When fans consider the inaugural season of”The Ultimate Fighter,” Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar instantly come to mind as a result of their instant classic. Therefore, its only suiting that the very first ever Ultimate Fighter be the last to leave the UFC. No, I’m not talking about Forrest Griffin. The fight between Bonnar and Griffin during the TUF’s Season 1 Finale single-handedly helped bring the UFC to the mainstream. Dana White later called it Zuffa’s”Trojan Horse”. Nonetheless, in doing this, it overshadowed the fact that Diego Sanchez was actually the first ever Ultimate Fighter winner, having conquered Kenny Florian to take home the middleweight TUF crown earlier in the evening. With all of the former cast members on the show either retired or no longer employed by the UFC, the sole exclusion remains to become Sanchez. The first to be crowned remains to be the last to grace the Octagon. When the contestants were first announced for”The Ultimate Fighter 1,” Sanchez was the fighter with the most hype surrounding him. Since the undefeated King of the Cage winner, he backed up that hype in the Octagon winning all four of his struggles, together with three first-round stoppages including a entry over Florian in the Finale. The true main event of that card was fully overshadowed as Rich Franklin scored the biggest win of his profession in 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. Lots can happen over a decade, and Sanchez’s lengthy r??sum?? proves it. He’s won a lot of conflicts and dropped some, hopped branches, got sailed for marijuana, earned six”Fight of the Night” bonuses along with two”Battle of the Year” (2006 Karo Parisyan, 2009 Clay Guida) honours, lost a lightweight name tilt to then-champ BJ Penn, changed his nickname from the”Nightmare” to the”Fantasy” and back to the”Nightmare” again and let’s not forget about him inventing the Yes! Cartwheel, simply to mention a couple. Total going to war within the Octagon on 21 separate events amassing as 14-7 record. Based on his age and durability it was almost expected that Sanchez is going to be the last fighter we see inside the Octagon and rightfully so. Much was said about the whole cast of this series to the extent that Dana White said that he was essentially seeking to induct the whole TUF 1 cast into the UFC Hall of fame. It has been a well documented success story deserving of fairy tale type end. However, what remains to be viewed from the die hard MMA lovers is… IMG_1728Will Diego Sanchez go out with a swan song of epic proportions in hopes of building upon The Ultimate Fighter Seasons 1 already cemented legacy? Diego Sanchez would tell you YES! YES! YES! Looking at Sanchez’s recent time for a fighter, it’s likely that anything of importance will come out of the rest of the time of the once famed career. The likely scenario and eventual end game is identical to that of the vast majority of the rest of the TUF 1 cast members. The consensus is that lots of the TUF 1 cast members moved outside with a whimper facing the exact same troubling realities that Sanchez now faces on a daily basis: accidents and age. The majority of the contestants basically were forced into retirement. As fans of the UFC, let us hope Diego Sanchez may break this trend and go out with a bang as it is likely he will not go out anywhere close to the top. Finishing on a winning note is the best case scenario for”The Nightmare” at this stage in his profession. Taking a photo of Sanchez’s professional career, it is likely he’ll depart the UFC kicking and crying like many others before him. What remains to be told is how and if. An individual can not deny it. The writing is on the wall with no real expectation of championship aspirations in the near future. Sit back and revel in the final of the TUF 1 showcase. However, based on Diego’s Sanchez latest turns of a events in his career prepare yourself for a sad ending. The dropping down in weight classes and layoff due to rehabbing injuries it is developing a recipe for disaster. Essentially it won’t be a dream come true for the nightmare. Quoting Connor McGregor in 2013:”The man really is a has-been.” IMG_1727Sanchez is expected to confront Ricardo Lamas in a featherweight bout on November 21, 2015 at The Ultimate Fighter Latin America two Finale. This is Sanchez introduction at featherweight regardless of the fact he was the middleweight TUF 1 winner. Sanchez is hoping to have 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 he’s dropping a weight class as a means to get an eventually struggle against Connor McGregor. However, many MMA handicappers see this because of weakness as an effort by Sanchez to stay relevant. Though many MMA mainstream enthusiasts fail to crown Diego Sanchez as the original Ultimate Fighter, he has out lasted all of them. Being the youngest of this TUF 1 boxers it continues to work in his advantage but he is fighting the age old issue of time. Regardless of how durable Sanchez could be, it remains to be seen if he can pass this last test. As his commendable profession rolls , it’s evident Sanchez is no more immune from the injury bug. However, there needs to be something said for being the last of a dying breed. That accomplishment alone is worthy of all our respect since it’s left us with no doubt that he will always remain the toughest of the TUF. The first Ultimate Fighter to be crowned inside the Octagon and the last to leave.
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