In picking up wins in all of his first five fights as a pro, flyweight prospect Roberto Sanchez has shown that though he might have gotten a late start in MMA, he used his time prior to turning pro wisely.
“The first time I was offered a fight was when I was 19, but the first time I had a fight I was 26,” Sanchez told MMAWeekly.com. “I think waiting did help me a lot.
“I was training with people who were fighting, and was learning from them and using it to my advantage. That’s what kind of helped jump start my career turning pro, because I saw what other fighters did and it helped me a lot.”
With four finishes in his five wins, Sanchez has quickly made himself one to watch at flyweight. But rather than let pressure get to him, Sanchez sees his notoriety as an opportunity to fight the best opposition.
“I think for me it’s more of a motivator,” said Sanchez. “I thought it was be cool to just be challenging other undefeated fighters and keep climbing that way. But I’ll take whatever fight I can get and whatever opponent they throw my way and keep winning.”
Sanchez (5-0) steps into his first pro headlining bout when he takes on Klayton Mai (8-2) in a 125-pound main event at Legacy Fighting Alliance 7 on Friday in Houston, Texas.
“All of his wins and losses are by submission, so I think he’s more of a grappler,” Sanchez said of Mai. “I see the fight ending up on the ground and we’re going to see who can end up on top. I’m hoping to submit him in the first round like a lot of my other matches.”
Though Mai has twice as many pro bouts as Sanchez, Roberto is not allowing the difference in experience do anything other than motivate him further.
“It really comes down to what opponents they’ve faced,” said Sanchez. “They can have 20 wins, and if they’ve fought a bunch of scrubs, it doesn’t amount to much.
“That’s usually how I judge an opponent, is seeing who they’ve fought. Klayton has fought some tough guys, so I’m looking forward to that pumping me up more.”
Having already found himself on the UFC’s radar, Sanchez is looking to have his bout against Mai further make the case for him taking a step up to the next level in 2017.
“I’m just taking it fight by fight and pushing it for the UFC,” Sanchez said. “Dana (White) has already told me to get a few more wins and they’ll be interested in me. So I’ll keep winning until they give me the call.”