If there's one word that may best describe Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) veteran and ferocious mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter Diego Sanchez, it's ballsy.
The 33-year-old Jackson-Winkeljohn MMA fighter began his Octagon career on the first season of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 10 years ago, competing as an undersized middleweight, where he ultimately won the reality show competition after capturing a technical-knockout victory over future UFC title challenger Kenny Florian.
Over the course of the next decade, "The Nightmare" pieced together wins over the likes of Nick Diaz, Clay Guida, Martin Kampmann and Takanori Gomi. He also spent time plodding across the welterweight and lightweight divisions, earning a title shot against 155-pound ruler B.J. Penn in Dec. 2009.
But now, after seeing the success that featherweight combatant and current interim titleholder Conor McGregor has enjoyed, Sanchez bought into the idea of cutting an additional 10 pounds to take on ex-title challenger Ricardo Lamas in the co-main event of The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America 2 tomorrow night (Sat., Nov. 21, 2015) in Monterrey, Mexico.
However, the road has been anything but easy as Sanchez tells it to UFC.com.
"I don't get to eat that much but it's making me stronger mentally. I always focus on the positives, but it's not easy. I look at it like climbing Mount Everest or doing that race in Death Valley where it takes a lot of preparation and commitment. That's where I'm at with this weight cut. It's extremely hard and is not for the weak-minded. Even Conor is talking about going up to 155. He had to put his time in at 145, but he's almost ready to go up because it's hard to make this weight. Look at the reward he's had though. He's made a million dollars in this sport, and if he didn't have the discipline it never would have been possible. I'm here to make history and become the first person to win [a fight] in four divisions."
Sanchez hopes to join the likes of John Dodson, Frankie Edgar and Daniel Cormier as fighters who have gone on to achieve contender -- or champion -- status in lower weight classes.
It comes at an ever important time in his career, especially when you consider that injuries have piled up and he hasn't tallied back-to-back wins since 2010-11.
"The Bully," meanwhile, is looking to bounce back himself after being finished by three-time title challenger Chad Mendes back in April.
A win over the No. 4-ranked Ricardo Lamas would go a long way towards the rejuvenation process of the Albuquerque, N.M.-based Sanchez.