Eagle FC 46 Main Event: Diego Sanchez vs Kevin Lee Betting Pick

Khabib Nurmagomedov’s MMA promotion has scalped UFC fighters for it’s main event, and we’re giving you our MMA breakdown for Eagle FC 46: Kevin Lee vs Diego Sanchez. 
Place your bets by Friday, March 11th, 2022 at 6:00PM ET and watch the fight on Eagle FC’s free stream. 

Eagle FC 46 Main Event Betting Pick 

Kevin Lee is the far younger fighter, with a collection of high quality coaches, and is a larger, more physical athlete. His string of recent losses are to some of the best fighters in the 170 and 155 division, and his overall UFC legacy is one filled with high profile finishes in both TKO and submissions. 

Story of the Fight

Sanchez was released by the UFC over a year ago, and Diego then signed and was released from a deal with BKFC after his Covid-19 hospitalization. 
Lee stated that Eagle FC was open to the 165 weight class, one that Lee was all too excited to jump into. He’s been an advocate of more MMA weight classes since his entrance in the UFC in 2014. 
They’ve engaged in the opposite of trash talk, with Diego going so far as to say 

​​“If you ever want to talk, you ever want to pray, hit me up man. And in the meantime, I will be praying for you.”

Their public kindness hasn’t hyped the fight, but these two veterans don’t need showmanship to do their job well. 

Tale of the Tape for Sanchez vs Lee

Fighter Diego ‘The Nightmare’ Sanchez  Kevin ‘The Motown Phenom’ Lee
Money Line  +600 -850
Age 40 29
Height 5’10’’ 5’9’’
Reach/Stance 72’’ 77’’
Record 30-13 18-7
Submissions/TKO  8/10 8/3
Fighter Training Camp ABQ Warroom, GoatShed, others  Tristar

Diego is eleven years older than his counterpart Lee. He’s also a bit taller but gives up five inches of reach. Both fighters have eight submission finishes, but Diego has never been finished via submission, while Kevin was recently guillotined by Oliveira. 
Lee is a serious favorite at -850, but from training footage- Diego looks better than he has in years. I think we’ll see a good fight that makes it a decision for Lee. 

Betting Odds History

Diego has been the underdog for his last eight fights, ranging from +177 to +550. His last loss as the favorite was against Joe Lauzon at -120, and his last proper upset was Mickey Gall at +212 in 2019. 
Kevin Lee lost as the favorite to Roriguez at -135. He was the underdog in his knockout over Gillespie, and the favorite in his losses to Anjos, Oliveira and Iaquinta ranging from -130 to -335. A loss to Diego wouldn’t be the first time he fumbled, but with the win over Chiesa in 2017, it’s tough not to see Lee as the better fighter.

 Lee and Sanchez Shared Opponents

Lee beat Chiesa via first round choke, one that came after a striking clinic. Diego was defeated by Chiesa two years later by decision. Iaquinta defeated Lee in an upset decision, but knocked Sanchez out in the first round. 
Lee also defeated Jake Matthews with a stunning ground and pound win, and Matthews beat Sanchez in 2020 during a definitive decision. Lee is simply a level or two above Diego, at least in the last six years. 

Diego’s New Camp, Shift Away from Joshua Fabia, Jackson’s 

Diego is now cross training with multiple gyms. He’s doing gi BJJ for the first time at the ABQ war room, he’s working with Hector Lumbard at Goat Shed in Florida. Joshua Fabia was responsible for Diego’s management and training for the three-fight run from Chiesa to Matthews. Pereira lost to Sanchez by Illegal knee during this string of fights. Diego seems to have a bad taste in his mouth from his time at Jackson’s and has moved on to other coaching environments. 

Kevin Lee’s Release from the UFC

Lee was negotiating resigning with the UFC, but the offer to fight gatekeeper level opponents for far more money is tough to pass up. “I’m making more money than UFC champions in my division.” , said Lee. 
Lee could have gone on to gatekeep guys out of the top ten in either lightweight or welterweight, but this move to the top of Eagle was more lucrative, and not a sign of his overall health or ability. 

Lee looks good at 165, and said that his cut was perfect for the weight class.

Kevin Lee Last Five Fights

Lee is 1-4 of his last five, beating only Gregor Gillespie via knockout in the first round. He lost to Dos Anjos and Oliveria by submission in the third and fourth round, and decisions to Iaquinta and Rodriguez. On paper, Lee outworked Iaquinta, landing three takedowns to zero, and nearly as many significant strikes. His loss to Rodriguez was a clear blow out. 
For me, Diego is such a dramatic drop in competition that Kevin’s only real risk is shooting a takedown into yet another submission. Diego’s focus on gi BJJ for this camp is alluding to that strategy. 

Diego Sanchez Fight History 

Diego is 3-2 over his last five fights, and 3-4 over his last seven, which includes three first round knockout losses. He hasn’t fought since September 2020, and he was 38 at the time of his last bout. 
Diego has been part of many short fights, seeing only three decisions over his last seven. All three of the times Diego has been finished were in the last four years of fighting, Keep in mind Diego has been in the UFC since 2004. 
Diego has taken more punishment than almost any of the fighters recently released from the UFC roster, and many of his best wins, like that over Joe Riggs, came after exchanging big shots with high level fighters. 

Eagle FC Betting Pick Wrap up

If you’re betting on Eagle FC, make sure to check out the full card in our blog feed. Lee and Diego fighting for Eagle FC is representative of a larger movement in MMA toward dispersion across multiple shows and networks every week. This is something sports bettors should be excited about, because these fights are often more one sided than the fighters being built up on the UFC and Bellator rosters. 

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Jacob Clark / Author

Jacob Clark had a 15 year career as a professional MMA fighter, coach, and Greg Jackson’s alum. Now, TikTok’s 12th most important BJJ influencer is bringing his sports and betting knowledge to you here at TheSportsGeek. He spends his time cooking vietnamese food and playing D&D with his family. You can meet him at jiu-jitsu open mats all over Indiana.

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