Diego: I don't feel like I've been hit very hard


The issue of brain trauma in sports has rightly received widespread coverage over the past several years, and mixed martial arts is no exception. 

One fighter frequently cited as having received an outsized degree of punishment is UFC lightweight Diego Sanchez, who has been fighting since 2002, with frequently thrilling, and bloody results.

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However, in an interview with FOX Sports, Sanchez said it is soft tissue damage, but not brain damage.

"To be honest, I don't feel like I've been hit very hard," said Sanchez.  "I think when I was fighting at 70, I took a couple hard hits and of course BJ hit me hard, but aside from that, I think it's more cuts than anything.  I'm not taking a lot of damage, I've never felt foggy after a fight, I've never had a concussion in a fight and I've never been knocked out.

"As far as taking all the trauma, no, that's not the issue.  It's the cuts."

"Eventually maybe after this fight, when I have a break in my schedule, I want to do that surgery that Nick Diaz got where they go in there and scrape the scar tissue and he seemed to have a lot of success with that.  I'm getting to that point in my career where that might be a better option for me.  Because taking the cuts that I am, I'm always battling the judges and it just hinders me," Sanchez said.

Sanchez fights fellow TUF winner Ross Pearson at UFC Fight Night 42 on June 7 in his in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

"It's extremely motivating and for me, I'm more excited about this than I would be fighting for the title, because more than likely this is probably going to be the last time I get to fight in front of my family and everybody," Sanchez said. "My entire family's going to be there, and all the fans and all the city of Albuquerque.  This is a fight city and UFC's never been here, so it's going to be a big thing for our state and our city.  I'm an ambassador for the sport here in New Mexico, being the first one to make it to the UFC, winning the show and just being an ambassador for New Mexico and for Albuquerque."

"In my career, I've never had three losses in a row and I'm not planning on starting this time. I feel that I'm unbeatable here in New Mexico with my fans and my people and the energy.  I truly feel like I'm unbeatable over here."


tags: UFC   Ross Pearson (detail)  Diego Sanchez (detail)  FC Fight Night 42   


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Hurtsogood site profile image  

4/3/14 3:15 PM by Hurtsogood

<blockquote>Cherrycola - <span id='userPost48946227' class='User-329880'><blockquote>Hurtsogood - <blockquote>Cherrycola - <span id='userPost48941428' class='User-329880'>damn WAR diego!!! Im fkn excited to watch my first UFC event in my hometown w/ one of my favorite fighters. turnin 21 a month before this fight and Ima be drunk as fuck to see you battle it out.</span></blockquote><br /> This is my favorite type of guy to watch fights with. Always interesting and engaging conversation.</blockquote>Aha hell yeah brotha <img src="/images/phone/apple.png" alt="Phone Post 3.0" border="0" style="vertical-align:middle;"/></span></blockquote><br /> Hell yeah is right. <br /><br />Whoosh.... something just flew over your head, look out.

Cherrycola site profile image  

4/3/14 1:16 PM by Cherrycola

Aha hell yeah brotha

Hurtsogood site profile image  

4/3/14 9:13 AM by Hurtsogood

This is my favorite type of guy to watch fights with. Always interesting and engaging conversation.

Cherrycola site profile image  

4/3/14 1:32 AM by Cherrycola

damn WAR diego!!! Im fkn excited to watch my first UFC event in my hometown w/ one of my favorite fighters. turnin 21 a month before this fight and Ima be drunk as fuck to see you battle it out.

Brockback Mountain site profile image  

4/2/14 1:39 PM by Brockback Mountain

Diego sounded "slurry" when he was on the ultimate fighter. He just is not that intelligent sounding of a guy. He needs to go back to his wrestling/juijitsu/gnp bread and butter and stop with the standing and wanging

razrtyrone site profile image  

4/2/14 10:52 AM by razrtyrone

I don't think he's passed his prime, he's just not improving. I thought he'd improved his technique prior to the jury fight but we all know what happened. Wants to slug but not a knockout artist shown in fights where he clipped kampman and melendez hard but they weren't out. The way he fights he most likely will only land less than 10 hard shots to the head of his opponents. I think he has talent and can improve but he's not smart as a fighter. People can't become champions by winging wild shots with reckless abandonment nowadays, his game wasn't worst than before, it's just that the overall level in the top 10 has overtaken his prime which is still stuck at 5 years ago.

sadic1 site profile image  

4/2/14 10:38 AM by sadic1

Like others have said, he's just getting punched too many times, regardless of how hard. The thing is, we have no reason to believe he's received any worse than any other fighter. Considering how small a percentage of punches a guy takes in a pro fight compared to how many he takes in training, you'd probably be more accurate to identify guys who train the most and hardest and accuse them of being punch drunk. So Diego has a point if what he's saying is that people commenting or asking don't really know his body or his experience enough to draw conclusions, but to my untrained eye, he does look and sound like someone who has taken a lot of shots.

Hurtsogood site profile image  

4/2/14 10:25 AM by Hurtsogood

No one will argue he isn't one of the most exciting guys to watch in the history of MMA, and lets be honest, earth. That being said, his comments are clearly an example of a guy not being honest with himself and having no one around willing to sit down face to face to make sure he's aware of the long term ramifications of his fighting style. I fully support his freedom to continue wrecking his body and mind if he chooses to do so, but I would hope he was made aware of the reality awaiting him down the road. I just assumed everyone was at least somewhat aware of these truths at this point. Its weird to see a guy with this much experience that still thinks only the big hits are dangerous.

Heikki Mustola site profile image  

4/2/14 10:11 AM by Heikki Mustola

After Melendez fight his speech sounded real punch drunk in post-fight interview in the cage

cdueck site profile image  

4/2/14 10:09 AM by cdueck

The reason he hasn't seemed to get to rocked at least lately is his mouth piece. It locks his lower jaw in place away from the jount and creates tension in the neck to avoid rotational knockouts. Oscar Delahoya started wearing one after being dropped several times early in his career and was never dropped from a head shot after that. All this does is allow him to take more brain trauma and not get stopped, so instead of getting hit once and KO'D he can get ht 100 times and still be on his feet. Which do you think is worse?