Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is going back to New Mexico for the first time in five years on Feb. 15, 2020, so you knew the promotion was going to enlist some of the talent from around Albuquerque — which is a skip and a hop away from Rio Rancho, site of UFC Fight Night 167 — to build the card.
So it comes to no surprise that Diego Sanchez, who was born and raised in “The Duke City,” will make his return to the Octagon to face Michel Pereira inside Santa Ana Star Center. According to MMA Junkie, “The Nightmare” also inked a new contract with UFC, which means he will add a few more years to his existing 15-year relationship with the promotion.
Sanchez is coming off a tough loss to Michael Chiesa at UFC 239 this past July (recap), snapping his two-fight win streak — which included a dominant win over Mickey Gall — in the highly-competitive Welterweight division.
Now, the Ultimate Fighter (TUF) season 1 winner will look to get back on track against man who is more than capable of matching his energy in what will be UFC fight number 31 for Sanchez.
Pereira, meanwhile, caught some flack for his extracurricular activities during his loss to Tristan Connelly at UFC Fight Night 158 a few months ago, as the Brazilian bomber spent a lot of the time showing off his gymnastic skills during the fight.
While many were entertained by his antics, several people slammed the Brazilian bomber for focusing too much on the showboating, and not enough on securing the win against a man who took the fight on a week’s notice.
But make no mistake about it, Pereira is a legit threat, as he was riding a three-fight win streak with him to Canada before running into a very determined Connelly.
UFC Fight Night 168 will feature a Light Heavyweight bout that will see Corey Anderson rematch Jan Blachowicz for a potential shot at the 205-pound title, which will be on the line week prior at UFC 247 in Houston, Texas.