For nearly 10 years, Diego Sanchez has given Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) fans fights they could talk about.
Not only is he aggressive and fierce during weigh ins and media appearances leading up to his fights, but he also isn't shy about engaging in a slugfest when the time comes to duke it out inside the Octagon -- throwing his game plan out of a 10-story window.
Leading up to his bout against Myles Jury at UFC 171 (highlights here), the topic of brain damage was alive and well, with media members and fellow fighters pointing in the Albuquerque resident's direction. It could be largely due to Sanchez's previous performance against Gilbert Melendez at UFC 166, where both lightweights took part in a war for the ages -- treating onlookers to a wild 15 minutes of action.
Their main card scrap could very well go down as one of the most exciting of all time.
However, when UFC broadcaster Joe Rogan entered the Octagon to speak with "The Dream," who had just lost, he was slurring his words, a little punch drunk, and simply out of focus.
The bells started to ring and there was an indication that maybe the Greg Jackson-trained warrior had been in too many dangerous clashes, which could ultimately lead to permanent brain damage in the future.
The "Yes" man spoke exclusively to FOX Sports, refuting said claims:
"To be honest, I don't feel like I've been hit very hard. I think when I was fighting at 70, I took a couple hard hits and of course BJ (Penn) hit me hard, but aside from that, I think it's more cuts than anything. I'm not taking a lot of damage, I've never felt foggy after a fight, I've never had a concussion in a fight and I've never been knocked out...As far as taking all the trauma, no, that's not the issue. It's the cuts."
The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) season 1 winner hasn't had the best results as of late, either, losing five fights out of eight since his unsuccessful attempt at claiming lightweight gold against B.J. Penn at UFC 107.
Then came this epic meltdown.
His fifth round loss to "The Prodigy" could have been an early indication of things to come, since he took a hefty beating complete with one of the gnarliest cuts ever seen (see it). Perhaps Sanchez just needs to fix up and look sharper, since this could be a simple case of the old wear and tear.
Like his former rival Nick Diaz did a few years back (pic), Sanchez is considering undergoing surgery to eliminate some scar tissue to reduce his cuts and bleeding in future fights.
"Eventually maybe after this fight, when I have a break in my schedule, I want to do that surgery that Nick Diaz got where they go in there and scrape the scar tissue and he seemed to have a lot of success with that. I'm getting to that point in my career where that might be a better option for me. Because taking the cuts that I am, I'm always battling the judges and it just hinders me."
If he does go under the knife, it will only happen after his next fight, which takes place in his hometown of Albuquerque, New Mexico, on June 6, 2014, when UFC visits the city for UFC Fight Night 42. He draws Ross Pearson in a bout expected to be taking place on the main card.
Just don't expect him to get hit hard or take any damage.