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Conor McGregor inspired Diego Sanchez to drop to Featherweight, confident he will soon be in contender 'mix'

Andrew Richardson-USA TODAY Sports

Tired of always being the smaller guy with the shorter reach, Diego Sanchez decided it was time to make the drop down to the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Featherweight division.

That's according to his recent comments on "The MMA Hour," in which Sanchez -- who has competed at Middleweight, Welterweight and Lightweight -- revealed he plans to ride out the rest of his mixed martial arts (MMA) career at 145 pounds.

His words:

"All in all, the real truth, when I saw Conor McGregor drop down to 145, the guy is my size, he's not bigger. Straight up. He is my size if not bigger. And I was like, 'Whoa, look at this guy, he has a huge size advantage going into all of his fights.' He has reach and the leverage. It made sense, so to be able to see someone my size do it, and do it effectively and correctly, it made sense for me to do it. And once I got it in my head, I knew it was the next step."

After losing interest in fights at 155 pounds that never materialized -- such as one against Nate Diaz -- he realized that the time to drop the weight was now. Still, Sanchez fully understands that while he may have a size and strength advantage come fight night, he will be facing speedier opponents.

First up for Sanchez will be former No. 1-ranked title contender, Ricardo Lamas, as the two men have been booked to face off at UFC Fight Night 79 on Nov. 21, 2015, in Monterrey, Mexico.

And if Sanchez has any say on the matter, he and "The Bully" are going to put on one hell of a fight for the Mexican fans.

"Let's give the Mexican fans what they deserve. We are two Latinos who are not afraid, we are going to throw down and not going to play that run around the ring or ring around the roses type of fight. A man's fight, we are going to throw down for the Mexican and it is going to be awesome."

Should he live up to his prediction and pull out a victory in the process, then Sanchez thinks he'll be "in the mix" sooner rather than later.

"If I go in there and I do what I know I can do to this guy, dominate him and finish, then I am in the mix at 145. There is no denying that."

Lamas was last seen getting knocked out by Chad Mendes at UFC Fight Night 63 this past April (see it) in round one, while Sanchez sneaked out a split decision win against Ross Pearson last year in his hometown of Albuquerque, New Mexico.

The victory for Sanchez snapped a two-fight losing streak at 155 pounds.

Anyone expect big things from Sanchez at his new weight class or will Lamas stop his momentum before it even begins?

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