Diego Sanchez may have been viewed as the loser in his bout with Takanori Gomi at UFC on FUEL TV 8, but "The Dream" feels he was deserving of the victory over the best version of the Japanese superstar seen in years.
While there were a number of controversial decisions at UFC on FUEL TV 8: "Silva vs. Stann" last night (March 2, 2013) in Japan, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) lightweight Diego Sanchez's split decision win over Takanori Gomi on the main card may have been the worst of all.
According to MMADecision.com, a website that tracks media scores for UFC events, Gomi was unanimously considered to be the victor; however, two of the three judges sitting cageside for the catchweight contest felt differently.
"The Dream", who came in to the bout two-pounds overweight and was fined 20 percent of his purse, was awarded the win; and while a majority of the mixed martial arts (MMA) community felt he wasn't deserving of it, Sanchez feels he did enough damage in the fight to justify the nod.
"I don't feel this victory was given to me I feel I earned it," Sanchez told Gareth A. Davies on the UFC on FUEL TV 8 post-fight show. "I went out there, I did more damage, got the first round and Takanori Gomi - don't take nothing away from that guy man,"
Gomi looked as sharp as ever in his seventh UFC appearance, connecting with strikes on the feet and controlling the center of the Octagon for the majority of the 15-minute contest. "The Fireball Kid" looked like the man who ruled the Pride lightweight division for so long and Sanchez agrees, telling Davies the version of Gomi who showed up at the Saitama Super Arena was the same one who struck fear in the heart of fighters worldwide years ago.
"He is a legend for a reason and it was a legend version, this is the Japan version of Takanori Gomi," Sanchez said. "This is Gomi from five years ago, in Japan, in front of his crowd and that's the legend that was the Pride champion and that's who I fought tonight, so very rewarding that I was able to go out there and get the victory."
After a nearly 13-month layoff due to injury, The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) season one winner was happy with a win any way he could get it in his return to the Octagon. At 31 years old, Sanchez knows he doesn't have much time left in the sport, and while he doesn't have a retirement plan mapped out, one of the UFC longest tenured fighters wants to accomplish as much as possible in whatever time remains in his career.
"I just feel fortunate to be back in the cage, off the injury list and doing what I love," Sanchez said. "I know I only have so much time left in this sport so I want to make the most of it."
For complete UFC on FUEL TV 8 results and blow-by-blow coverage of all the night's action click here.