Since winning season one of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) back in 2005, Diego Sanchez has had an up-and-down mixed martial arts (MMA) career.
Collecting a 12-5 record inside the Octagon, Sanchez has battled the best the lightweight and welterweight division had to offer; earning victories over top contenders such as Martin Kampmann, Takanori Gomi, Nick Diaz and Clay Guida, just to name a few.
But when he failed to claim the promotion's 155-pound title against B.J. Penn at UFC 107 back in 2009, his world came crashing down, overcome by alcohol abuse thanks to his extravagant bachelor lifestyle.
Ahead of his 155-pound collision against former Strikeforce champion Gilbert Melendez at UFC 166, UFC gives you an interesting inside look at the rise and fall of Sanchez -- one of the most exciting fighters in the sport -- during his eight-year run with the promotion.
And while many believe "The Dream" hasn't quite lived up to his full potential, Diego is determined to keep his momentum going now that he's risen from the ashes once again and defeated the demons that at one point had him at rock bottom.
"I'm just waiting to show my best because never in that Octagon did I really truly show my best of pure heart, of pure mind and of pure soul and I'm excited to get in there and do that. I'm excited to see how far I can go with my head on my shoulders right."
According to Sanchez, while the trials and tribulations he endured in the past truly tested him, he is glad he endured them and considers them a "blessing" because that's the only way he was able to snap out of the wreckless life he was living.
Now a married family man with a recent victory over "The Fireball Kid" at UFC on FUEL TV 8 in his back pocket, Sanchez looks to climb the 155-pound ladder once again as he faces "El Nino" on Oct. 19, 2013 in Houston, Texas.