"The Dream" is over in Mexico. Or at least it is for now, as Diego Sanchez fell short in his featherweight debut against the division's third ranked fighter, Ricardo Lamas.
The fight marked the first time The Ultimate Fighter Season 1 winner made the cut to 145 pounds, a decision he said was inspired by watching the success of UFC interim belt holder Conor McGregor.
Sanchez began with a low square stance, looking to load up on his punches as Lamas circled and looked for kicks on the dangerous striker.
The speed of Lamas was apparent from the outset as he was able to dart in and land and get out again before Sanchez could respond. However, Sanchez was given several opportunities to brawl with Lamas, particularly in the first round when Lamas hurt him with a spinning heel kick.
Lamas surprised Sanchez with a takedown in the first round, controlling the experienced fighter despite the massive cut in weight.
In the second round Sanchez managed to stuff the takedown attempts of the "Bully", cutting him the process with sharp elbows. But on the break Lamas hurt Sanchez with a nasty inside leg kick that seemed to temporarily incapacitate the brawler, who began limping even as he called Lamas in with taunts.
The two began a series of scrambles in the second round in which both fighters traded top position, demonstrating the grappling skills of both gladiators.
Sanchez seemed to make some adjustments between rounds, coming out in the third and landing combinations and a nice body kick. However the inside leg kick once again dropped Sanchez, hurting his calf and giving Lamas a chance to swarm again.
"The Dream" gutted out the rest of the fight, as he always does, but ultimately fell on the wrong side of the ledger once again. Lamas won 30-27 on all scorecards.
Lamas moves to 16-4, while Sanchez drops to 27-8.
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