If longtime Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) welterweight veteran Diego Sanchez beats Jake Ellenberger in tonight's UFC on Fuel TV main event in Omaha, does it earn him a shot at the division title?
That's according to "The Dream," who told media members at the "Sanchez vs. Ellenberger" open workouts that his opponent is one of the top guys in their weight class and beating "The Juggernaut" puts him above the other top division contenders.
Sanchez elaborates to FOX News Latino, after the jump.
"You know, this is a big fight with Jake Ellenberger because I believe he is one of the top guys in the division," Sanchez said at a recent open workout. "He has more momentum than a [Josh] Koscheck or a [Johny] Hendricks right now, and I think a win over him is going to set me up in a good position in the division and a shot at the title. I have to go in and beat him and I have to beat him convincingly and that's what I came to Omaha to do," said Sanchez. "There's no added pressure fighting him in his hometown."
Sanchez is currently riding a two-fight win streak since returning to the division after a failed bid to wrest the 155-pound title from the clutches of then UFC Lightweight Champion at UFC 107 back in Dec. 2009. He stumbled in his first fight back at welterweight, dropping a unanimous decision to , but managed to later go on to outpoint and in back-to-back performances.
It certainly won't get any easier for Sanchez -- who is returning from a long layoff because of a broken hand -- against Ellenberger, who is on an absolute tear, fresh off a crushing knockout over top-ranked welterweight and former number one division contender,, at .
It marked the fourth time in his five most recent appearances inside the Octagon that Ellenberger has finished an opponent, taking out, and in impressive fashion. And if he makes it five out of six against Sanchez, he'll do it in front of a hometown crowd.
Anyone ready to anoint the winner as the new division number one contender?