From December 2005 to January 2020, from Joseph Davidson to Austin Williams, Donald Sanchez fought, fought and fought again.
Now, the New Mexico MMA fighter/boxer says, he’ll fight no more.
“Today is the day,” Sanchez, 35, posted Sunday on his Facebook page. “… It’s time to hang up the gloves and leave it to this younger hungrier generation.”
Monday, in a phone interview, he said he’s partnering with a friend in a roofing company — Bosque Roofing LLC– and plans to spend more time with his three children.
Sanchez, a former King of the Cage lightweight champion, is listed with a 30-20 MMA record by tapology.com and 31-19 sherdog.com. As a boxer, he’s listed as 5-3 by boxrec.com.
In reality, he says, he’s had more than 100 professional fights — boxing, MMA, kickboxing, etc. — and could not provide an accurate record.
“Half my life was fully dedicated to this,” he wrote. “It’s now time to fully dedicate to the next chapter of life.”
Sanchez’s professional MMA career began on Dec. 10, 2005, with a victory over the aforementioned Joseph Davidson. It’s a career that took him — according to his record as listed by tapology.com — to 10 U.S. states and foreign countries (Canada, Japan, Singapore, Russia, England).
“I love it,” he told the Journal in 2012 about his travels, especially the trips abroad. “I get to do what I love best, and travel and see different cultures and different parts of the world.
“Not only that, but I’ve fought some of the best guys in the world in some of those places.”
Sanchez’s career ended in January in Miami, with a loss by fourth-round TKO in the boxing ring against unbeaten prospect Austin Williams.
“I hope I paved a path for many future athletes out there,” Sanchez wrote on Sunday.
GREENER PASTURES: UFC heavyweight Maurice Greene is nicknamed “The Crochet Boss” because he crochets (a close cousin of sewing) for fun and relaxation.
Greene, a recent arrival at Albuquerque’s Jackson-Wink MMA, feared he might have to crochet for a living — or something — had he lost a third straight fight Saturday night against Gian Villante on a UFC card in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Only referee Mark Smith knows how close he came to stopping the fight and declaring Villante the winner by TKO. But somehow, after being dropped by a Villante left hand in the third round and ground-and-pounded for more than a minute, Greene secured an arm triangle choke from the bottom position and forced a tap-out.
In interviews after the victory, Greene was emotional — unable to speak for almost a minute.
“My job was kind on the line tonight,” he said. “… It feels so good.”
Greene, who’d been living in Minnesota but training in Colorado, said he plans to move his family to Albuquerque. He began training at Jackson-Wink shortly after the gym re-opened June 1 after COVID-19 restrictions were relaxed.
“I actually didn’t mean to switch gyms, really,” he said. “I was just going out there (to Albuquerque) to get some work in.
“But when I got there, (J-W co-head coaches) Greg Jackson and Mike Winkeljohn kind of took me under their wing and penciled me in every day for time with each one of them on top of all the heavyweights they’ve got out there, probably six-plus, which is unheard-of.
“They’re building a stable of stallions out there, and I want to be a part of that.”
Overcoming the pressure he felt going into the fight, Greene said — noting that the UFC often cuts fighters after three consecutive losses — was a challenge.
“I try my best to put this face on, no pressure,” he said. “Yet, it was thick, very thick.”
Regarding his recovery after taking the big left hand from Villante, he said, “I knew I was in a tough place. I was getting hit, don’t really remember a lot of it.
“To be able to finish, not even with my striking, to be able to finish from the bottom with my jiujitsu, it’s so sweet to me.”
With the victory, Greene improved his record to 9-4. Villante, fighting in the UFC as a heavyweight for the first time after moving up from light heavyweight, is 17-12.