While Bellator 228’s Danniel Weichel sees their rematch as a chance to continue writing his legacy, Emmanuel Sanchez seems more about getting revenge against a fighter he feels was gifted a decision in the pair’s first meeting.
Los Angeles, CA — Daniel Weichel moved into the second round of the featherweight grand prix at Bellator 228 on Saturday, thanks to a unanimous decision win against Saul Rogers.
The victory was one-sided, with Weichel leaving little to the judges beyond tallying the scores. It was his return to featherweight after an unsuccessful excursion to lightweight which saw him come up short against Goiti Yamauchi. Now, the German fighter has a rematch to look forward to.
That’s because Emmanuel Sanchez, a former 145lb title challenger like Weichel himself, picked the match-up. The selection process for the second round of the tournament came via lottery, and Sanchez did not hesitate to choose the man he lost to at Bellator 159.
“I want to welcome him back to the featherweight division,” Sanchez said at the Bellator 228 post-fight press conference, where he shared the scene with Weichel.
His reasoning is simple: on paper, he lost a split decision to Daniel Weichel in 2016. ‘El Matador,’ however, said that “he knows he didn’t beat me, that’s one thing for certain.” He’s been plotting his revenge for a while. “That’s something I’ve been thinking about and wanting back for a long time. Now I have an opportunity to, on a much bigger platform with a lot more on the line. And now this fight will be five rounds, not three, something I’m very excited for.”
“I know for myself that I beat him,” Weichel responded to the contention that he didn’t actually win the first fight. “It was a close fight, I know that, but I’m looking forward to this fight that is in front of us, with a lot more eyes on it, and a legacy to write.”
While champ Pitbull would no doubt have been an appealing match-up, “of course Sanchez is one of the best featherweights. That’s what I’m looking for, beating the best out there, and he’s one of them,” Weichel said.
Asked about whether Weichel was his first pick for the next round, Sanchez said he was. “I’m very happy with my choice. Not the date that I wanted, but more time to prepare,” he said. “Enjoy the holidays,” he continued, adding he hoped Weichel enjoyed the holidays as well, “and kick off 2020 with a bang. It’s going to be amazing.”
The pair will meet in Los Angeles in January 2020, on a card that will include Cris Cyborg making her Bellator debut against Julia Budd.
Watch the full Bellator 228 post-fight press conference with Daniel Weichel and Emmanuel Sanchez above.