Joby Sanchez: Flyweight division is “lacking a personality” like Conor McGregor

Jeff Bottari|Zuffa LLC|Zuffa LLC

Jeff Bottari|Zuffa LLC|Zuffa LLC

The UFC flyweight division is highly criticized by many mixed martial arts fans across the world. Despite being home to top pound-for-pound fighter and current champion Demetrious Johnson and contenders like Joseph Benavidez, Jussier Formiga and Henry Cejudo, the 125-pounders simply do not sell. 'Mighty Mouse' has headlined multiple pay-per-view cards, only to attract a small audience and generate close to the organization's lowest pay-per-view numbers to date. Despite being one of the most skilled fighters on Earth, casual fans dislike Johnson for being "boring", "too small", and "a fighter that always goes to decisions". UFC flyweight prospect Joby Sanchez says he has to "love the flyweight division" because it's his weight division. But that isn't the only reason he enjoys competing at 125-pounds and watching his fellow flyweights scrap, and he has plenty of reasons why every fan should be interested in a high level 125-pound matchup. "I don't really agree with what people say," Sanchez told MMAjr.co. "We're nonstop for 15 or 25 minutes and I believe we're the most athletic fighters in the UFC, as far as the weight divisions." Sanchez trains out of top MMA gym Jackson-Winkeljohn MMA, which is home to some of the best fighters under the UFC banner including Jon Jones, Carlos Condit, Alistair Overeem, Cub Swanson and John Dodson, in Albuquerque, NM. Dodson is the No. 1 ranked flyweight and has fought for the UFC belt twice now, most recently last month at UFC 191. However, he has come up short in both contests. Sanchez is of course biased towards his teammate, but for him, that's no reason to discredit the dominant champion in 'Mighty Mouse'. "As far as DJ, you have to respect him. He's the only flyweight champion in UFC history," he said. "John Dodson is my mentor, my good friend and my training partner. But DJ, I'm a fan of his style, and you have to give him that respect, you have to. And when people say that he's boring, he gets the job done, and you gotta respect that." Sanchez doesn't think the reason some fans dislike the flyweight division is because its fighters are "boring" and "too small", and "always go to decisions". He believes the flyweight division is lacking a certain personality to get fans excited for its matchups. He believes the flyweight division is lacking a 125-pound version of interim featherweight champion, Conor McGregor. "If I had to guess, right now I think the flyweight division is lacking the personality," Sanchez explained. "Three years ago, how big was the featherweight division? I mean, Jose Aldo is the king, of course, at the time, two, three years ago, he was the king. But a personality like Conor McGregor who came in and brought a lot of attention to the division [is what the flyweight division needs]. Everyone's really excited, and they're talking more about Cub Swanson, Chad Mendes, Frankie Edgar. I think that's the only thing it's lacking. "We're always knocking each other out, I don't think it's the finishing rate, I don't think it's that. I think we might be lacking a personality. Which to me, isn't a big deal. I'm here to fight, I'm here to win, I'm here to be the best fighter in the world."

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