UFCjunkie.com Update: Diego Sanchez vs. Hayato Sakurai at UFC 74
Posted by UFC Junkie on June 9, 2007 at 12:21 pm ET
A rumored bout between The Ultimate Fighter 1 middleweight winner Diego Sanchez (17-1 MMA, 6-1 UFC) and PRIDE Fighting Championships standout Hayato Sakurai (30-7-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC) that we first reported yesterday appears legitimate.
UFCjunkie.com recently spoke to a representative KRQE News 13 in Albuquerque, N.M. The TV station recently ran a story about Sanchez and the bout. The station rep confirmed to UFCjunkie.com (www.ufcjunkie.com) that the news of the fight came directly from Sanchez, who will fight at the UFC 74 event.
Obviously, that's about as reliable a source as one could get (aside from an official UFC announcement). However, back in April, UFCjunkie.com spoke to a sports reporter from KOAT TV in New Mexico who stated that UFC 74 would take place in Albuquerque. The reporter stated that the news also came from Sanchez. (UFC 74, of course, is taking place in Las Vegas.)
However, assuming this latest news proves true, Sanchez and the UFC would be wasting no time getting him back into the title picture. Although Sanchez suffered a loss to Josh Koscheck in April, he remains one of the UFC's most versatile, talented and marketable 170-pound fighters. Heâ€™s been recovering from a staph infection that almost forced the cancellation of his UFC 69 fight, but with the upcoming fight a little more two months away, he has ample time to prepare.
His opponent Sakurai, though unknown to many UFC fans, is one of MMA's most experienced fighters. Although he suffered a TKO loss to Matt Hughes in his lone UFC appearance (UFC 38), the 11-year professional has racked up wins against some of the sport's most notable fighters, including Jens Pulver, Frank Trigg and Caol Uno.
UFC 74 takes place in Las Vegas on Aug. 25.
For the latest UFC 74 fight card, check out the UFC Rumors section of UFCjunkie.com.