I know it’s been fun to tease UFC veteran Diego Sanchez for hitching his wagon to coach Joshua Fabia, but this went from “ha ha” to “oh shit” in a matter of days, now that new information has surfaced to suggest how bonkers this situation has become.
For those of you just joining us, Sanchez departed Jackson-Winkeljohn MMA last summer because he wasn’t getting the kind of attention he believed he was entitled to. Instead of setting up shop at an established camp like ATT or Tristar, “The Nightmare” enlisted the services of Fabia.
Since transitioning to the “School of Self Awareness,” Sanchez is 1-1, losing a lopsided unanimous decision to Michael Chiesa before capturing a disqualification win over Michel Pereira in a fight that saw “The Nightmare” get beaten pillar-to-post.
A performance that left most experts scratching their heads.
While a majority of fans got to witness how both contests played out, as well as the ensuing fallout, what they didn’t see is what happened backstage prior to the Chiesa fight at UFC 239 last July in Las Vegas, a scene so wacky that Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) nearly canceled the bout.
Fabia was burning incense and shoving peppermint extract into the nasal cavity of Sanchez, according to this disturbing report from MMA Junkie, then actually warned the commission that Chiesa might die from a super secret death choke taught by South American guerrillas.
Fabia was asked to demonstrate the move, which was described to MMA Junkie as a technique that started as a standing guillotine choke but then would see Sanchez rotate his shoulders so that his opponent’s head was braced above his shoulder before slamming down to the floor and breaking his foe’s neck (described in practice as something akin to the professional wrestling move known as the “Stone Cold Stunner”).
I know the media has come down hard on both Sanchez and Fabia over the last few days, present company included, and for good reason. All that mystical self-improvement crap belongs in a private studio or park lawn, not a steel cage where trained martial artists are trying to hurt you.
Sanchez is now 38 and has been to hell and back in terms of combat sports violence. Nobody wants to see him get hurt, nor do they want to see an opponent get hurt because “The Nightmare” was trying to pull off Dim Mak inside the Octagon.