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Diego Sanchez breaks down Austin Trout, explains why he’ll be ‘very dominant’ at KnuckleMania 3


Diego Sanchez doesn’t seem the least bit concerned with Austin Trout’s boxing pedigree heading into their Bare Knuckle FC debut against each other.

The New Mexico natives are set to throw down Feb. 13 at BKFC: KnuckleMania 3 from Tingley Coliseum in Albuquerque. If you’re at all concerned about Sanchez, 41, heading into the bout given the 37-year-old Trout’s skill level with his hands, “The Nightmare” insists there’s nothing to worry about.

“The dynamic and principles of this sport is completely different, and Austin Trout is a ‘Philly shell’ fighter like Floyd Mayweather, except he’s southpaw,” Sanchez told MMA Junkie Radio. “Being a ‘Philly shell’ fighter, you can’t block like that in bareknuckle, man. You’ve got a guy like me, who’s only got to go for 2 minutes of sprint, and I’m putting these bones on you. Whether I’m putting these bones on your shoulder, on your arm, on your ribs, on your sternum, on your liver, on your stomach, it’s gonna do damage. You’ve got to be aggressive.”

The fight will mark Sanchez’s second competition since the UFC released him in April 2021. A Season 1 winner of “The Ultimate Fighter,” Sanchez was released as a result of questions about his health history. Those questions were a point of contention for one New Mexico commissioner before he was ultimately licensed to fight Trout after additional medical testing.

Sanchez most recently lost a unanimous decision to fellow former UFC standout Kevin Lee in March 2022 at Eagle FC 46.

Heading into KnuckleMania 3, Sanchez believes he’s right where he belongs fighting bareknuckle.

“This sport was made for me – 2-minute rounds, inside fighting, no gloves, and pressure. Pressure, pressure, pressure,” Sanchez said. “This is gonna be a great avenue for me to compete. I just think it’s gonna be a real statement, because a lot of people are all scared for me. ‘He (Trout) went 12 rounds with Canelo.’ Their eyes are like this (widens his eyes). ‘He went 12 rounds with Canelo. Are you sure?’ C’mon, bro. This ain’t boxing, and I’m not Canelo.

“This is a different sport. The moment I get inside, the moment that I start throwing and firing on him, it’s just a different sport. I’m gonna go out there, and I’m gonna prove it. I’m gonna show you what I’m talking about, and I’m gonna be very dominant. I’m gonna be very successful. And, yeah, you guys are gonna be like, ‘I guess Diego had a little more in the tank still.’”

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for BKFC: KnuckleMania 3.

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