Just In Dana White doesn’t necessarily think Diego Sanchez should retire after UFC 239 MMA Life

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LAS VEGAS – Diego Sanchez may have lost at UFC 239, but UFC president Dana White isn’t giving up on him.

Saturday night, Sanchez (29-11 MMA, 18-11 UFC) competed in his 29th UFC fight, but lost a unanimous decision to Michael Chiesa (14-4 MMA, 8-4 UFC) at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The main card, which opened with Chiesa-Sanchez, aired on pay-per-view following prelims on ESPN and UFC Fight Pass/ESPN+.

Sanchez, 35, has now lost three out of his past five bouts. But he was riding a two-fight winning streak heading into UFC 239. The “TUF 1” middleweight winner veteran has competed professionally for more than 17 years.

At a post-fight news conference following UFC 239, White said some in the MMA community are too quick to call for Sanchez to retire. The UFC boss made it no secret he’s a big fan of “The Nightmare.”

“I love everything about Diego Sanchez,” White said. “When you talk about somebody who was put on this earth to fight, it’s what this kid was born to do. And you saw tonight, the way that he was treated by the fans. The fans love this guy.

“Chiesa is going to be scary at that weight. He was huge. Huge. And every time Diego went to grapple with him, he couldn’t. He was overpowered and Chiesa fought a good fight. Fourteen years, 15 years this guy has been in the UFC. It’s amazing. It’s not like he got viciously knocked out. You know what I mean?”

Leading up to the clash with Chiesa, Sanchez made it known the UFC 239 bout was the last on his contract. With the hopes of getting re-signed to a good deal, Sanchez put extra emphasis on putting on a good performance Saturday night.

Despite the loss, White said Sanchez has nothing to worry about.

“How old is Diego now, 37? This is one of those conversations where Diego is not getting viciously knocked out and everything else, but fighting is a young man’s game,” White said. “Once you start to get older, Father Time is undefeated. It kicks all of our asses, especially professional athletes. I care about the kid. I love the kid, so we need to have a serious conversation about what’s next.

“He doesn’t have to have a great performance because it’s the end of (his deal). Diego Sanchez has helped build this sport just as much as (anyone). He’s one of ‘The Ultimate Fighter 1’ guys, which, you know how I feel about all of those guys. He’s in no risk or fear of anything. I’d do anything for Diego.”

For complete coverage of UFC 239, check out the UFC results.

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