Shiloh native Andrew Sanchez won a unanimous decision in his Ultimate Fighting Championship middleweight bout with Trevor Smith at the Times Union Center in Albany, N.Y., on Friday.
Sanchez, known in the octagon as “El Dirte,” landed a series of uppercuts that weakened Smith and turned the tempo of the fight. Smith’s eye was cut and swollen shut by the find round.
Judges gave all three rounds to Sanchez. The middleweight bout was part of the preliminary card of today’s UFC Fight Night 102. The victory was Sanchez’s second since winning a contract with UFC on the FX television show “Ultimate Fighter.”
He’s now 2-0 in UFC and 9-2 in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA).
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Sanchez commented on his victory via a text to the BND, saying he’s looking forward to fighting someday in the St. Louis area.
“This is only the beginning,” Sanchez texted. “I'm shooting for the top and I look forward to putting the 618 on the map.”
Sanchez is a graduate of O’Fallon High School, where he discovered wrestling as a junior. He went on to McKendree University, where he was a four-time collegiate All-American and a two-time NAIA national champion. He’s also trained in Taekwondo and Brazilian jiu-jitsu, disciplines he has credited for his success in MMA and UFC.
In July, Sanchez won the finals of “The Ultimate Fighter” (TUF23), a reality television show that films competitors while they live together and train for the matches. The reward for winning was a six-fight UFC contract and a Harley Davidson motorcycle.