Joby Sanchez Makes UFC Debut Against Wilson Reis on 11-Days Notice
On Tuesday, the UFC was left searching for a flyweight when news broke that Tim Elliott (10-5), would be forced out of his August 23rd UFC Fight Night 49 bout against Wilson Reis (17-5). SWFight.com can confirm that Jackson’s MMA fighter Joby Sanchez, has been offered and has signed with the UFC, to step in and replace Elliot on short notice.
After an impressive victory via second round TKO over veteran Antonio Bañuelos last Thursday at Tachi Palace Fights 20, Sanchez had planned a quick turnaround and participate in a title fight on the September Resurrection Fight Alliance (RFA 19) card in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
His next fight would turn out to be scheduled even sooner after a phone call from his manager letting him know that the UFC had offered him a four-fight deal.
“My manager called me and said, ‘How do you feel about fighting in the UFC in two weeks?,’” recounts Sanchez. “‘Are you kidding me?’, I said. ‘Don’t tease me.’”
The 23-year-old, Sanchez (6-0), one of New Mexico’s top flyweights, signed with manager Jeremy Luchau and Iridium Sports Agency just five months ago. The agency promised him that if he did his job in training and in the cage, that they would take care of the rest, and they have delivered.
“I’m grateful for everyone that got me this far,” says Sanchez. “I’m gonna go out there and do my best.”
Up until the call from the UFC, Sanchez had three weeks remaining on his contract with the Xtreme Fighting Championships (XFC), an organization who signed Sanchez for two years after he won an open tryout held by company in 2012.
Knowing the importance of the UFC to Sanchez’s career, XFC President John Prisco would allow Sanchez to break early from his contract.
“The XFC did a lot in advancing my career,” says Sanchez. “I can’t thank John and the XFC enough for what they’ve done for me.”
Sanchez becomes the second Albuquerque flyweight to sign with the UFC this year, following in the footsteps of FIT NHB’s Ray Borg, who coincidentally after the biggest win of his career was also 6-0 when the UFC called him up and asked him to take a fight on short notice.
Sanchez’s first bout with the world’s largest mixed martial arts promotion is set to take place on August 23rd on the UFC Fight Night 49 card headlined by former lightweight champion Benson Henderson and Rafael dos Anjos at the BOK Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
“I could fight for the UFC in Alaska or Antarctica, I don’t care where the fight is,” says Sanchez. “This is that big of an opportunity.”
Sanchez joined Jackson’s-Winkeljohn’s MMA earlier this year after spending nearly 15 years with the Chavez Dojo in Albuquerque.
Joby Sanchez vs. Wilson Reis is scheduled to air live as the first bout of the UFC Fight Night: Henderson vs. dos Anjos Prelims on UFC Fight Pass at 5:30pmMT/7:30pmET.