Emmanuel Sanchez

Emmanuel Sanchez previews Jeremy Kennedy clash at Bellator 272

Emmanuel Sanchez and Jeremy Kennedy collide on December 3rd in a battle of ranked featherweights. Bellator 272 broadcasts on Showtime and transpires at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut.

I spoke with Sanchez ahead of this contest and excerpts from our chat are below.

Emmanuel Sanchez

The martial arts as a lifestyle ethos at Roufusport

“Oh, yeah. I’ve always kept the GSP mentality since I started. A fighter only trains when he has a fight. I’m a martial artist. I’m always working to perfect my craft. There is always something that I need to get better at and work on. That’s something I do day in and day out, fight or no fight. That’s what I love to do that’s how I keep the black belt mentality. I just got the first degree on my black belt. And I want to keep that sharp and all my skills. My striking skills, my grappling skills, my wrestling skills, whatever it may be. I have the hunger to want to be better and do better.”

Working alongside teammate Sergio Pettis who has a high profile title defense on this card

“That’s something that always has motivated me and inspired me. Encouraged me, not only when I was unsigned. Still working a full-time job, wanting to be where my teammates were at that level. Knowing that one day I wanted to hold a world title. I wanted to have what they have. Wanted to be able to do this for a living as opposed to still needing to work and do other things. Now that I’ve been able to have this, I want to share it with this younger generation of guys that we have up and coming. The high tide raises all ships.”

“That’s how my coach Duke Roufus calls it. We’re only as good as our weakest link. So everyone’s got to help each other get better. We, not me. We grind together, we shine together. This is something we’re all doing together. Together everyone achieves more.”

Bellator 272

Sanchez reflecting on his 13 year plus martial arts journey in recent times

“It’s pretty amazing. I’m blessed to say the least. I’m grateful for it all. So many different things that could happen in the fight game. Never getting signed, never getting fights, to injuries. I get it. To each his own. I’m still not there yet. I wanted to make my dreams come true. But a lot of people want to get married, want to have children, go to school, do all these other things. I’ve devoted my whole life, my time, my energy, to wanting to be the best at this. It’s fulfilling, going to Michael Jordan saying the game is my wife. It requires all my energy, all my dedication. That brings me back fulfillment and peace.”

“It has. I haven’t been chasing anything. Just the material things and obviously things that I know I can’t take with me when I die. But it’s what I want to leave behind and it’s what it’s given me as well in return. Seeing all these other kids that have helped get me ready for my fights, helped me get better, helped me achieve my dreams, and I’m able to help them achieve there’s. It’s something that we’re doing for one another. I never thought that I’d meet doctors and lawyers, judges. Helping train with police officers and ex-military. So many different people with different backgrounds from all over the world.”

Bellator MMA

Emmanuel Sanchez continued, “Been able to train with people from Japan, people from Thailand, people from Russia, people from Ireland, people from Australia, people from the UK, it’s very humbling. It’s very rewarding. Knowing that I got friends from all over the world. They’ve come here to Wisconsin to train and wherever they are now. Whether here in the US or out there in the world back home in their respective countries.”

“If I ever want to go and visit them, I’ve got a place to go visit them. Because I’ve never been to Australia. I’ve never been to Japan. So knowing that through the martial arts, we have this bond. So that’s a great feeling over all these years. Still being able to have all these things and share all these experiences with all these people. Blessed.”

Thoughts on the main stylistic proclivities of Jeremy Kennedy

“He brings a little bit of everything. Got a solid game on the feet, on the ground, experience. First loss being to Alexander Volkanovski, fought other great fighters as well too. And in many different, high-level promotions. He’s a killer, man. A tough canuck. He brings it. This is good. This is what makes for a very exciting fight, and that’s why they made this fight. I’m happy that we got this fight going on and this is what I wanted. I wanted to fight all the toughest guys, all the best guys that come to throw down. That’s what makes great fights stylistically as well too. And I’m excited to lock horns with such a great fighter.”

Parting thoughts for Emmanuel Sanchez

“Just peace and love to everybody out there. Not too far from our home here, we have all this negativity going on. Everybody’s hearing about what’s been happening around us. What’s going on in Wisconsin, stuff in the news. Just peace and love to everybody… Stay safe at home. Let’s stay off the news, stay out of trouble, and just focus on positive things man. Positive things that make us happy. Whether it be football, baseball, basketball, MMA, music, you do your things. Stay in your lane and don’t worry about fighting on the internet. Arguing, wondering what’s going on.”

“You want to go out and protest and riot or whatever is going on. …Let’s just be thankful and grateful. That we have health, we have life. That we we’re not in quarantine, we’re not locked down. We got our jobs back, we’re able to work. Let’s be positive. We got Christmas to look forward to.”

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