UFC President Dana White confirmed Tuesday that Diego Sanchez will be leaving the promotion’s welterweight division in order to compete under the UFC banner as a lightweight.
White made the announcement when asked by a fan about Sanchez’s next fight during a special Q&A session held at the Sports USA Bar in Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
Sanchez recently indicated in a blog posted on his MySpace account that he was making preparations for a drop in weight. His revelation was followed up by his agents at NCFC Fight Management indicating that it was the UFC’s decision regarding which weight Sanchez’s next fight would take place at. White’s pronouncement effectively ends any uncertainty as to which weight class Sanchez will fight at.
Sanchez entered the UFC as a middleweight after winning the first season of The Ultimate Fighter. Following his first round TKO over Kenny Florian in the final, Sanchez immediately moved to the welterweight limit of 170 pounds. The transition to lightweight means that the 26-year old will now have to cut an additional 15 pounds in order to make the lightweight limit of 155 pounds.
After beginning his professional MMA career with a 17-0 record, Sanchez suffered the first losses at UFCs 69 and 76 against Josh Koscheck and Jon Fitch, respectively. Sanchez rebounded to go 2-0 in his last two fights, however, wins over Luigi Fioravanti and David Bielkheden failed to generate the same type of buzz that surrounded him during the early part of his career.