A professional mixed martial arts competitor since 2011, Luke Sanders now competes in the Bantamweight division of the UFC.
Sanders made his UFC debut on January 17, 2016, as an injury replacement against Maximo Blanco at UFC Fight Night: Dillashaw vs. Cruz at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. He won the fight via submission in the first round and earned a $50,000 “Performance of the Night” bonus.
Sanders next faced Iuri Alcantara at UFC 209 on March 4, 2017, at the T-Mobile Arena in Paradise, Nevada. He suffered the first loss of his professional career via submission (kneebar) in the second round.
Becky Lynch, who attended the event wearing a T-shirt supporting Sanders, offered some words of encouragement following his loss.
In a post on Instagram, she wrote, “I couldn’t be any prouder of my wonderful man @coolhandmma. He’s an absolute beast and going no where but up. #teamcoolhand @lguillen60.”
Prior to the fight, Lynch praised her boyfriend’s incredible work ethic.
“I’ve never seen anyone work harder in my life,” Lynch wrote on Instagram. “His dedication and work ethic is second to none and I’m in absolute awe of everything this amazing man has done.”
Lynch also revealed how Sanders got ready for the fight during an interview with Lilian Garcia on the former WWE ring announcer’s podcast, Making Their Way To The Ring.
“He’s been out in Phoenix — that’s why we’re in Phoenix at the moment — doing his training camp, cutting down to 135 (pounds). My God, because he walks around right now at like 175 or something,” Lynch said the week before the fight. “He’s going to be lighter than me. That’s eight pounds lighter than me.”
She continued, “I know he’s going to kill it. Like, he is so hardworking. Really just like nonstop dedication, doesn’t complain about it for a second. I’d complain about the way he cuts (laughs) … not even bad, like, I’d be flipping out if I had to eat that little food.”