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Sanchez Explains Why He Ditched ‘Nightmare’ Nickname, Makes Vague Reference to Getting Scammed Out of $175K

(One man’s “rock bottom” is another man’s awesome Saturday night. Pic: MMA Mania)

Diego Sanchez sort of unexpectedly dominated the action on Tuesday during the official media conference call for the Versus Network’s upcoming UFC Live broadcast. The newly nickname-free fighter talked openly about the hard times he suffered in the midst of back-to-back losses to BJ Penn and John Hathaway, said a return to lightweight is currently impossible (owing to a new weightlifting regimen courtesy of Olympic-wrestler-turned-Team-Jackson-middleweight Willie Parks) and explained why he recently decided to ditch his longtime moniker as “The Nightmare.” Turns out, it just wasn’t positive enough for him.

“I let the ‘Nightmare’ go,” Sanchez told reporters. “A nightmare is something that is negative and kind of evil. I don’t want to represent that. I want to represent positivity and I want to represent the good. I look back on my whole career (as) the ‘Nightmare’ (and) the nightmare was myself. I was my own nightmare. All the times I fell off track and got into drinking, got into smoking weed, the things that brought me down, the partying. That was my nightmare. I was my own nightmare. I’m grown up (now). I’m going to let that name go … I thought about changing it to ‘The Dream’ but I thought that would be a little bit out there, so I’m just going to stick with Diego Sanchez.”

Oddly, Sanchez also made vague mention of getting swindled out of $175,000 during that dark period he spent training away from Greg Jackson’s team. Details, such as they are, after the jump.

Sanchez made it sound like he was pretty much trying to train himself after leaving Jackson’s camp in New Mexico for San Diego back in 2007. He says he was drifting from separate grappling training sessions to kickboxing training sessions without any real full-time sparring partners to keep him on point. Then came the Penn fight at UFC 107 in 2009, when things really started to fall apart.

“I went through a real rough situation in San Diego and it got me into a lot of emotional depression,” Sanchez said “That weighed hard on me. The BJ Penn fight, it was really hard for me, the way I lost – getting cut up and getting hands put on me like that. That never happened to me (before) in my career …

“I hit rock bottom after the BJ Penn fight, I really did. I blew through all my money. I made some bad decisions. I fell in (with) this scam artist. (He) scammed me real bad. I was embezzled (for) over $175,000 … I just had to come back home. I needed my family’s love and I was just humbled, one hundred percent.”

Sanchez did not elaborate on the lost money and nobody asked him about it (at least not before we got bored and hung up after about 45 minutes). He did say he felt like he had “no business” being in the cage during his loss to Hathaway at UFC 114 and after that defeat, decided he needed to go back home. Just five weeks prior to his fight against Paulo Thiago at UFC 121, Sanchez moved back to New Mexico, where Jackson has been “reinventing” him ever since.

“I moved out of the city, I moved out to the mountains,” Sanchez said. “That was best thing I ever did. Being out there, I don’t even have cable at my house. I just get real spiritual, real close to God. I just make sure I get all my work done.”

Sanchez will fight Martin Kampmann on March 3 in what could turn out to be a defacto No. 1 contender match if the UFC makes good on plans to have champ Georges St. Pierre move to middleweight after his upcoming bout with Jake Shields.


  1. HusseinObama Says:

    Tue, 02/22/11 - 04:23

    That dude will be the UFC champion this year.
  2. torxxx Says:

    Tue, 02/22/11 - 04:24

    best wishes to Diego, I'd like to see him get a title shot.
  3. DDT Says:

    Tue, 02/22/11 - 04:25

    CP time for a new nickname for Diego contest.
  4. DarkmanX Says:

    Tue, 02/22/11 - 04:31

    good to hear how Sanchez can focus on the positive...can't wait to see him kick ass....
  5. the chef Says:

    Tue, 02/22/11 - 04:33

    He's not gonna beat GSP, unfortunately (I hate GSP), but maybe after Silva stops GSP's mouth in, Diego can lose to BJ again, but this time in a welterweight title fight.
  6. agentsmith Says:

    Tue, 02/22/11 - 04:40

    I tried to imagine that weird fucker baked on some dank weed and scared the shit out of myself.
  7. Yazloz18 Says:

    Tue, 02/22/11 - 04:44

    After seeing that picture I vote for "Kung Fu" or maybe Kwai Chang Caine
  8. El Guapo Says:

    Tue, 02/22/11 - 04:45

    You ever trained for a MMA fight.... ON WEEEEEED?
  9. youenjoyzedella Says:

    Tue, 02/22/11 - 04:48

    Apparently there are some people in here that think Deigo's gonna be a champ soon. For who? The UFC? So he's gonna beat up on BJ, Fitch, Alves, Johnson... Oh nevermind... you meant KOC champ...right?
  10. agentsmith Says:

    Tue, 02/22/11 - 04:56

    @ youenjoyzedella: The best part is the guy who smashed him at 155 is now hanging around at welterweight too.
  11. skeletor Says:

    Tue, 02/22/11 - 05:03

    Diego "Autoerotic asphyxiation" Sanchez Diego "Weirdest Fucking Fighter and Possibly Human Being on the Planet" Sanchez Diego "Will Eventually Lose More Title Fights Then Kenny Florian" Sanchez Diego "How Did i Land Such a Piece of Ass For a Wife" Sanchez Diego "Good Thing I Won the Ultimate Fighter or I Would Probably be Sharing an Apartment With Luke Cummo" Sanchez Diego "I Got High Once and Now Speak About the Dangers of Marijuana at Bible Camps" Sanchez
  12. HusseinObama Says:

    Tue, 02/22/11 - 05:06

    This one's as easy as it's obvious: Diego "Yes!" Sanchez"
  13. RwilsonR Says:

    Tue, 02/22/11 - 05:17

    "… I thought about changing it to ‘The Dream’ but I thought that would be a little bit out there..." That's where Diego draws the line on what's "out there"?
  14. JamesToneyismyhero Says:

    Tue, 02/22/11 - 05:18

    i wish that GSP was staying at welterweight now just to punk this freakshow
  15. Viva Hate Says:

    Tue, 02/22/11 - 05:20

    Diego "Erotic Asphyxiation" Sanchez Diego "Don't Look in My Attic" Sanchez Diego "Amber Alert" Sanchez Diego "No One Make Eye Contact" Sanchez Diego "Super Dirty" Sanchez Diego "Don't Ask Me What I've Done to Tony Robbins" Sanchez Diego "The Cause of Kids Nightmares" Sanchez Diego "Purple Rain" Sanchez Diego "I blew it with Ali Sonoma" Sanchez Diego "Future Dahmer" Sanchez In case it was not obvious, I think Deigo is a lunatic.
  16. skeletor Says:

    Tue, 02/22/11 - 05:21

    @HusseinObama-I kind of steered clear of that one and also the "Yes! Cartwheel"
  17. Viva Hate Says:

    Tue, 02/22/11 - 05:21

    skeletor beat me to one of them.
  18. P2 Says:

    Tue, 02/22/11 - 05:24

    Diego "The Proton" Sanchez
  19. AndyInflammatory Says:

    Tue, 02/22/11 - 05:27

    Diego "Michael Hutchence" Sanchez
  20. HusseinObama Says:

    Tue, 02/22/11 - 05:32

  21. DARKHORSE06 Says:

    Tue, 02/22/11 - 05:33

    Diego "It Puts The Lotion in the Basket" Sanchez
  22. cecils_pupils Says:

    Tue, 02/22/11 - 05:46

    I heard that the guy who swindled Diego out of 175K convinced him he had a time machine, and with the right investment level of course, Diego could go back in time and defeat BJ Penn. Instead, Diego used the time machine to go back to high school and be his own bodyguard.
  23. GistoftheFist Says:

    Tue, 02/22/11 - 06:01

    Diego Doubledown Sandwich...I mean Sanchez.
  24. RwilsonR Says:

    Tue, 02/22/11 - 06:07

    Diego "Ali Sonoma was just a cover for, you know..." Sanchez
  25. RwilsonR Says:

    Tue, 02/22/11 - 06:10

    LOL @ cecils - do you think he protected himself from sucking off the Quarterback under the bleachers, or joined in?
  26. djp1988 Says:

    Tue, 02/22/11 - 06:15

    Diego "Master Betty" Sanchez.
  27. fatbellyfrank Says:

    Tue, 02/22/11 - 06:18

    Andy inflammatory beat me to it
  28. Diego Sanchez ditches nickname? - Sherdog Mixed Martial Arts Forums Says:

    Tue, 02/22/11 - 06:37

    [...] Sanchez ditches nickname? Sanchez Explains Why He Ditched 'Nightmare' Nickname, Makes Vague Reference to Getting Sca... Apparently Sanchez doesn't like his nick name "Nightmare", because it is negative and [...]
  29. AndyInflammatory Says:

    Tue, 02/22/11 - 07:22

    fuck is that?
  30. Dana_Plight Says:

    Tue, 02/22/11 - 07:27

    How about Diego "Martin Kampmann" Sanchez? That would be as confusing as Diego "Diego Sanchez" Sanchez. Ok how about Diego "wolf howling at the moon" Sanchez...real spiritual and shit
  31. danomite Says:

    Tue, 02/22/11 - 07:27

    It's good to see Diego kicked that Stevia habit. I heard he was starting to freebase it. On a related note, Has anybody checked Dan Quinn's rant videos lately to see if he mentions anything about being 175K richer?
  32. Endless Soldier Says:

    Tue, 02/22/11 - 07:41

    Whatever the case, his crazy-ass signature Nightstare similar to the touching gloves part of Sanchez vs. Penn must remain!
  33. darciesdaddy Says:

    Tue, 02/22/11 - 07:58

    Danomite, 8 teaspoons of stevia a day will eat up $175K pretty quick.
  34. cecils_pupils Says:

    Tue, 02/22/11 - 08:19

    @RwR - after protecting himself from being forced to perform ghey sax, he convinces himself to join the wrestling team where he develops a penchant for the oil check.
  35. jimbonics Says:

    Tue, 02/22/11 - 09:38

    Diego "Why Isn't Anyone Helping Me?" Sanchez   Diego "Don't Ever Ask Me That Again, Jew." Sanchez         Props if you get the second reference.
  36. teetee Says:

    Tue, 02/22/11 - 10:29

    I really want his new nicknam to be "Yes!".. so i can hear Buffer go "Diegoooo YES!( while cartwheeling..) SANNCHEZZZZ!!! I would tear up.
  37. Endless Soldier Says:

    Wed, 02/23/11 - 01:53

    @teetee It's the Buffer 360, in a whole new take.
  38. theiceman00000 Says:

    Wed, 02/23/11 - 04:25

    Diego 'positive dream' Sanchez
  39. youenjoyzedella Says:

    Wed, 02/23/11 - 04:41

    @ Skeletor and @ Viva Hate... You guys had me fucking dying with the nicknames...
  40. FaH Q NL15 Says:

    Wed, 02/23/11 - 04:46

    ... David Carradine?
  41. k-onda Says:

    Wed, 02/23/11 - 05:40

    Damn, this guy needs a cult, bad! Greg Jackson should do just fine
  42. Turd Furgeson Says:

    Wed, 02/23/11 - 05:51

    Diego "skeletor" Sanchez Diego "Viva Hate" Sanchez Diego "dranokills" Sanchez Diego "danomite" Sanchez Diego "ReX13" Sanchez Diego "ghostboner" Sanchez
  43. Turd Furgeson Says:

    Wed, 02/23/11 - 05:53

    In related news: did you guys here Diego Sanchez patented the Yes! Cartwheel, and it only cost $175,000?
  44. FaH Q NL15 Says:

    Wed, 02/23/11 - 05:54

    in all seriousness, Diego "ghostboner" Sanchez might work.
  45. Turd Furgeson Says:

    Wed, 02/23/11 - 07:07

    Also, hear*
  46. Angry Whopper Says:

    Wed, 02/23/11 - 01:56

    I've enjoyed watching Sanchez since day one. Admittedly, things got a little sketchy around the YES!! period and the drop to lightweight. He's too big for lightweight anyway. Good on him to have his shit sorted, to have gained some maturity and to be coming back. Hopefully stronger than ever. WW is gonna need a champ/contender with some charisma. Fitch, Alves, Koscheck and that British guy GSP fought (can't remember his name) aren't the most likable characters. Y'know?
  47. Sanchez and Kampmann each earn record $160k bonuses for FOTN - Page 3 - Sherdog Mixed Martial Arts Forums Says:

    Thu, 03/03/11 - 11:26

    [...] Posted by SeattleFightFan elaborate pls here is another article on it if you want Sanchez Explains Why He Ditched 'Nightmare' Nickname, Makes Vague Reference to Getting Sca... __________________ Yes I actually am a fan of Mir and Fitch. Forrest, Lytle, Okami, Bader, [...]
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