Earlier this week it was reported that Diego Sanchez had been pulled from his fight next week against Donald Cerrone, although no reason was given at the time, there was even bigger news on Thursday night. The UFC has officially released Diego Sanchez according to UFC President Dana White and most of it stems from issues with Sanchez’s new coach of late, Joshua Fabia.
After spending 16 years with the UFC, the promotion has released the former ‘The Ultimate Fighter Season 1‘ winner, a tournament he won while competing at middleweight. While he spent most of his career training at JacksonWink in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Sanchez recently partnered up with Fabia, and immediately into their training, heads were turned for the coach’s unique training style and how he was handling the veteran’s career.
Back in 2020 Fabia had a wild interview on ‘The Luke Thomas Show’ where he tried to address the criticism he was receiving from the fight community, but things didn’t get any better throughout the interview. Now, as the UFC has parted ways with Diego Sanchez, it has been reported that Fabia’s managing of Sanchez is a big reason why he is no longer a part of the promotion.
In an interview with Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports, UFC President Dana White admitted he was worried about the health and handling of Sanchez. While White reassured he has a great standing relationship with Sanchez, it was Fabia’s actions regarding Sanchez’s health that led to his release.
“I have an incredible, amazng relationship with Diego and I like him very much and I hope he is OK. One of the sad things that happens, not just in fighting but in sports, and I want you to quote me on this, are these creepy weirdos who come from God knows where and leech onto fighters or athletes. They never do any good for them.
Somehow, this creep got into Diego’s life and has been controlling him. This guy is bats*** nuts. He worked his way into Diego’s life and has gotten control over him. I just want the best for Diego.”
The concern for Sanchez arose when reportedly the UFC asked Fabia and Sanchez’s attorney to confirm that Sanchez was not suffering from short-term or long-term medical issues, and they refused to answer. Although Sanchez had passed his pre-fight medicals, the refusal to disclose any medical issues played a big role in the UFC releasing the long-time veteran.
Multiple videos released on Thursday courtesy of Twitter user @UFC_Obsessed that was shared from Sanchez’s Instagram which showed Fabia taking issue with the UFC commentary team during the pre-fight fighter meetings. In two separate clips that were posted by Sanchez, Fabia is seen arguing with UFC veteran Paul Felder and broadcaster Megan Olivi about how he is covered by those in the media.
For people who wanted context. Also Fabia addressing the group probably one of the most hilariously awkward things you’ll ever see. That room deserves a raise after this lol. Both clips on Diego’s Instagram. pic.twitter.com/P9ONGrC00f
— MS (@UFC_Obsessed) April 29, 2021
After the altercation on video and refusal to disclose medical information, the UFC decided to release Sanchez, while Dana White cited concern for him and his well-being.
Following his release, Sanchez posted “Free at last” on his Instagram story and tagged multiple MMA promotions, hinting that he would like to continue his fighting career, although it’ll be interesting to see how athletic commissions handle his medicals if he does attempt to fight again.
Mike Pendleton is a current contributor to MyMMANews, BJPenn.com, and TheScrap.Co while also hosting his “On The Mic” podcast and works as an Associate Producer on Sirius XM’s Fight Nation channel.
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