Following a loss in his lightweight title fight with former champion BJ Penn at UFC 107, Diego Sanchez headed back up to his old home of 170-pounds. Sanchez took on British up-and-comer John Hathaway (13-0) this past weekend at “UFC 114: Rampage vs. Evans” in his welterweight debut and it was not what the former title contender had imagined.
Sanchez (21-4) ate a knee early in the fight and never looked the same from that point on. Hathaway was much bigger, and he appeared faster and stronger than “The Nightmare.”
Hathaway picked Sanchez apart for the remainder of the bout on his way to a unanimous decision victory that prompted UFC president Dana White to say, “Diego does not look good at 170.”
“I don’t think Diego belongs at 170. It’s easier to be at 170; he looked soft tonight. “I stay out of that, that’s up to those guys.”
With Frankie Edgar now holding the title at lightweight, the rest of the division is wide open and Sanchez could return to 155 and work his way back up to another title shot.
“I’m not his manager, but I think he should stay at 55. Listen, this loss to B.J. Penn doesn’t mean you go back up to 170, it means you stay at 55 and do what Kenny Florian did. Stay in there and you keep grinding it out, keep beating the top guys, and you get back in line and you work your way back to the top again,” said White.