Emmanuel Sanchez
El Matador


Pushes the pace against champion Patricio Freire but drops decision in the main event of Bellator 209
November 16, 2018
Sanchez lost to Patricio Freire via majority decision (48-46, 48-47, 48-47) at Bellator 209 on Thursday in Tel Aviv, Israel.
Sanchez is an action fighter, and he probably could not slow down if he wanted to. He pushed the pace of this fight for 15 minutes. He had some success early and even rocked the champion in the first round. However, Freire settled down after that and controlled the fight with his striking and grappling. Sanchez continued to come forward and throw hands. In the end, he could not take the title, but he certainly pushed the champion and left fans with an exciting fight. Bellator has been quick to give rematches in the past, and Sanchez might find himself with another shot at the belt after a few wins.
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Fires up the crowd with a first-round submission at Bellator 198
April 28, 2018
Sanchez defeated Sam Sicilia via submission (arm-triangle) at 3:52 of Round 1 at Bellator 198 on Saturday in Chicago.
Sanchez has been on a run through the Bellator featherweight division. He came into this fight riding a three-fight winning streak, and he kept his momentum going against the UFC veteran. He went for a variety of submissions early in the first round as he mostly rolled for leg locks. Later in the round, the fighters returned to their feet. Sanchez locked in a standing arm-triangle choke. Sicilia tried to fight it and eventually went to the ground. Sanchez kept the hold on and took the back, which forced Sicilia to tap. Sanchez has put himself into position for the next featherweight title shot.
Will fight Sam Sicilia at Bellator 198
February 26, 2018
Sanchez is scheduled to fight Sam Sicilia on April 28 at Bellator 198, Marc Raimondo of MMAFighting.com reports.
Sanchez is riding a three-match win streak and has won six of his last seven, most recently defeating former champion Daniel Straus by third-round submission last October at Bellator 184. Sicilia, on the other hand, came out victorious in his Bellator debut last December against Marcos Galvao after losing his contract with the UFC.
Picks off another former champ at Bellator 184
October 6, 2017
Sanchez defeated Daniel Straus via submission (triangle choke) at 1:56 of Round 3 at Bellator 184 on Friday in Thackerville, Okla.
This bout turned out to be an interesting clash of styles. Straus likes to score takedowns and grind from the top, but Sanchez is very confident in his grappling game. In the fight, Straus would regularly score takedowns, but Sanchez would be able to scramble, score sweeps and attempt submissions. In the first round, he rolled into a kneebar that looked like it might finish the fight. In the second round, he swept to the mount and was pounding out Straus at the bell. The third round began the same way. Straus scored a takedown, but Sanchez was once against game on the ground. He locked in a triangle choke on the opposite side and strained for the submission. This year has been incredible for Sanchez. He has scored victories over former WSOF champion Georgi Karakhanyan as well as former Bellator champions Marcos Galvao and Straus. This victory could have put him in position to challenge Patricio "Pitbull" Freire for the Bellator title.
Outpoints former champ Marcos Galvao at Bellator 175
March 31, 2017
Sanchez defeated Marcos Galvao via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) at Bellator 175 on Friday in Chicago.
Sanchez continued his somewhat unlikely run through the Bellator featherweight division. He was one step ahead of Galvao in the striking game for all three rounds. Gavlao, a former bantamweight champion in Bellator, normally likes to grind his opponents against the cage and work from the top. However, Sanchez used his footwork and size to avoid the grappling almost entirely. Sanchez did not entirely outclass Galvao, but he got the better of all the striking exchanges. He has now won five of his last six bouts in the promotion and improved his professional record to 15-3.
Edges former WSOF champ Georgi Karakhanyan
January 21, 2017
Sanchez defeated Georgi Karakhanyan via majority decision (28-28, 28-27, 28-27) at Bellator 170 in Inglewood, Calif. on Saturday.
In this fight, whoever ended up on top basically took the round. In the second round, Sanchez ended up on top and did great work until landed an illegal knee to a grounded opponent. In the final round, Karakhanyan scored the takedown and finished the round of top. Sanchez normally gets loose with his striking in fights, but this fight was mostly a grappling contest. With the loss, Sanchez has gotten back on track after falling to Daniel Weichel at Bellator 159.