When fans consider the season of”The Ultimate Fighter,” Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar instantly come to mind as a consequence of their immediate classic. Therefore, its only suiting the very first ever Ultimate Fighter be the last to depart the UFC. No, I am not talking about Forrest Griffin. The struggle between Bonnar and Griffin during the TUF’s Season 1 Finale single-handedly helped bring the UFC to the mainstream. Dana White later known as it Zuffa’s”Trojan Horse”. However, in doing so, it overshadowed the fact that Diego Sanchez was in fact the first ever Ultimate Fighter winner, having defeated Kenny Florian to take home the middleweight TUF crown earlier in the day. With all of the former cast members on the show either retired or no longer used with the UFC, the only exclusion remains to become Sanchez. The first to be crowned remains to be the last to grace the Octagon. When the contestants were announced for”The Ultimate Fighter 1,” Sanchez was the fighter with the most hype surrounding him. As the undefeated King of the Cage champion, he backed up that hype in the Octagon winning all four of his fights, with three first-round stoppages such as a submission over Florian from the Finale. Even the true principal event of that card was completely overshadowed as Rich Franklin scored the biggest win of his career at the time over Ken Shamrock. For the average battle enthusiast Sanchez dominance of the show is easily forgotten as TUF 1 seems like it was forever ago. A lot can happen over a decade, and Sanchez’s lengthy r??sum?? proves it. He has won a lot of fights and lost some, hopped divisions, got popped for marijuana, made six”Fight of the Night” bonuses along with two”Battle of the Year” (2006 Karo Parisyan, 2009 Clay Guida) honours, missing a lightweight name tilt to then-champ BJ Penn, altered his nickname from the”Nightmare” to the”Dream” and back to the”Nightmare” again and let’s not forget about him devising the Yes! Cartwheel, simply to mention a couple. Overall going to war within the Octagon on 21 separate events amassing as 14-7 record. Based on his durability and age it was almost expected that Sanchez will be the final fighter we see within the Octagon and rightfully so. Much was said about the entire cast of this series to the scope that Dana White said he was basically seeking to induct the entire TUF 1 cast into the UFC Hall of fame. It’s been a well documented success story deserving of fairy tale type ending. But what remains to be seen by the die hard MMA lovers is… IMG_1728Will Diego Sanchez venture out having a swan song of epic proportions in hopes of construction upon The Ultimate Fighter Seasons 1 already cemented legacy? Diego Sanchez would tell you YES! YES! YES! Considering Sanchez’s recent time as a fighter, it’s likely that anything of significance will come out of the rest of the period of the once famed career. The likely scenario and ultimate end game is identical to that of the vast majority of all other TUF 1 cast members. The consensus is that many of the TUF 1 cast members moved out with a whimper facing the same troubling realities that Sanchez currently faces a daily basis: injuries and age. The majority of the contestants essentially were forced into retirement. As fans of this UFC, let’s expect Diego Sanchez can break this trend and go out with a bang because it’s likely he will not go out anywhere near the top. Finishing on a winning notice is the best case scenario for”The Nightmare” at this stage in his career. Taking a photo of Sanchez’s professional career, it is likely he will depart the UFC kicking and screaming like others before him. What remains to be informed is how and when. One can not deny it. The writing is on the wall with no true expectation of championship aspirations in the near future. Settle back and revel in the last of the TUF 1 display. But, based on Diego’s Sanchez most recent turns of a events in his profession prepare for a sad ending. The dropping down in weight classes and layoff due to rehabbing injuries it is creating a recipe for disaster. Essentially it will not be a dream come true for your nightmare. Quoting Connor McGregor in 2013:”The guy is a has-been.” IMG_1727Sanchez is expected to confront Ricardo Lamas at a featherweight bout on November 21, 2015 at The Ultimate Fighter Latin America 2 Finale. This is Sanchez debut at featherweight regardless of the fact that he was the middleweight TUF 1 winner. Sanchez is expecting to take a run at championship glory despite facing the longest layoff of his professional MMA career (1 year 4 Months) and at 33 years old. The layoff is due to a broken collarbone suffered in training. Many pundits credit the announcement that he’s falling a weight class as a way to get an eventually struggle against Connor McGregor. However, lots of MMA handicappers see this because of weakness because of an attempt by Sanchez to stay relevant. Though many MMA mainstream enthusiasts fail to crown Diego Sanchez since the first Ultimate Fighter, he has out lasted them all. Being the youngest of the TUF 1 fighters it continues to function in his benefit but he is fighting the age old question of time. Irrespective of how durable Sanchez could be, it remains to be seen if he can pass this last test. As his commendable profession rolls , it is evident Sanchez is no more immune from the injury bug. Still, there has to be something said for being the last of a dying breed. That feat alone is deserving of all our admiration because it’s left us without a doubt that he will always remain the roughest of the TUF. The initial Ultimate Fighter to be crowned inside the Octagon and the last to leave.
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