Diego Sanchez may soon be taking the gloves off for his next fight.
The UFC veteran, who was released from the promotion earlier this year, is currently in talks to join BKFC’s roster with a potential debut in his home state of New Mexico in December.
BKFC President Dave Feldman confirmed the news to MMA Fighting on Thursday, detailing what it will take to close the deal for Sanchez to officially join the promotion.
“I went back and forth on the Diego thing because of all the problems he had with Josh Fabia and being released from the UFC and just making sure he was right,” Feldman said on Thursday. “I do think he’s right. I do think he’s nearing toward the end of his game ,but I think with bare-knuckle he doesn’t need to beat up all of his body. He’s going to work on his hands and I think if we match him appropriately with the right guy around the same experience level, around the same age group, I think we can come up with some really, really exciting matches that we actually have on the board downstairs.
“If we can make one of these matches, we’re absolutely going to do it, we will sign Diego Sanchez for that. Again, it’s all about who we’re matching him up against and making sure he’s not in over his head, he’s not in with a young lion. He’s in with someone that makes sense for him.”
Sanchez was pulled from a fight against former teammate Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone earlier this year and he was subsequently released from the promotion. A huge part of the disagreement Sanchez had with the UFC stemmed from his relationship with controversial coach and self-professed guru Joshua Fabia.
Numerous fighters and teammates urged Sanchez to cut ties with Fabia, who became attached to The Ultimate Fighter season 1 winner ever since they first started working together. Finally in May, Sanchez announced that he was no longer associated with Fabia as he sought to restart his fighting career with a new promotion.
With that situation handled, Feldman now believes matchmaking is ultimately going to be the key element to giving Sanchez an opportunity to compete in BKFC, because regardless of his past accomplishments, the promotion has no desire to see him harmed by tackling the wrong kind of opponent.
A couple of fighters have already asked BKFC about possibly serving as Sanchez’s first opponent, but no decisions have been made at this time.
“I know Leonard Garcia wants to fight Diego Sanchez, that could be another good one,” Feldman revealed. “Isaac Vallie-Flagg, that could be another good one. I mean there’s a lot of really exciting matchups, some other former UFC legends, but Diego is Diego and he calls out Joey Beltran. He calls out someone who doesn’t make sense.
“At the end of the day, if I we find someone appropriate, and I think we’re going to, that’s going to mutually draw, we’ll sign him and we’ll get him in there. The targeted date is Dec. 3 in Albuquerque.”
While a few details still need to be ironed out, Feldman is confident Sanchez will soon call BKFC his new fighting home.
“I think we’re going to get a deal done,” Feldman added. “I had a good talk with Malki [Kawa] last night from First Round Management, and I think it looks like he’s going to be representing him. I think we’ll get something done.
“It’s not really a matter of getting it done. It’s a matter of picking the right opponent, and if I can find the right opponent that makes sense, that I think we’re going to get eyeballs on this sport and on this fight, and no one’s taking an extraordinary risk, then we’ll get it done. If that doesn’t happen, then we won’t get it done.”