Andrew Sanchez is a man who knows what he wants. You can count on him doing everything within his power to set himself up to succeed. His tenacity didn’t happen over night. It’s the result of years and years on the wrestling mats. The no-quit grind has been ingrained into his membrane. Some may even call him insane in the brain.

You see, the 26-year-old not only pushes the pace during training, but also keeps that intensity going basically until fight week, when he has to cut weight. People talk about risks of injury or peaking at the wrong time, but that doesn’t really cross Sanchez’s mind. He used to train all the way up to the event in his wrestling career, and it worked out a-okay: he earned four-time All American honors and two national titles.

Sanchez (Marshall Boyce/Sherdog)

Sanchez (Marshall Boyce/Sherdog)

“I always push close to the fight. A lot of people kind of take it easy,” Sanchez told The MMA Corner. “A lot of people who didn’t wrestle, they don’t agree with that. I can’t say it’s right or wrong. It’s a preference. Everyone does their own thing. And I get the injury thing, but at the same time, I do this every day.”

When he says every day, he really means every day. Sanchez shared that he hadn’t stopped training since his last fight in March 2014. For him, there aren’t really training camps, but rather different times of the year when he’s training.

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. The 5-1 middleweight will be fighting for the Resurrection Fighting Alliance. He will be vying for the promotion’s vacant title against Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt and UFC veteran Kevin Casey.

This match-up was not only the result of Sanchez’s accomplishments, but also a culmination of interviews and tweets calling out the Black House fighter.

“I wanted to fight this guy for so long,” Sanchez admitted. “He just kind of irks me.”

It’s refreshing to see some words exchanged. Your name doesn’t have to be Chael Sonnen or Conor McGregor to toy with your opponent and try to make them mad. Although Sanchez might not yet be a wordsmith on the same level as the aforementioned individuals, he still knows how to cook up a little beef leading into the biggest fight of his MMA career thus far.

“I think he’s kind of a mental midget,” Sanchez said of his opponent. “You can see him going crazy in the locker room before his fights, screaming. He’s got the machismo thing going on.”

Personal distaste of Casey’s antics aside, Sanchez also sees a strategic opportunity if he can get his opponent pissed off enough. So far, he’s having fun poking at Casey.

“He’s a gasser,” Sanchez continued. “He gets tired, and the more energy he uses, the more mad he gets, the better for me, because I think he’s going to gas faster. So I want him to be pissed off, and he is pissed off.

Sanchez (top) (Marshall Boyce/Sherdog)

Sanchez (top) (Marshall Boyce/Sherdog)

“He’s been around. He’s fought in the UFC, Strikeforce, The Ultimate Fighter, and still he’s never in shape. You’d think he’d learn at some point. What makes you think he’ll be in shape for RFA?”

Sanchez is aware of Casey’s jiu-jitsu pedigree and his more experienced record. He’s training for the best Kevin Casey anyone’s ever seen, but from that doesn’t mean he’s expecting anything out of the normal.

“There’s no big surprise: big, strong, basic jiu-jitsu style,” said Sanchez. “It doesn’t bother me. I train with world-class jiu-jitsu guys and world champions.”

Sanchez, who is only a purple belt, acknowledged that it would be a cherry on top if he could tap out Casey, who is a former Metamoris competitor, but the overall goal is to win by any means necessary. He predicts, however, that he’ll get a finish in the late second or third round.

“I don’t see where he can beat me.”

Andrew would like to thank Fear the Fighter, Slip Jab MMA, Finney’s MMA, Victory Training Center, his coaches, his girlfriend and all his training partners. Follow Sanchez on Twitter: @ElDirteSanchez

About The Author

Zach Miller
Staff Writer

Zach is a Boston native and has had a fascination with martial arts since playing Mortal Kombat at five years old. He was introduced to MMA after watching The Ultimate Fighter 5: Team Pulver vs. Team Penn. A recent graduate of the University of New Hampshire, Zach seeks to one day become a full-time MMA journalist. In addition to watching the sport, he has also trained in Brazillian Jiu-Jitsu, kickboxing, and tae kwon do. Zach has also written for NortheastMMA.