This Week’s MMA Birthdays: Diego Sanchez Turns 32

By Brian Knapp Dec 28, 2013
Diego Sanchez turns 32 this week. | Photo: Dave Mandel/

Long revered as one of the most consistent entertainers in mixed martial arts, Diego Sanchez will celebrate his 32nd birthday on Dec. 31.

A former King of the Cage champion who won his first 17 professional bouts, Sanchez burst on the international scene in 2005, when he won Season 1 of “The Ultimate Fighter” series. He has been an Ultimate Fighting Championship staple ever since, capturing “Fight of the Night” honors seven times. In fact, only 12 fighters in UFC history have recorded more victories inside the Octagon than Sanchez: Georges St. Pierre, Matt Hughes, Anderson Silva, Chuck Liddell, Randy Couture, Josh Koscheck, Tito Ortiz, Jon Fitch, Rashad Evans, Michael Bisping, Rich Franklin and Frank Mir. Anchored at Jackson’s Mixed Martial Arts in his native Albuquerque, N.M., “The Dream” fought for the UFC lightweight crown in December 2009, falling short in a fifth-round technical knockout loss to B.J. Penn.

Sanchez, who has been finished only once in 30 career appearances, will meet the unbeaten Myles Jury at UFC 171 on March 15 at the American Airlines Arena in Dallas.

Those in MMA celebrating a birthday during the week covering Dec. 29-Jan. 4:

DEC. 29

Rumina Sato (40)
Mitsuhiro Ishida (35)
Sheila Gaff (24)

DEC. 30

Shannon Gugerty (32)
Nick Osipczak (29)

DEC. 31

Ian Freeman (43)
Diego Sanchez (32)

JAN. 1

Guy Mezger (46)
Eiji Mitsuoka (38)
John Lineker (24)

JAN. 2

Mac Danzig (34)

JAN. 3

Rodney Glunder (39)

JAN. 4

Kimo Leopoldo (46)
Vladimir Matyushenko (43)
Shane Carwin (39)
Donny Walker (34)
Jose Maria Tome (32)
Jin Suk Jung (30)
Jung Min Kang (28)

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