in his career. Despite two exciting fights against Joe Stevenson and Clay Guida (and a possible rematch with Kenny Florian on the horizon) a TKO loss to BJ Penn at UFC 107 had the Albuquerque native packing his bags and heading north.

And the Hathaway loss had a lot of pundits second-guessing the move.

Of course none of this matters if Sanchez can put a bona fide beatdown on Paulo Thiago at UFC 121 this Saturday night (Oct. 23). Yet these recent pictures from his training and preparations under Greg Jackson, who welcomed his former pupil back into his stable, at first glance may give a some credence to White's concerns.

What say you Maniacs, does Diego Sanchez look "soft" heading into Anaheim? Or will he prove that his loss to the "Hitman" earlier this year was just a bump in the road to success?

We'll know for certain on Saturday night.

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