Nate Diaz - UFC on FOX 5 WorkoutsUFC lightweight Diego Sanchez returned to the winner’s circle last night with a hard-fought, somewhat controversial Split Decision victory over Takanori Gomi at UFC on Fuel 8. Though the performance was far from Sanchez’s best inside the Octagon, “The Dream” was also dealing with the effects of a year-long layoff from action due to injury in addition to a drop down from welterweight and the troubles of travelling to Japan for the tilt.

Despite the criticism, Sanchez seemed satisfied with his performance considering the adversity he dealt with leading up to the match-up, expressing his mindset in a quick conversation with Fuel TV after the bout’s conclusion.

“I feel fortunate to be off the injury list and back in the Octagon doing what I love,” said Sanchez. “I don’t think this victory was given to me, I think I earned it.”

Though bruised and battered from his three-rounder with “The Fireball Kid”, Sanchez revealed his focus had already moved on from their fight to a future foe he hoped to see action against later this year.

Nate Diaz,” Sanchez replied when asked who piqued his interest. “I want to be the first one to say I beat both the Diaz brothers. I got the big brother, I want the little one next.”

Sanchez and Diaz’s older brother, UFC welterweight Nick Diaz, threw down in November 2005 when both were up-and-coming stars. As might be expected, the meeting was a memorable one full of heated exchanges both on the mat and while standing. When the dust settled, Sanchez emerged with his hand raised due to a Unanimous Decision.

If the younger Diaz and Sanchez do indeed lock horns it won’t be for awhile, as Diaz is currently scheduled to tussle with Josh Thomson on April 20 at UFC on FOX 7.