Undefeated lightweight star Archie Colgan (7-0) will look to extend his perfect record tonight with a victory over “El Matador” Emmanuel Sanchez (20-8) at Bellator 297 in Chicago, Illinois.
The former University of Wyoming wrestler has achieved vast success thus far in his Bellator career, recording four finishes in as many fights since debuting with the promotion in 2021. Colgan has not grown complacent, however, and is as motivated as ever to continue building his name and round out his already impressive arsenal of skills.
“2021 to 2023 have definitely been the best years of my life…But 2023-2025 will be better,” Colgan said at Media Day earlier this week.
The 27-year old lightweight trains at Genesis Training Academy alongside a plethora of high-level mixed martial artists, namely Justin Gaethje and former #1 pound-for-pound king, Kamaru Usman. Despite their large gap in weight, Colgan and UFC heavyweight Mohammed Usman also work closely, imparting wisdom upon one another and exchanging tips and tricks to implement in their respective games.
“The Motor” has taken notice of Colgan’s strong work ethic and desire to reach his maximum potential, and looks forward to seeing his teammate back under the bright lights tonight in Chicago.
“He’s young, hungry, determined, and focused. I love Archie. He’s my little brother,” Usman said in an interview with Cageside Press. “Emmanuel (Sanchez) is a tough, hard-nosed guy…but Archie is a lot to handle right now. I’m excited for him and I’m in his corner.”
Colorado’s MMA scene continues to grow at a rapid pace with guys like Archie coming up through the gauntlet, and veterans of the sports like UFC welterweight all-time wins leader Neil Magny are starting to take notice.
“The guy is a grinder. He comes in and shows up to work – he’s one of those guys that there’s no BS with him. You know what you’re going to get,” Magny said. “The results speak for themselves.”
While Colgan possesses a very strong NCAA wrestling base, fans have come to know him as an electrifying fighter that finishes fights. Despite coming into the sport with relatively little striking experience, “King” Colgan has shown zero timidity when it comes to letting his hands go and initiating a calculated slugfest.
“Not every wrestler can transfer over (to MMA) as smoothly as Archie has,” said Colgan’s head coach and fellow University of Wyoming wrestling alum Justin Salas. “He has god-given knockout power.”
In addition to Colgan’s wrestling and striking prowess, the undefeated lightweight has more than held his own on the ground, scoring three TKOs in his last four fights, including a sensational and thunderous slam to Ben Simons who was attempting to secure a buggy choke. Colgan’s longtime BJJ coach, Peter Straub, hopes his fighter gets the opportunity to exhibit his improved skills on the ground during tonight’s three-round bout.
“As his jiu jitsu coach, we primarily focus on defending submissions and establishing dominant positions to score. But don’t get it twisted, Archie’s submission attacks are becoming lethal,” Straub said. “Sanchez is a good black belt and I hope we get to see some exchanges where Archie can showcase his skills on the ground. I told him if he submits Sanchez I might even give him his blue belt!”
While Archie Colgan has displayed pure and utter dominance throughout the early stages of his mixed-martial arts career, two-time Bellator championship contender Emmanuel Sanchez is far from a pushover. The Mexican veteran has much more fighting experience than that of his combatant, with 28 professional fights under his belt compared to Colgan’s seven. “El Matador” is currently riding a four-fight losing skid, albeit to some of the top-ranked featherweights in the promotion. He’ll look to put an end to that streak tonight, but will have to get past an explosive, budding star in order to do so.
“I want to make it a decisive win. I don’t want to sit there after 15 minutes to see what the judges say. If he can handle what I throw at him for the first five, the first ten, let’s see if he can handle the next five after that…I’ll dish out a lot of damage,” Colgan said.
Archie Colgan takes on Emmanuel Sanchez on the Bellator 297 Preliminary Card tonight on Bellator’s YouTube channel. His media day scrum can be found below.