Conor McGregor's mind might be on Jose Aldo, but when you talk like McGregor and invite as much attention on yourself as the Dubliner does, your competitors tend to take notice.
Step forward Diego Sanchez. The 21 fight UFC veteran is one such fighter who is taking heed of what McGregor is doing and he's taking inspiration from it.
Sanchez hasn't fought since July and is recovering from a gruesome broken clavicle injury that he suffered in training, but his desire to compete and win again has been reignited.
This guy, he drives me to be a better mixed martial artist. He drives me to evolve. This guy drives me in a positive way, so that’s a fight that I think is going to happen. I’m looking for that fight
Sanchez, who was speaking to the MMA Roadshow, has decided to consider a drop to the featherweight division in the expectation that he may be able to get a shot at McGregor.
I’ve never really thought about going down to 145 pounds, but then of course this guy Conor McGregor, he came around and had great, tremendous success. I’m not a Conor McGregor hater, I’m actually a fan of the guy.
I’m going for the belt. I’m eyeing that 145lbs belt. I do want the fight with Conor McGregor. This guy, he drives me to be a better mixed martial artist. He drives me to evolve. This guy drives me in a positive way, so that’s a fight that I think is going to happen. I’m looking for that fight.
With Sanchez's clavicle now repaired (quite literally judging by this picture) a bout with McGregor could be a possibility down the line, particularly if the Dubliner does become the featherweight champion in July.
Seen the doc today says I'm 7/8 weeks away from getting cleared to train full go. The bone is looking excellent ???? pic.twitter.com/zOy5HIWOxP
— Diego Sanchez UFC (@DiegoSanchezUFC) May 1, 2015
McGregor won't want to take his eye off the ball with the Aldo showdown fast approaching but Sanchez certainly sounds serious about contending.