(Someone is coming out of this fight with new war wounds.)
Sanchez will take on Martin Kampmann in the main event on March 3 on the next UFC on Versus card. CagePotato.com was able to confirm the initial report with sources close to the fight who indicated that bout agreements have been received and they are in the process of signing.
Coming off of a decisive unanimous decision victory over Paulo Thiago at UFC 121 in October, Sanchez, who alongside Forrest Griffin was one of the two winners of the first season of The Ultimate Fighter as a middleweight, dropped down to lightweight in 2009. After running through the division and securing a title shot against then-champion, BJ Penn, Sanchez was dominated for five rounds by "The Prodigy" before being stopped via a cut at the midway point of the final frame.
After the bout, Sanchez decided that a move up to welterweight would likely be a more expedient route to a second shot at UFC gold considering the lineup forming behind Penn, so he took a tune-up fight against up-and-coming undefeated Brit, John Hathaway. The fight proved to be tougher than Sanchez anticipated as he was handed a loss by "The Hitman" who threw a wrench into his welterweight plans.
Now "The Nightmare" will have to avoid the crosshairs of another "Hitman" looking to climb the welterweight ranks by beating him.
Kampmann, who is coming off of a split decision loss to former Strikeforce middleweight champ and current number two UFC welterweight contender, Jake Shields at UFC 121will hold a decisive advantage if the fight remains on the feet. If it goes to the ground, Sanchez who is a brown belt under Royler Gracie might have a slight edge, but Kampmann’s ground game is very underrated and is very close to, if not at the same level as Diego’s.
The news of this match-up comes as a bit of a surprise considering Kampmann is in a good position to earn a title shot if he can rack up a few more quality "Ws". A win over Sanchez seems like more of a lateral move than a move up a rung in the welterweight division, considering he is 3-3 in his past six fights at 170.
The winner will likely be poised behind perennial contender Jon Fitch for the number three contender slot.