Stephen Thompson

Stephen "Wonderboy" Thompson looks at his corner in-between rounds of a fight in 2019.

Stephen Thompson on Diego Sanchez: “If he was my fighter, I would have said hang it up a long time ago”

UFC welterweight Stephen Thompson said that if he was the coach, he would have told veteran fighter Diego Sanchez to retire a long time ago.

Sanchez was the longest-tenured fighter on the UFC roster, having made his promotional debut way back in 2005 at The Ultimate Fighter 1 Finale, before he was recently released from his contract by the world’s leading MMA promotion. Part of the disagreement that led to Sanchez’s exit from the company had to do with his former coach and manager Joshua Fabia’s arguments with UFC staff, some of which were leaked online in videos. When the UFC and Sanchez had a disagreement about the release of his medical records, the promotion decided to release him from his contract instead.

Speaking to James Lynch, another veteran fighter in the UFC in the form of “Wonderboy” Thompson gave his thoughts on the situation. Sanchez is 39 and Thompson is 38, so both men are near the same age, but the difference is the amount of damage that Sanchez has endured throughout his MMA career. In Thompson’s view, Sanchez should have been told to hang it up a long time ago.

“I don’t know. I don’t know what’s going on in this guy’s head, I really don’t. I think everybody was waiting, it was just a matter of time until the UFC let the guy go. As a coach, if he was my fighter, I would have said hang it up a long time ago. I mean the guy’s taken a lot of punishment. He has many, many years of fights years on him. His first fight was on the first TUF show. That’s wild, man. I think for his health, the UFC did the right thing (to cut him),” Thompson said.

Do you agree with Stephen Thompson about Diego Sanchez hanging up his gloves?

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Adam Martin
MMA journalist, podcast host, and handicapper for,, and MMAOB Daily Podcast host. Join me LIVE @ 5 pm EST every Monday for my live free podcast. Over 10 years of experience writing about MMA. I love this sport.