Diego Sanchez is the last fighter standing in the UFC from “The Ultimate Fighter 1,” and from the looks of things, he’s not going to consign the legendary season of that reality series to history any time soon.
“The Nightmare” lived up to his nickname, at least from Mickey Gall’s perspective, on the ESPN prelims of UFC 235 on Saturday night at UFC 235.
Sanchez put on a vintage performance in the welterweight bout as he mauled Gall like an angry wolverine for the better part of two rounds before using a classic ground-and-pound finish to end the bout. The time of the stoppage at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas was 4:13 of the second round as Sanchez, in his 29th Octagon appearance, won his second straight bout.
Gall came out swinging heavy strikes, with some of them landing. But Sanchez stayed patient, found his range, and started landing in the clinch. Then he wrestled Gall to the mat and started implementing his grinding top game, staying with his foe and dragging him right back to the mat whenever Gall got back to his feet.
In the second, a wicked knee to the solar plexus dropped Gall, and it was on. Sanchez rained down brutal elbows and finally a series of uncontested punches from the top before the bout was mercifully waived off.
“It was a good night,” Sanchez said. “I was just trying to stay calm out there, I knew his emotions were going to get the best of him and he was throwing big power punches so I just weathered the storm.”
Sanchez (29-11), who according to ESPN Stats and Info is the only fighter to compete in at least one UFC fight every year since 2005, has now won three straight and four of his past five. Gall (5-2) has now dropped two of three after his first career stoppage loss.