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UFC 253: Diego Sanchez teases retirement after Jake Matthews fight on Sept. 26

MMA: UFC-New Mexico Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Diego Sanchez is currently the last remaining active fighter on the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) roster from the original The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) cast, the mixed martial arts (MMA) reality show that first aired on Spike TV more than 15 years ago.

That’s a pretty amazing feat, actually, since “The Nightmare” has been involved in countless wars that would shave years off many other combatants’ fighting careers. But Sanchez is simply cut from a different cloth, as the wild man has always had the reputation of being able to take a licking and keep on ticking.

But all the punishment eventually catches up with even the grittiest and toughest of fighters, and it seems that Sanchez may be on his way out. During a recent interview on the Real Quick with Mike Swick Podcast, Sanchez teased that his upcoming fight against Jake Matthews at UFC 253 on Sept. 26, 2020, could very well be his last.

“This could be my last fight,” he said (via MMA Fighting). “This fight coming up. I will be fighting Sept. 26, Jake Matthews, location to be announced, so I don’t know if it’s going to be Fight Island, I don’t know if it’s going to be Vegas. They have me, I’m on deck, it’s my time to get on them wrestling mats and go to work, I don’t know where it’s gonna be.

“I’m just grateful to have an opportunity through the crisis, coronavirus, and everything that’s going on all around the world, I have an opportunity,” he continued. “I’m just grateful to have any opportunity right now, because opportunity’s not just jumping around like it used to. You get an opportunity to make some good money, help your family, establish your future, you’ve got to jump on it. They sent me this contract, six weeks to get your ass in shape, Diego, and get your ass to the UFC and fight. I’m like, alright, we’re doing this.”

That being said, the outcome of the fight could very well determine his decision to hang up his gloves or keep going, revealing that he does have four fights left on his current UFC deal and intends to complete them all.

“Look, here we go, I’ve got four more left,” Sanchez said. “I’ve signed my last contract with the UFC. I’m gonna ride these last four fights out and I’m done. I can see at the end of the tunnel, I can see that light, but I’m not afraid of it anymore. Before, for so many years I used to be like, ‘No, I’m not even gonna think about that. I’m not gonna think about retirement.”

Sanchez has competed for UFC a whopping 31 times and is currently 3-1 in his last four outings, racking up a 19-12 record along the way.