Last night (Sat., March 15, 2014) Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) lightweight Diego Sanchez took on undefeated Myles Jury on the pay-per-view (PPV) main card of UFC 171 from American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas.
Sanchez came in off a unanimous decision loss to No. 2-ranked Gilbert Melendez in a 2013 "Fight of the Year"-winning affair at UFC 166. "Dream" needed a win to retain any degree of relevancy.
Jury won his last bout, but his UFC 165 split decision over Mike Ricci wasn't his finest performance. Still, the victory put him at an undefeated 13-0 in mixed martial arts (MMA), and "Fury" had a golden opportunity to score his biggest-ever win against The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 1 winner Sanchez.
Ultimately, he was able to accomplish that goal with a wholly technical performance, refusing to fight Sanchez' kind of fight to announce himself as a player in the talented UFC lightweight division. Let's take a look back at "Fury's" high-profile win.
The first round began with a big shot from Jury, prompting Sanchez to taunt "Fury" into a firefight. Sanchez tagged Jury with a quick flurry and pushed the action up against the cage. Sanchez pushed forward with combinations, but the rangier Jury stayed just out of harm's way.
Sanchez finally landed some shots, but Jury acknowledged they did nothing. Jury snapped a stiff right hand and a solid head kick. Jury got a nice takedown, but Sanchez sought a heel hook. "Fury" reversed to take Sanchez' back as the opening frame came to a close.
Sanchez landed a good body kick to start the second, and then the fighters exchanged solid strikes. Jury landed a huge elbow, following up with a head kick. "Dream" blasted Jury with some good shots, but he was opened up underneath his eye. The pace slowed as Jury continued to exercise a technical advantage. Sanchez landed a good right and went for a guillotine on the ground. Jury survived to land more punches.
When the final round kicked off, Sanchez was by far the worse for wear. He landed a combo to the body and charged forward. Jury slapped a kick to the body as he continued to fight a very intelligent bout. Sanchez wasn't doing nearly enough to finish the bout. The two fighters clinched on the fence before Jury scored his third takedown. Sanchez scrambled for an armbar, but Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt Jury got out to end the fight with another takedown.
Jury took home the unanimous decision and will move on to a big fight against a Top 15-ranked opponent. His technical expertise looked to be on an extremely high level, and his gameplan was just as good. Jury never let Sanchez make the fight a brawl.
If the UFC truly wants to throw Jury to the wolves, he could be matched up against TJ Grant whenever the Canadian is cleared to return from his unfortunate concussion from last year. Gray Maynard and Rustam Khabilov would also be solid challenges to test Jury's spotless record.
Sanchez fought a valiant effort as he always does, but he just couldn't make this fight play out according to his style. He ate a ton of shots and was thoroughly outclassed in every aspect of the game. "Dream's" run as a legitimate contender is over, but he can still provide some extremely exciting bouts as a gatekeeper.
Myles Jury ran his UFC win streak by defeating legendary brawler Diego Sanchez in Dallas. As the competition continues to grow tougher, how much longer can "Fury" keep his undefeated record intact?
For more on "Hendricks vs. Lawler" click here, and for complete UFC 171 results and blow-by-blow coverage of all the night's action click here.