Sanchez 'going to beat anybody'

JOSE RODRIGUEZ, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:40 AM ET

Mentally, there are few fighters with the strength of Diego (Nightmare) Sanchez.

Tonight, Sanchez hopes to turn that spirituality-fuelled tenacity into a UFC title.

"I'm rigged different in the mind," says Sanchez, who won the inaugural season of The Ultimate Fighter as a middleweight. "In my mind, I'm going to beat anybody that (I get) in the cage with, whether it be Georges St. Pierre, whether it be Anderson Silva. I don't care. And that's because I believe. I have faith. And that's something God has blessed me with."

The New Mexico native, who now lives and trains in San Diego, will take on lightweight champ B.J. Penn in tonight's UFC 107 main event.

The explosive fighter is on a four-bout win streak and concedes Penn is his toughest opponent to date.

But Sanchez says it's time for his 'Cinderella story' to play out.

"I believe I'm going to beat B.J. Penn because it's my time," says the 27-year-old.

"Everything in my career has built me up to this moment. I'm healthy. I'm strong. My mental and spiritual sides have never been stronger. And you know everything feels right. So I'm confident and I'm just excited to go in there and do what I love."

Sanchez, one of the best conditioned athletes in MMA, has also shown an improved striking ability in his last two outings against Clay Guida and Joe Stevenson.

Both Penn and Sanchez say a recent spate of bad fights and poor judging at recent UFC events has heightened the expectation for the pair to put on a good show.

There were questionable decisions in the main events at UFC 104 and 105 and one of the most anticipated fights at The Ultimate Fighter 10 Finale last week -- Kimbo Slice against Houston Alexander -- was a disappointment.

"I want to step in there and I want to go to war and leave it all out there in the cage instead of giving a boring-ass fight like Houston Alexander running around trying to do a couple of leg kicks," says Sanchez, who is 21-2 in his MMA career.

"That's not what the fans want. That's boring. That makes our sport look bad."

Penn says he has respect for his Mexican-American opponent.

"I think Diego is good in all areas," says Penn, who has a 14-5-1 record and will be making his third title defence.

Tonight's fight, which also features Cheick Kongo taking on Frank Mir and Kenny Florian against Clay Guida, is available in Canada on pay-per-view.

GSP to fight Hardy

Canadian Georges St. Pierre will defend his welterweight title against England's Dan (The Outlaw) Hardy in March, the UFC confirmed yesterday.

The fight is scheduled for March 27 at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., home of the NHL's Devils.

JOSE.RODRIGUEZ@SUNMEDIA.CA


Videos

Photos