Diego Sanchez: Moving On From 'The Nightmare' After Hitting 'Rock Bottom'

On today's call we have: head UFC PR Jennifer Wenk, Diego Sanchez, Martin Kampmann, Mark Munoz, C.B. Dollaway. The fight takes place at the KFC Yum! Center (I detest writing that) in Louisville, Kentucky.

- Martin Kampmann says he didn't perform up to his expectations, made a lot of mistakes against Jake Shields. Looking for a rebound this time. Diego Sanchez says he changed up by moving back to New Mexico. "I totally restructured my whole life....Greg's trained me well." Says his motto is "earn it". Says he goes into fights he already has the "w" but he has to go and take it.

- Kampmann on Shields fight: training for the fight was good and he knew Shields was going to "lay" on him. Says he made mistakes in heat of the moment and was "too tentative" in the stand-up. "I could've won, I should've won, but I gave it away doing stupid mistakes."

- Diego says he doesn't associate with people who don't like MMA. Says it's been 3 or 4 years since he's "run into a MMA hater...our numbers and our fans do the talking for us." Kampmann says MMA in Denmark is still new and people think it's still 1993. Says it "helps that UFC is on TV over there".

Dollaway says people don't realize how hard fighters work. "It's one of the toughest sports on the planet right now."

Munoz says when you sit down with fighters and delve into what they're into, you'll find fighters are educated, disciplined people. "We're the trailblazers in this sport."

- Munoz says he looks up to a lot of people, most notably Urijah Faber. Dollaway points to Georges St. Pierre, Anderson Silva. Points specifically to GSP getting Under Armor sponsorship. Martin Kampmann points to Randy Couture. Says Couture has had his ups and downs, but is a gentleman inside and outside the ring. Sanchez also points to Randy Couture as well. Says he makes him re-think when he could hang it up. Also says Wanderlei Silva has warrior spirit you can't teach.

- Kampmann says the odds don't matter much. Says Sanchez is a very motivated person and that he admires his tenacity in the cage. "But that's what I want," says Kampmann. Says odds don't help you in the ring.

- Sanchez says he's already doing things even his teammates don't do. He points to going to high school wrestling practice or lifting after practice. Says now he has game plans, something he never had before. Says he's blessed to have training partners who also had fights, too. Also has respect for Martin because any UFC fighter coming off a loss is a very determined person.

- Sanchez points to maturity, being home, being with his family. Says a situation in San Diego took an emotional toll on him. Also points to the B.J. Penn loss as horrible experience "never had hands put on me like that".

- "The options are closed for me to ever go down to 155lbs again." Says he's doing power cleans, deadlifts, bench press. Diego says being a welterweight you have to be physically strong. Says fans are going to surprised at his look and physical strength.

- Sanchez says he hit rock bottom after the B.J. Penn fight, a scam artist took $175,000 of his money. Says he was "humbled". And after John Hathaway loss, was still feeling the "funk". Was going to bar drinking after practice. Didn't take Hathaway fight seriously at all. "I shouldn't have been in the ring for that fight, period." That was what prompted him to go back to Greg Jackson and also became more of a Christian.

- Dollaway says he had to get out of the wrestling mentality to turn a corner in his UFC career. "I kind skipped over the jiu-jitsu side of things." Says the loss to Amir Sadollah was the best thing that ever happened to me, forced his evolution. Points to Joe Doerksen loss as proof he knew his game had improved and was "payoff" for all the hard work he had put in.

- Dollaway talks about Munoz's entry in MMA and his different entry into the UFC. Munoz doesn't add much, just that both guys recognize the other's progression.

- Sanchez says life, temptation lead him "off the path". "I've been back and forth several times." Turning 28 made him realize he had to get his life together. "I'm where I belong." New Mexico seems to be a very important place for Sanchez, says he came full circle as a fighter. Being in New Mexico made him get back to what was important for him. Says Greg Jackson told him he is a top-control guy, "a predator" and Jackson helped re-invent him. Says he took with him the good stuff he got from Saulo Ribeiro, but at Jackson's "every day is a battle". Sanchez says he only trains with the larger fighters now. "I'm at a good place in my career."

Sanchez moved back to Albuquerque about 5 weeks before the Paulo Thiago fight.

Sanchez says he never thought about quitting the sport. Sanchez says "I let 'The Nightmare' go." I don't want to represent that. I want to represent positivity. "The nightmare? The nightmare was myself. I was my own nightmare."

- Sanchez says walking back into Jackson's was like going home again. Every day I walk in there I get the same feeling.

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