I sometimes enjoy “#1 contender” fights more than I do title bouts. For reason’s I don’t fully understand, some fighters seem to fight harder to the chance to fight for the title than they do actually fighting for the title. And if this fight isn’t a #1 contender’s bout for the lightweight title, I don’t know what is.
Diego Sanchez will face Clay Guida at the “Ultimate Fighter Nine Finale” in June. Here’s MMA Weekly with more…
Sanchez’s 155-pound debut was an impressive unanimous decision victory over former Top 10 ranked lightweight Joe Stevenson. With many question marks surrounding his weight drop, Sanchez answered with an emphatic 15 minutes of intensity and quickness, showing he hadn’t lost a step along with the 15 pounds. Following back-to-back losses to Top 5 ranked welterweights Jon Fitch and Josh Koscheck in 2007, Sanchez is now riding a three-fight winning streak.
A former lightweight champion for Strikeforce, Guida has had a roller coaster career in the UFC. He was 2-3 in his first five bouts for the promotion. Since losing an epic battle to Roger Huerta to end 2007, Guida has redirected his focus, reeling off three straight victories. In his two most recent wins, Guida has knocked off two Ultimate Fighter winners, Mac Danzig and, most recently, Nate Diaz.
We all expect the BJ Penn/Kenny Florian title bout over the summer, with my money on it being at UFC 99 a few weeks prior to the TUF9 Finale, so the timing would be perfect. Either the winner from UFC 99 meets either Diego Sanchez or Clay Guida in the octagon to announce the title fight, or vice versa if Penn/Florian takes place at UFC 100 (another possibility).
As for Sanchez/Guida, it’s a tough call because they’re both two of my favourite fighters. I’d probably go with Sanchez, just because the potential of a Florian/Sanchez rematch from the TUF2 Finale would be pretty sick.
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